Build a stronger relationship by accepting each other’s flaws
One of the ways to a healthy and successful marriage is genuinely accepting your partner for who they are.
However, it becomes tricky to see and magnify their good qualities that are “always” there because sometimes all you see are the problems, irritations, what they do wrong and how they come short on certain issues.
You see the habits and pet peeves, as well as minor and major disturbances that make you want to run away in frustration.
Even in good relationships, most conflicts are the perennial ones that never get solved.
At the root of these schisms are often qualities one partner has — or lacks — that irk the other.
When it comes to improving your marriage, it’s fruitful to become more accepting of your spouse’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than to continue attempting to get them to change.
Here are some suggestions on how to accept your spouse for who they are:
Re-evaluate the seriousness of your spouse’s flaws
Sometimes people get very annoyed with aspects of their partner that really aren’t that big of a deal.
When frustration builds up, it’s easy to lose sight of that.
For instance, one’s partner’s struggle with being on time can be annoying, but in the grand scheme of life, this frustration can be exaggerated.
In reality, having an emotionally reliable spouse who has many other good qualities is much more important.
Accept that you are different
Keep in mind that you are different and that’s perfectly OK.
You do not have to share the same interests or opinions all the time.
As unique individuals, you should be entitled to your own definition of and reaction towards the world around you.
Give your partner room to be their own person without trying to enforce your interests and opinions on them.
Accepting someone for who they are means acknowledging you will always disagree on not just one but many things — and again, that’s perfectly OK.
Accept their imperfections and embrace their flaws
But beware: there is a big difference between accepting someone’s weaknesses and forgiving a person’s abusive behaviour.
The former refers to how you accept your significant other’s physical and emotional weaknesses.
For instance, your partner may not be as talented as you are, or they don’t share your level of confidence when it comes to socialising. These can all be learnt in time.
On the other hand, the latter refers to how one’s partner can be emotionally and physically abusive.
Accepting these flaws means letting them hurt you because you still hope they’ll change. This is a dangerous and toxic relationship and should not be tolerated.
Treat your spouse as a human being
They are not an object to be admired, redecorated and to be possessed.
Accepting someone for who they are does not mean treating them as a prize or an accessory to be displayed in front of your peers.
Treat them as a human being capable of love and care.
Respect them as a person and accept them as an equal.
Love them the way you want to be loved and be thankful you have someone like them in your life.
Consider your own flaws
While it’s important to take the initiative to confront your partner about their flaws and annoying habits, it’s important to keep in mind you have some of your own too.
Doing this will help guide your approach to your partner, which will lead towards tenderness and a greater degree of sensitivity.
The importance of this point is so that you avoid a posture that suggests a “holier-than-thou” approach.
Acknowledging you have irritating habits of your own will always deflate a potentially tense encounter.
Consider their story
Sometimes, you’ll never understand why your spouse does what they do and there will be moments when you start to question their sanity just because they don’t agree with how you want things done.
You have to know where they are coming from and what made them who they are.
You have to know their story and respect the lessons that their life has taught them.
Trust them to do the right thing, not just because you love them but because you believe in them.
Never compare your spouse with the people you have met and loved in the past.
Love them for who they are and don’t go looking for more.
Move on from the past and accept this person in your present. If you can’t do that, it’ll be difficult to accept them for who they are.
Consider why particular flaws irk you so much
When one of your partner’s weaknesses irks you, it is often because of something extra you’re reading into it.
For instance, you may value good planning to reduce stress but your partner doesn’t get as stressed when running late as you do.
Take a hard look at the extra meanings you’re adding to your frustration about your partner’s flaws.
If you tend towards anxiety, their flaws might activate anxiety for you.
If you tend to feel uncared for or neglected, typically because of your past experiences, then their flaws may activate those feelings.
Try to disentangle these extra meanings from your reactions to their behaviour.
Consider your practical options
If your partner isn’t going to change fundamentally, then what are your options other than continually banging your head against the wall?
When you accept your partner’s flaws, it can help you mentally move on to thinking about what the practical options are.
How can you minimise the effect their flaws and weaknesses have on you?
What are the practical workarounds?
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