When we were dating our significant other we probably noticed things they had in common with us right away. It helped us to connect with them. We also probably started noticing traits that they had that were vastly different than ours. Again, this helped us connect with them as well. It made them their own person. We may even have enjoyed those different behaviors as they were not traits we had ourselves.
As time passes, marriage occurs and we each continue to grow. We continue to have characteristics that are similar and different. Overtime our spouse’s behaviors that are unlike ours may start to wear on us. Sometimes this is due to our over-analyzing of the trait or getting worked up about it, but other times it is due to our differences in personality.
For instance, if I have cooked dinner at the preplanned time and my husband, Ryan, is late from work I can start to over-analyze by thinking, “He cares more about work than our family time together. He just doesn’t respect the hard work I do to cook healthy food for us.” None of this is true. Something just came up as he was walking out of work. In this example I was getting worked up.
On the other hand, I am a person that succeeds with order, planning and organization. He thrives just fine under pressure and in a not-so-orderly environment. If his space begins getting cluttered or his relaxed time line includes me sometimes I can start to pick at or be negative about our differences. This is due to our different personalities. Issues like this do sometimes have to be discussed so that both parties can feel successful.
I have learned in our marriage that there are times that I need to just accept our differences and there are other times we need to discuss them. I have, however, come to realize a lot of my negative thoughts about our unique personalities have to do with my mind set. Therefore, today I am going to share four mindsets that have helped me and can also help you accept your spouse’s one-of-a-kind traits!
- Respect Their Ideas — When talking about thoughts, experiences, or concepts, respect their ideas by listening. It is what they are feeling or put energy into. Let them express what they have come up with. Instead of analyzing how it could be different or better, acknowledge the strong points they have already created.
- Remember: It Makes Sense to Them — Different personalities and upbringing make each of you see things in unique ways. Remember what they are saying makes sense to them, even if it is not clear to you.
- Reflect on Their Personality — Thinking about your spouse’s personality can sometimes bring clarity to what they have said or done. Think of it as a cause and effect situation. They said this because they believe that. They do this which causes that.
- Remind Yourself to Understand — When you don’t quite understand where your lover is coming from let them show you how they came to that conclusion. Comprehending our significant others thoughts and actions brings you closer as a couple. If you don’t understand you should seek understanding in a respectful way. Asking open-ended questions, telling them you need more explanation, or getting them to show you more concretely are all great ways to find understanding when things are unclear.
Accepting your spouse’s differences can seem like a large task at hand. Especially if the differences have been bothering you for some time. If all four mindsets seem overwhelming start with one. Focus on one change. Once you feel you have done it well, add another.
I know these four strategies on checking my mindset has helped me have a better outlook on our marriage. Instead of seeing our differences as negatives, I now see our differences as blessings. I see my husband’s uniqueness that makes him so wonderful! Not only will you notice a change in your thoughts, but your significant other will notice the transformation as well! Make the choice to change your mindset starting today. Start accepting your spouse’s differences with care and love!
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