ABC's Of Marriage
Blog Posts,  Marriage

Do you give your spouse your full acceptance?

In this new series focusing on marriage, I’m setting out to work my way through the alphabet… call it the ABC’s on steroids… highlighting the things that I believe is paramount to a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

But, before I start, let me be clear: I am in no way suggesting that my own marriage is perfect (far from it). In fact, it’s because I know it isn’t, that I think I’m able to put thought into what needs work and put words to my thoughts – in the hope that my own journey and reflections might be of some benefit to others. If we fall into the trap of believing our relationship is perfect, we tend to stop working on it, and that’s where the problems creep in… Any relationship is an ongoing process of learning and growth.

I have a suspicion that the average person learns about love and relationships from movies and songs. Giving shape to an idealistic hope for what might be our own marriages… and sadly, the image of the perfect relationship and the faultless person soon becomes an unfulfilled dream that leaves us unsatisfied and jaded.

And this sets the scene nicely for the first principle of paramount importance in a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

ACCEPTANCE

Once we accept the other person for what s/he is, rather than what we would want them to be, the energy used until now to criticize and correct can be used for building and nurturing the relationship.

It’s so easy to accept things that are out of our control. A sick baby crying for comfort, or sirens waking us from our sleep (clearly I’m already becoming quite a city-girl). Those things might be frustrating, but our response to accepting them is much easier than accepting something we THINK we can change.

When we first get married, or seriously involved with someone on a romantic level, we are naturally in a euphoric honeymoon phase… everything seems perfect… But as time wears on, we start seeing things that annoy us. Small things at first that might seem irrelevant, but could very well widen the gap between you and your significant other.

Let’s look at a few of these:

  1. He always leaves the toilet seat up.
  2. She always insists you put the toilet seat down:)
  3. She never packs away the laundry.
  4. I can hear his constant chewing.
  5. Why does she always whine about everything?

My husband has this annoying (I think so) habit of leaving his shoes in the lounge. He will come home from work, sit down and take them off. Forgetting to put them in the cupboard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throttle him. My frustration kicks in, then the anger, and the next thing you know, we are arguing about something that is totally unrelated to the shoes.

Then you start throwing insults at each other, bringing up old hurts that haven’t been dealt with. It’s a downward spiral. The resentment gnaws at you. You might forget about it for a few days, but if it’s not dealt with, the next time you see those shoes lying on the floor could become the reason the relationship doesn’t work out.

In most marriages. These small annoyances become huge problems…Why?… Because we ALLOW them to. So how do we move past the frustration and give our true acceptance?

Well, let’s first look at what acceptance is. Acceptance is not something that you can demand from someone. Acceptance is given, freely and without requiring something in return. Are you able to give your acceptance to your spouse? Is this an area that you need to work on? Or do you think that you are so far gone, that you CHOOSE not to give your acceptance? These are some things we need to think about.

Giving True Acceptance.

  1. Stop Challenging – when your spouse speaks to you about something that he/she believes is true, don’t challenge them. Have a conversation about it and choose to accept their conviction. This shows that you are willing to have belief in them, therefore building trust.
  2. Praise instead of put down – Does it come naturally to you to praise your spouse? Are you able to overlook their weaknesses (just like we have) and focus on their strengths? How often do you tell others about the things your spouse excels in. The more we begin to highlight their strengths and accept their strengths as truth, the more we are able to accept them for who they truly are.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff – Just like those annoying shoes that taunt me on a daily basis, what bugs you? I’m sure there are things that we do that annoy our partners as well. Is it really worth all the frustration? Isn’t it easier to just pick the shoes up and think of all the positive things they have done for us during the day? A small act of kindness in a moment of frustration can bridge the gap.

Lastly, marriage is a choice, giving your acceptance is a choice. I’m not saying there won’t be any more frustrations along the road, but when you are able to understand the value of acceptance, you build confidence in your marriage and are able to work through almost anything.

x

Jacqui

34 Comments

  • Nige

    I have always believed that you married someone as they are you fell in love with that person why change them really great read muchto be learnt from this thanks for hosting #globalblogging

  • Soffy

    Great read, something that every couple should read, should send this link to my husband! ? I will eagerly be following this series #GlobalBlogging

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

  • Sophie

    Oh the shoe thing! Thought it was just me! But then he brings me a cuppa in bed and I think….ahhhh, thanks! Moulding each other is the key….small steps towards moulding the person and it works both ways! #globalblogging

  • Katy

    Ah, thanks, Jacqui this was a good reminder I needed to hear today. I’ve been letting myself feel annoyed at little things lately, instead of praising him for the man he is and enjoying the bigger picture with him.

    #globalblogging

  • The Shed of the Father

    Very good start and can’t wait to read more entries on this subject.
    I love my wife unconditionally but it’s funny how little things can get us so frustrated. I like your point about sweating the small stuff. I know she does so much for me and our family that overlooking something I’m not so happy with becomes easier when I stop and think this way.
    #globalblogging

  • Michele Morin

    I first heard that phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff” from a woman who had been married for 60 years, and that was her advice for a long and happy marriage. I think she (and you!) are on to something!

  • Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life

    What a great start to your series. I struggle sometimes with acceptance. But I’m working on it, and getting there slowly. I think it has to be a two way street too though. Both parties need to work on accepting each other before you can put away the frustrations as a couple. Great post – thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess
    #GlobalBlogging

  • Mascha

    Very well written. We can quickly forget why we married someone if we just focus on the little things winding us up… And be honest: we don’t like it if someone wants to change us. So why should we try it with someone else?

  • Noleen Miller

    You are so right. To me marriage is about compromise and acceptance. We came into a marriage as individuals with our own character traits, habits, values and mindset. We are adults. Although marriage is a union where two comes together and form one bond – we still individuals. Individuals who are not perfect and have many flaws. Yes there are so many things that my husband does that annoys me and vice versa – however we’ve learnt to stop challenging as that just leads to arguments. I think the longer you are married – those annoyances becomes part of who that person is that you ultimately love. I find that if my husband is away for a couple of day – I kind of miss those annoyances. Thanks for a great read #globalblogging

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    I think you need to accept that your partner isnt perfect – who is? certainly not me! But there are times when it gets frustrating that after years of asking the still cant do a simple task you’ve been asking them to do or not to do.
    Either way I love my hubby for who he is, even if he does shove socks down the sofa, walk past mess without thinking to clear it up or clinks his teeth against a fork. Afterall, he is the person who chose to spend the rest of his life with me, wipes my tears when I’m sad and dances with me around the house when I’m happy. Plus seeing him turn into an amazing father is just remarkably sexy and makes me love him more than I ever thought possible!! #globalblogging

  • Malin

    You’re making great sense here, Jacqui. I’ve used so much energy before on being annoyed with my husband over all sorts of things, but in the last couple of years I have become more accepting. And it helps, so much. I think we’ve both become more acceppting of each other as we’ve struggled through quite a few difficulties, and hopefully, this will keep us more solid for the future too. It’s taken us so long to learn though, and I hope some younger couples read and take note of your advice here. They’ll be happier for it! x #GlobalBlogging

  • Chanene Ablett TonicandTiaras

    So I am going to need to come back to this a few times as I am guilty here. Thank you for the reflection. Acceptance especially as both of you grow and evolve and the inevitable change will come sometimes together and sometimes a little differently #globalblogging

  • Emily

    I genuinely believe that my husband were destined for one another. I love him for who he is and would never want him to change, and the same goes for him about me. Great post. Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    Thank you, Jacqui. This is always a good reminder for our relationships. I actually put this into effect this week and it has made things so much lighter and easier. It is reassuring to see your post now! You are on to something! Happy weekend, and feel good! #globalblogging xoxo

  • Kirsty Hall

    I always say to my husband that there are little things that about each other that start off cute or little foibles that you just accept, but over time they become giant annoyances that make you want to strangle the other person. It is when you can let them go that you know you can be together for the long haul #thatfridaylinky

  • Lucy At Home

    Interesting thoughts. Hubby and I have been married for 10 years and I think you’re right that you have to be willing to accept the WHOLE person, flaws and all to be truly in love. And you’re right, it takes constant maintenance and effort. However, I did read somewhere that it’s the couples who talk through the little annoyances that are happier over all (rather than the ones who brush over it) because they have a more open relationship where they can talk about everything, rather than bottling it up and then it bursting out as a full-blown argument – it’s about being honest, and feeling accepted enough to be able to be honest.

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

  • Sade

    Love Love Love this post!!! So true – Dont sweat the small stuff. My husband can be super annoying but I’m certain i can be too. I agree, Marriage is a choice and we gotta work at it everyday. My word for the day “Acceptance”
    Thank you #lekkerlinky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *