Love and Acceptance

Sep
3

In the early stages of every relationship, partners are usually ecstatic when they discover they share common interests. When obvious differences arise, these same partners abandon their previous convictions with the same enthusiasm. It is at these early stages in a relationship when that “new love” propels you forward to create similarities when none exist. To go a step further, the intimacy (both physical and emotional) is also effortless. Sometimes couples feel like they can talk for hours or even experience intense passion. As the relationship progresses though, the partners may find themselves preferring television over a conversation or the intimacy could even be on the decline.

Those couples that have been together for years have probably realized that there are differences between the two of them. Since they are human, and no two humans are alike, it is inevitable that differences were eventually going to surface. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Partners can be different but still be compatible if they are compatible in the areas that matter the most such as core values, parenting techniques, etc. Certain differences can actually complement one another though. For example, if you like to cook but you don’t like to clean and your partner does like to clean, then that’s a situation where the differences complement one another. Another example could be personality traits such as one partner is serious and the other partner is playful; or one partner is shy and the other is outgoing. On the other hand, differences can also cause much conflict. For instance, the quietness you once thought was charming can someday frustrate you especially when it takes all of your energy to engage your partner in conversation.

It’s at this point when couples begin to think about change. Something or someone needs to change. Finger pointing begins and couples often seek the help of a counselor. He expects her to change and she expects him to change. How can you change the unchangeable though? The answer is YOU CAN’T. You should accept that person for whom they are and learn to work with their differences as they are to learn to work with your differences. Most of us can easily see how we are different from our partner, but we do not know what to do with these differences. We are usually threatened by them though. We use them in arguments or even in power struggles. Therefore, we destroy or damage what might otherwise be a very fulfilling relationship.

A simple change in perspective, those very same differences can become a passage to the deepest intimacy a relationship has to offer. Differences can be transformed into the catalyst for change, ongoing adventure and personal growth instead of negativity and hurt. The differences will be painful at first, but with time and a new perspective (acceptance), the soul will open and new experiences will soon begin to occur. Work toward accepting the differences that exist. The art of acceptance is essential for a healthy relationship. Acceptance should be an essential tool that is always at hand in your relationship toolbox along with your willingness to compromise and negotiate!

In closing, practicing and mastering the art of acceptance will create a stronger, more fulfilling relationship. There are a few things to remember about acceptance. (1) You should always cultivate a mindset of openness. You or your partner cannot move past your differences unless you both consciously and completely open your hearts to one another. This means even the parts that you wish did not exist. (2) There are many roads to intimacy. The differences exist in how you and your partner get there. Notice I said differences? They do not imply a right or wrong method so you should suspend all judgments. (3) Acceptance is definitely not defined as submissive complacency. Basically, you are allowing yourself to co-exist with your partner peacefully given those circumstances that are beyond your control. (4) The road to acceptance does not entail lying down and accepting everything that your partner says or does whether you agree or not and never challenge your partner to improve. Relationships are built on compromise and change as time goes on. There may be something that your partner can change that would benefit the relationship and this should be encouraged. (5) Once you begin to accept the differences in your partner, you have taken the vital step toward appreciating your partner’s uniqueness. With practice, you will embrace the differences in your partner. It is these differences that make both you and your partner unique. And it is these differences that will make your relationship change over time and become stronger each day. Accept the differences and allow the change!

 

2 Responses to “Love and Acceptance”

  1. I really like this. It’s what I mean about internal versus external. Focusing on something or someone, things we can not change, becomes destructive because our expectations are rarely met. Most people then act out their disappointment.

  2. Jackie Arceneaux says:

    Now, do you practice what you preach?111

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