Years ago, when I started dating my now spouse, I would get so annoyed because he had such a hard time planning things in advance. Now, we have been married for almost seven years, and guess what? He still has a hard time planning things in advance. Do I still get annoyed? Not as often, but occasionally I do.
Over time I have come to realize that many of the problems that exist in most of the relationships we have is our inability to accept what is. We get frustrated when our children cry for no reason even though we know very well that 2-year-olds often cry without reason. We get into arguments with our moms about the past, when it’s clear that their perspective on the past will never change. We are mad at our spouse for forgetting some of the grocery items on the list even though he always forgets some of the grocery items on the list.
As human beings, we establish expectations for the people in our lives. Sometimes they are pretty reasonable and sometimes they aren’t because we are establishing expectations based on what we want, not based on who the other person is. When we do that, we are setting ourselves up for frustration and heartache.
I’m a fighter by nature. I like to fight for what’s right and what’s fair whenever I can. If I feel like my life is headed in a direction I don’t like, I fight to get it back on track. If I start something and it’s not working out how I intended, I fight to make things right. That fight I have in me has served me well for years. Unfortunately, it has brought a bit of pain, too, because fighters sometimes have a hard time with surrendering and acceptance. We sometimes want things to fit into the vision we’ve created, and we feel frustrated when they don’t.
With age comes wisdom, and I have learned so much over the years about when to surrender, and the power of accepting what is. These lessons have had a tremendous impact on how I live my life and I am certain this new found wisdom has spared me a great deal of frustration and pain, especially when it comes to my marriage.
Here are 8 things I’ve learned to accept to make my marriage work. Maybe accepting them can help your marriage, too.
His or her past.
We all have one. Reliving it is not in anyone’s best interest. If you decided to marry someone, knowing what his or her past entailed, you have to accept it and move on—no matter what it is.
I know forgiveness can be hard, but when you forgive it’s really about allowing yourself to heal. If your spouse wronged you in some way and you have decided to stay, you have to also decide to accept their apology.
There won’t always be answers.
Human beings usually want an explanation for why things are the way they are, but that explanation is often not available. Life can be challenging, bad things happen to good people daily, and we have to learn to accept it and create the best circumstances with what we’ve got.
Read the remaining 5 on the next page