My husband is amazing with numbers; I absolutely am not. I love romantic comedies and my husband appreciates action movies. My husband is giving and thinks about those he loves quite often in small ways, and for me, I am still working on that one. Our differences are certainly recognizable, but there are things we have learned to accept about one another. If you’re wondering how to accept your partner’s differences, read on for a few tips on the topic.
How to Accept and Appreciate the Differences in Your Marriage
In This Article:
- Acceptance Versus Changing
- Recognizing the Differences
- Beyond Tolerance
- How to Appreciate What You Don’t Understand
Acceptance Versus Changing
Being accepting of who your spouse is versus who you want them to be can be challenging. Many enter marriage thinking they can change their spouse. I have witnessed so much disappointment when the reality of who we are as humans begin to show up in a marriage. One thing I have learned over the years, that I often teach to others, is that you cannot change another person. Of course, people can change when they desire to change and see for themselves how it will benefit them, their partner, and their relationship. Even then, it will be a process that will require patience from their spouse. In the meantime, I recommend that you be accepting of the flaws and continue to love and support one another through the differences. You can continue to share with your spouse what you would like to see in the marriage. You can also lead by example by being the type of partner that brings the very best version of themselves into the relationship. Your spouse will learn from your actions and show up accordingly.
Recognizing the Differences
The differences in a marriage aren’t necessarily hard to spot, but there are occasions when couples pretend as though they don’t exist. It is absolutely okay to acknowledge them in order to come to an understanding of them. You can’t accept differences if you ignore them. Recognizing them will help provide a clearer understanding of why there might be miscommunication or discord in your partnership. The differences are usually the source for why you and your spouse have trouble being on the same page on certain topics. It is important that you call it what it is and acknowledge that your differences might be preventing you from thriving as a couple. I advise carving out time with your spouse to discuss where you differ on specific topics like communication, intimacy, raising a family, and even your faith walk. Having this conversation as early in your marriage as possible will save you both a lot of stress later on. It will also better prepare you to accept your partner’s differences.
In your marriage, you don’t want to simply tolerate your partner’s differences; you actually want to learn to live in harmony with them. I am sure there are many reasons why you and your partner chose each other. I am 100% sure one of them was for love; you fell in love and decided this was your person, the one you saw forever with. Use that same energy when you come face to face with your differences. The actions that come with love should serve your marriage. Love should make it easier to be accepting of the flaws. It should allow for there to be patience as you and your partner evolve into the people and spouses you are supposed to be. Love should make you want to say “I love you as you are and I always will.” the action that comes with love should help you to realize that you will love this person even if they never change. That is what love is, it is beyond tolerance and is so much more when you learn to accept your partner’s differences.
How to Appreciate What You Don’t Understand
Your spouse is not you. How they do things might differ from how you do things. The time you spend wondering why they are so different will be a waste unless you first acknowledge that you don’t have to fully understand to appreciate and accept what is. As individuals, there are moments where we ourselves might question why we are who we are. So imagine how difficult it will be for you to try to make sense of why your spouse is the way they are. Though you might not always understand them, you still have to find ways to appreciate them. You can show appreciation in a couple of ways. First, by looking for the silver linings in their flaws. Maybe their lack of communication has led you to be a more attentive listener and better communicator overall, and you can now lead the conversations. Perhaps their hobbies, though different from yours, can teach you something new and fun. Another way you can show your appreciation is by simply thanking your spouse for being all of who they are. Again, you don’t have to understand it all to be appreciative of the spouse you have.
Though it won’t always be easy to accept your partner’s differences, it is absolutely worth the effort. You and your spouse must make the daily choice to be loving, accepting, and even appreciative of who you married.
BMWK, in what ways do you accept your partner’s differences in your marriage?
Up Next: How Couples Can Learn to Embrace Their Differences; We Did It and So Can You
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