Acceptanceby Paulette Glover on 05/06/19
Accept your partner with all his or her small quirks,
habits and little annoyances.
Uncle Mike picked his teeth with a toothpick. Aunt Jane repeatedly blew her nose then tucked her hanky up her sleeve for easy access. Annoyances to be sure, but since they were two of the kindest people ever known, these habits were accepted by the family without comment.
Everyone has little quirks or annoyances adopted at an early age, some more annoying than others, like wiping your hands on your shirt sleeve instead of using a napkin.
When you first began dating, everything is rosy! Each of you are putting your best foot forward focusing all of your attention on getting to know each other’s basic interests. At this level, you don’t know if he leaves sweaty socks on the living room floor, the toilet seat up, or cleans his facial hairs out of the bathroom sink. You don’t know if her clothes are strewn all over the bedroom, if she’ll use your razor on her legs or forget to put the lid on the toothpaste. These are things you learn after making a commitment.
After living with your partner a while, the habits that you either didn’t notice or that didn’t bother you at the beginning stages may become maddening!
You’ve nagged, begged and pleaded for change and it still hasn’t worked. So what do you do? Some habits are easy fixes, like using silent reminder post-a-notes on the bathroom mirror, “remember to clean out the sink” or the car steering wheel, “remember to get gas.” You need to be able to communicate how irritating it can be finding hairs in the sink or getting into a car on empty.
Make certain to share with your partner how much you’re bothered by whatever it is. Use your “I” statements. “Honey, I feel uncomfortable when I get into bed and it’s covered with potato chip crumbs. Could you please not eat in bed?”
Instead of nit-picking, focus on his positive traits and have gratitude for the richness he adds to your life. Check your anxiety level to see if there is something else that is troubling you. There’s the saying, “crap slides downhill.” In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, when the easy going character George Bailey can’t find the missing money and the bank examiner is breathing down his neck, he starts spiraling downward. When his son Pete tells him about the neighbor’s car, he says, “What’s the matter with our car? Isn’t it good enough for ya!’” He complains about the house being a “drafty old barn” He tells Zuzu’s teacher she’s a “silly, stupid teacher” He screams at Janie’s piano playing telling her to “Stop it!” While this is an exaggerated scene and hopefully your day isn’t as bad as George’s, but if you have stress piling up on you every day, you could be acting out your personal stress by complaining about your partner’s habits. Think, what are you really upset about and why?
It’s important to note that there are definite behaviors that can ruin any relationship. These go beyond the annoyances of finding potato chips in bed and often have to do with bodily functions or cleanliness, putting the job or other people first, not spending enough time together, excessive nagging or being overly critical. If any of these behaviors sound familiar, there could be underlying currents of bigger problems that need to be addressed.
When you accept each other’s minor quirks and habits, you remain one solid unit. Change what you can and accept what you can’t. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.
You don’t need someone to complete you.
You only need someone to accept you completely.