For as long as I have known Tam (which is close to a year now), I have always wondered how his wife copes with him. He’s the most nonchalant person I have ever met. He prefers to do the smallest amount of work, and talk through the rest.
As a married man with two children, one would expect that he would have left his drinking binge back in his bachelor days, but far from it. Tam takes pleasure in going on a three-day bender at times; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and he would use Sunday to sleep it off in preparation for a new work week.
The great part of Tam is he knows some of his habits are not good for him, but it has become a lifestyle. The friends he has are all into the same kind of life, and there is nothing wrong with that, as they are adults and can make their own decisions. With Tam, you know where you stand, he has no guile left in him and that’s where he wins with me.
Of all his friends, he proudly often shares how he’s the only one, who can go home at 8pm, and be gladly welcomed home. He always talked of how most of his friends either have their families living abroad, so, they don’t even have to worry about any nagging wife, whereas the ones who have their families here, go home soonest by 11pm, when everyone would have gone to sleep and they too can find their bed with the smallest struggle, at least most of the time.
From our conversations over time, I had concluded that his wife must be a very gentle person, so imagine my shock when I met his wife recently. She was nothing like I had imagined. If anything, she was the exact opposite of a gentle person. She is a vivacious person, with a warm aura that I understood why Tam is always welcome to his home even when, he had been drinking, something she obviously she doesn’t like.
Looking at both of them and the ease of their interaction when we met, it was clear that these two people knew they were different, yet were willing to accept those differences and not allow those differences be a fly in the ointment of their love. They had accepted each other for who the other is and their lives were great.
If Tam’s wife had decided to try to change him, then there would invariably be tension between them, which would affect the quality of their relationship. In this case, everyone is happy, and happy with the other person. I know how exasperated I get at times, when Tam starts the gist about the places he goes and things he does, but he doesn’t see anything wrong in it and it’s so great that, he found someone who doesn’t give him grief for the way he chooses to live his life.
Tam and his wife make a strong case for accepting your partner the way you meet them, and stopping all the panel-beating moves. The best you can do, as I heard a long time ago, is influence them.
Below are some more reasons, you should seriously consider going Tam’s wife’s route;
You can be who you really are
Whether or not your intentions are good, criticizing someone else’s behaviour or inherent character flaws will build up resentments between you both over time.
Not only will you both begin to build up walls between yourselves, you will also significantly alter your behaviour as a response to both the criticism and the history it’s actively crafted in your relationship.
After some time, the dynamics of the relationship will condition you both into acting like people you’re not, which aren’t even close to the versions of yourselves that fell in love initially. When you take the first step in radically accepting and loving where he or she is, you begin a chain reaction that erases these barriers and feelings of judgment in your relationship.
Without the criticisms, you can be your genuine selves that you both fell in love with.
Acceptance leads to less drama
This is a sure outcome of accepting your partner the way they are.
Asking someone to change a bad habit once is called “a request.” Asking more than once is called “nagging,” no matter how politely you’re approaching the subject. Nagging leads to resentment, resentment leads to repeated arguments, and the same arguments over and over are called “drama.”
By learning to accept someone’s flaws, you subconsciously make the decision to stop nagging, and you can forget about the drama that comes thereafter.
Less drama leads to less stress
Less drama automatically equals less stress to begin with. However, it’s also important to note that deciding not to waste your time or energy on worrying about whether your spouse is doing something you don’t like, or how you partner would feel if they knew about what you are doing is also giving yourself a break from stress.
Simply put, stop sweating the small stuff and see your stress level drop.
Less stress and drama equals more joy
Remember when you were first in love and everything your lover did or said was magical and delightful? Remember how you could completely enjoy his or her company without the pressures of being responsible for his or her life? That’s what radical acceptance feels like.
The only thing that changes with time is the repeated exposure to these flaws and their impact on you, personally.
This isn’t to say you should accept flaws that are dangerous red flags (abuse, dishonesty, or criminal activity aren’t ignorable quirks), but by learning to accept your partner’s inherent flaws instead of fighting them, you’re lifting the weight of stress from both of you and giving joy a chance to bubble to the top.
See why you need to stop the nagging already?
Life is too short to be bugged down by what one person is doing or not doing, even when that person is your better half.
Since, changing them is out of your hands, change your reactions to their actions and watch your love blossom.