In many relationships, one partner focuses on trying to “fix” the other. They put a lot of focus and energy into trying to get their partner to change. This can lead to both partners feeling angry, frustrated, and resentful.
Perhaps you like to arrive early and your partner is always late. Or maybe you like to do the dishes immediately after dinner and your partner doesn’t mind leaving them until tomorrow. Or maybe you meticulously count your pennies and your partner likes to buy lunch for their co-workers without batting an eyelash.
These sorts of differences can create a variety of problems within the relationship. Issues about time, money, and resources cause a lot of disagreements. One partner may feel disrespected and the other may feel justified. Learning how to deal with these differences is very important and it is also important to learn how to manage your own feelings about these differences.
Differences often attract people to their partner, however, these differences can often cause problems later in the relationship. As people live together and make decisions together, differences can sometimes become more pronounced.
How do you respond to behaviors you think your partner should change? Do you yell? Or lecture? Or huff and puff? Or maybe you treat your partner like a child. Do you take it personally? None of these reactions are likely to motivate a person to commit to making changes. Instead, they are likely to cause frustration, arguments, and anger.
What if you stopped pouring so much energy into trying to change your partner? Instead of trying to convince them to behave more like you want them to, try to use that energy to accept them as they are. Don’t pretend the differences don’t exist, but instead, learn to accept those personality traits, habits, and quirks. Remind yourself of how you fell in love and continue to focus on loving your partner for who they are, quirks and all.
If you are having difficulty accepting your partner for who they, consider consulting with a therapist. A professional may be able to help you learn how to accept a situation. They may also be able to help you to learn to manage the feelings you may have about your partner’s behaviors.