My husband says I'm inflexible. He's not the first person to tell me this. I don't deny it. I have a strong preference for structure over chaos. It takes me a while to adjust to big changes. I am easily stressed out, even over small things. I like my space to be clean (or at least tidy). Messiness makes me feel like the room is closing in on me.
If something needs to be done I prefer to go ahead and do it as soon as possible; I rarely procrastinate. I like to plan activities and/or events in advance. I don't like spur of the moment invitations and will typically decline them. I am very attached to my routines. If there is somewhere I've planned to go at a particular time or something I do regularly on certain days I generally resist any attempts by other people to intefere.
So no, I am not particularly flexible. I can bend and I do bend, but only under a limited number of extenuating circumstances.
I admit that I can be too "rigid" at times. This sometimes leads to negative consequences. As I said before, I get stressed out a lot. I'm not always anxious but I do struggle with anxiety. I am stubborn to a fault. I become irritable and unpleasant when I feel overwhelmed.
My husband highlights these consequences and insists that I change. I'm too rigid, he says. I won't listen to reason. (I completely disagree with the latter sentiment. I do listen to reason. It's just that I do not always find his "reason" compelling. I listen to it and then I disagree. I have a right to disagree. It doesn't mean I'm unreasonable).
While I disagree with the crux of my husband's argument, buried within it lies a valid point. I can be too rigid.
And yet this very same quality bestows so many benefits. I am consistent, steady, and reliable. I get things done. I am responsible. I am conscientious. I am predictable. This may not make me the most exciting person in the world but I'm okay with that. People know what to expect from me; there is something comforting about that. I finish what I start; I follow through with committments. Because of this I have, for example, no difficulty exercising regularly and maintaining healthy eating habits. In fact, I don't really have a problem maintaing any positive habit, once it becomes a habit. I'm good at habits. Habits are my thing.
It is difficult for me to know where to draw the line. Yes I'm a bit rigid but to a certain degree this works well for me. It enables me to structure my life in a way that ensures I have time to devote to every important person, activity, event, and/or obligation. I realize, however, that being too rigid creates problems. Sometimes I refuse to budge, even when I know I'm making things more difficult than they have to be. There is definitely room for improvement.
When it comes to my marriage, I know that trying to be more flexible will decrease conflict and increase harmony. I also believe, however, that a great deal of benefit would come from my husband putting effort into trying to understand and accept me as I am, for who I am, instead of wanting me to be a different "type" or "kind" of person. (And that goes both ways, of course, i.e., me learning to accept him as he is). I am open to self-improvement but I can't be a different person. I don't want to be a different person. And I don't want anyone to pressure me into being anyone other than myself. If I say to my husband, "This is who I am. Please try to accept me," am I just being rigid and obstinate? I am confused at this point about whether I should be working on changing myself or encouraging him to to accept me as I am...