The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

Accepting Your Spouse for Who He or She Is

February 5, 2015

couple doing laundry togetherThere can be moments when a partner tries our patience and we sometimes feel as if we’ve had it. Perhaps what led to that feeling was finding another dirty sock left on the floor or constantly being late to important events. If those examples sound familiar, you’re not alone. Everyone has certain habits that can annoy others. Living with another person brings out the good and the bad.

The Goal Isn’t Change, It’s Compromise

Accepting your spouse for who he or she is isn’t easy. How to learn to accept? Start by acknowledging that your job is not to change your spouse. You need to love your spouse for the person he or she is. In order to navigate irksome bad habits or annoyances, you might need to negotiate some parameters. Compromise can be challenging, but it’s essential to a marriage. For example, agree that if you pick up the dirty laundry, he or she will launder it and you will put it away. Negotiations can require creativity, but if you both want to have a happy home, it won’t be difficult to define what works for the two of you.

Is It Really a Problem?

The harder part is determining whether the habit is a problem or just an everyday annoyance. If the issue is something that is genuinely hurtful or disrespectful to you, or if it’s disruptive to your family, then you might have a true problem and may want to consider seeking counsel or help. If, however, it’s just frustrating that you’re always late everywhere you go together, then you may need to communicate your feelings to your spouse. At the end of the day, it’s about letting your spouse know that something upsets you, and coming up with a compromise to resolve it.

Know When to Let It Go

No one is perfect. Sometimes you may need to avert your eyes from “the dirty sock” and let it go. Minor annoyances can’t dictate your happiness unless you let them. Instead, try to focus on your spouse’s strengths and find ways to complement the weaknesses.

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