How To Be Patient With Your Spouse
Why is it difficult to stay patient? Does being impatient supports us?
In marriage, it’s not just love that keeps it alive, but patience. You may be madly in love with each other, but if you’re not patient, then you won’t be able to strengthen your partnership and make it for the long term.
What is Impatience?
Impatience is defined as:
- irritation with anything that causes delay
- wanting or eager to do something without waiting
In some situations, it can be beneficial to be impatient. But in a relationship, being impatient, for the most part, causes more harm than good.
Patience does a lot of wonders, not only in the relationship itself but to the people involved in it. It is detrimental to marital unity.
Here are ways for you to have more patience with your spouse:
- Understand your spouse as a person, not as a “role”
You have to learn more about your spouse’s character, weaknesses, fears, dreams, aspirations, both the good and the bad. Knowing them in and out, you will be able to understand their strengths and flaws and become more naturally patient when dealing with them. Remember that you chose to be with your spouse because you love them and not for what they can do for you.
- Manage expectations
No one is perfect, and your spouse is no exception. You need to accept them with a whole heart. Realise that they are also human and have limitations. What I can do doesn’t mean someone else can do it. On the same token, my partner can do things that I can’t. Expectation management is the key to all happiness in life. Unrealistic expectations will only give us more frustration and it doesn’t help the relationship.
- Focus on the solution and not the problem
When faced with an issue or disagreement, don’t highlight what your partner did or did not do. Don’t highlight what went wrong because there’s nothing you can do about it but focus on how to resolve it. Calmly offer suggestions and work together on it.
If you want your spouse to improve on something, approach your partner in a calm manner, focus on the solution and not simply highlighting what they did wrong. For example, if you’re not happy with their spending, instead of saying “You went overboard with the grocery shopping last month.” You can say “Let’s create a list of our essential needs and cut out on those that we don’t as we have to be careful with our spending.”
Always approach a problem with “us vs problem” mentality not “you vs me”.
- Never use blaming language
As related to number 3, it’s never a good option to play the blame game. Positive scripting is helpful when it comes to resolving issues.
When talking to your spouse, remove pronouns like “you, someone, he, she” from your sentences, instead approach it in a neutral angle. For example, it’s better to say “Oh. What happened?” instead of saying “What did you do?”
Avoid saying “you should”. Using “should” into your conversation will only make her defensive and angry.
Never criticise her, make a list of her flaws or use others opinion into your conversation like “Even my mom thinks you’re careless.” These are not helpful and is hurtful for your partner.
- Apologise when you’ve been impatient and hurtful
When we are getting impatient, we might start getting angry, yell at each other, say something hurtful or act recklessly. And this would hurt your partner. Being angry, yelling or getting violent is not the way to solve the issue. If this happens, you have to apologise.
When apologising, do it the proper way. First, you have to express your remorse by starting with “I’m sorry” or “I apologise”. Then admit responsibility by mentioning what have you done wrong. Make amends by asking what you can you do to make it up for her. And lastly, promise that it won’t happen again, and stick to it.
- Take a break
When you feel overwhelmed or flooded, take a short break. For some people, this means breathing or counting to 100 before saying anything. Or taking a walk around the block before responding to your spouse. But remember to communicate to your spouse that you needed to take a break as they might take it as an avoidance.
When the talking doesn’t seem to go anywhere, and the impatience kicks in, it’s best to take a breather. Issues are more likely to get resolved when your head is clear.
Patience is instrumental for a successful marriage. As the popular proverb says, “Patience us a virtue”. You may not have this innately, but this can be developed by practising. And, practice makes perfect!
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