The Importance of Accepting Your Spouse for Who He or She Is

Freed_Accept Your Spouse for Who He or She IsI talk a lot here about conflict resolution. How to communicate with your spouse when something is bugging you. How to resolve an issue that is causing negativity within your marriage. And so on.

Hopefully, the reason is obvious – couples fight. It’s normal!

But you must deal with differences in a positive, productive way. Otherwise, conflicts can quickly push you apart. They can lead to long-term feelings of frustration, resentment, and anger.

Most of the time, conflict resolution means both of you learning tools to listen to each other’s point of view and coming to some kind of understanding or compromise.

But you don’t have to sit down and hash out every single little thing. And that’s what I want to talk about in this post. The importance of accepting your spouse for who he or she is. And how this acceptance can actually prevent conflict in your marriage.

Let’s look at relationship conflicts themselves for a second. A conflict arises when your spouse is acting in a way that you don’t like or agree with.

Often, this behavior needs to be addressed. But not always. While this is not applicable in all situations, it can actually be helpful and healthy to let little indiscretions or habits that bother you slide.

Say, for example, that you like squeezing the toothpaste tube from the bottom, but your spouse always squeezes it from the top. Or that you prefer plastic hangers while they like using metal ones.

Are these “issues” that really need to be addressed? For most people, probably not. Buy separate tubes of toothpaste. Keep the metal and plastic hangers away from each other. You can live with it.

This can even apply in situations that seem to impact your relationship and daily life more directly. Imagine this hypothetical scenario: your spouse is a night owl. You, however, are very much a morning person. You get up early with time to eat a hearty breakfast and prepare for the day without a rush. In contrast, your spouse flies through his or her morning routine to sleep a little later.

It’s something that may feel like quite a conflict. You want to share breakfast with your spouse and run on a similar sleeping schedule. You feel like you’re losing time together.

So, using all of the components of open communication and calm conflict resolution, you negotiate a sleeping schedule that allows you to spend more time together in the morning. Your spouse will go to bed and wake up a little earlier, while you go to bed and wake up a little later.

But after trying this for a few days, you discover you’re both grumpy from changing and adjusting your regular sleeping routines.

In this example, your spouse is not doing anything harmful or contributing any more or less to your marriage. Your spouse’s night owl personality is just who they are. While it is not the ideal situation for your early bird ways, it is something that you may have to simply accept.

But I’m going to take it one step further. In this situation, I would encourage you to change how you view this difference.

Everyone needs some “me” time in their relationship. Because your spouse sleeps in, you get that time every morning. And because you go to bed earlier than them, they get that time each night. Rather than lamenting this “lost” time, you can use it to recharge so that the hours you do have together are as amazing as possible.

Consider this the next time you experience a conflict. Let go of trying to change your spouse. Accept the difference. Instead ask yourself: how can I alter my perspective about the trait or habit that’s bugging me?

You may be surprised by the power of the results for both of you.

Rooting for you!

Sara Freed

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