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Acknowledging / Accepting the Differences

(note - this does not apply when a partner’s behaviour is dysfunctional, harmful or clearly inappropriate)

When we first met our partner, it is their differences – those unique eccentricities - that made them so interesting and desirable.

However, as a relationship develops, so often we want to change out partner to be more like ourselves … both in the way that we think and in the way that we act.

This can come out in many different and subtle ways, for example we want them to:

  • Keep the house in the same manner
  • Cook/eat the same types of foods
  • Relate to family and friends in the same way
  • Place the same importance on exercise
  • Watch the same shows on TV
  • Enjoy the same social activities

and the list goes on …

When we don’t accept our partner’s differences, we are doing two things:

  • We are creating a state of resistance within ourselves which can only lead to personal unhappiness
  • We are exercising control leaving them unhappy and most likely stressed

A great relationship must be able to transcend those differences. We must be accepting of each other for who they are including:

  • Accepting that we all are motivated by different things
  • Accepting that we all communicate differently
  • Accepting that we all behave in different ways

When we accept our partner completely, we empower them to live happy and fulfilling lives, the lives that they deserve to enjoy.

And when we both focus on each other’s security, satisfaction and development instead of our own, we shift our energy from internal negatively to outward positivity.

It is important however to note - we are not responsible for each others health & happiness, they are responsible. Similarly, our happiness mustn’t be dependent on them.

However, a relationship does requires two things:

  • To share the responsibility of living together
  • To share the responsibility of healthy parenting if you have children

When selfish behaviour directly causes unhappiness, a dysfunctional family life or unsatisfactory or unhappy coexistence, things need to change.

It is a difficult area, differentiating between what is acceptable and what is not, but through mutual compromise and communication, a great relationship will result.

When we both put our partners needs on a level equal to or higher than our own, magic will happen.