This is the 3rd Pillar in my 5 Pillars series, How to have a satisfying and happy relationship with your partner. In episode 5 of the Transform Relationships Podcast, I talk about why it’s essential to have Understanding and Acceptance and the tools required to implement these skills and knowledge into your relationship today. And we also look at what the benefits of doing so are.
Pillar 3 – Understanding & Acceptance in Relationships
In this podcast, I will share with you the 3rd pillar to having a satisfying and happy relationship understanding, and acceptance.
We will look at;
1. The importance of nurturing understanding and acceptance in a relationship
2. The reasons why we have our own unique ideas and how they can affect the relationship.
3. The benefits that understanding and acceptance can bring to a relationship
Understanding is so important as it helps to create acceptance within the relationship. But we can still be accepting without understanding, let’s face it we are not always going to understand certain aspects of our partner, and that’s fine but we can still be accepting without understanding.
Having understanding helps us to accept the little quirks, differences, and different personalities in ourselves and our partners. It’s saying I take you as you are, warts and all, your dysfunctional family if they have one, and I accept all of me as well, I will work on the parts that are affecting your needs and we can compromise so we are both satisfied with the outcome.
There are many different cultures and diverse groups of people living all around us which helps to create a colorful world. We would need to be open to and have the willingness to jump into someone else reality, and walk in their shoes with an open mind, hear about their food, their upbringing, their traditions…. Imagine what these interesting conversations could lead to, and as well as a deeper level of understanding and acceptance which helps to create an environment for positive change if required.
The same approach to everyone else can be applied to couples, we are all different.
Let’s look at
The reasons we have our own unique ideas and how they can affect the relationship
All of our past experiences stemming from birth help to create and mold the people we are today. We are a product of our past and it determines how we make meaning, why we behave a certain way, and how we think about our worlds such as our values and beliefs, and what we perceive to be our reality.
Do you realise we are all meaning-making machines, whenever we walk into a new environment, we are observant, we check out other people the situations, and this way of being in these situations helps us to grow. It keeps us safe, etc its something our bodies do automatically in a new environment or situation. It’s a good thing and is needed for survival. But two people walking into the same space will more than likely make different meanings of exactly the same thing, because of their different past experiences so you can see how two people cannot be the same.
When observing our partners, we can look at them through our own lens which are our individual perceptions that have been developed based on our previous experience. Which can determine how we see the world. We can become confused about how our partner can think that way. It doesn’t make sense, as it’s completely different from the way you think. This can lead to showing your partner frustration about their behavior, we may say “You are wrong” or you have no idea what you are talking about, etc. We can look at them through a biased lens that is our own.
Could you imagine being in a relationship with someone for 20 years and only looking at them through what you perceive to be true, your reality. Imagine how it would be if your partner understood you for who you are, why you think that way, why you behave that way, having the ability and desire to listen and hear your experience, seeing who you are and understanding that we are not all the same. Grey is boring. We have imperfections and we can all embrace all our differences if we choose to. How amazing would it feel if your partner looked at you and really understood who you are or at least is open to that idea. Being able to accept what you imagine to be your partner’s imperfections as well as their positive points which make up the whole of who they are, it’s all of them as they are, embracing it all. It’s very easy to focus on or to mention what the negatives are but seem to be a little bit more difficult with the positives. I say to my clients to be curious about your partner.
I was in a relationship with someone for 27 years who would assume that I was thinking a certain way based on only his perception. He was convinced of it. I felt frustrated, invalidated, unheard, and disrespected, and after some time I felt a feeling of hopelessness of ever being truly heard. This meant being understood was defiantly out of the picture because it didn’t matter how many different ways I tried to say the same thing, my truth was never his reality. And in his eyes, it wasn’t true for him so basically, I felt like I was being called a liar. Be true to yourself and always speak your truth.
This was my experience and I see this happening with nearly every couple I see so I understand the importance of acceptance of others’ opinions whether you feel it’s right or wrong it’s still their truth.
It’s a respectful act to acknowledge that your partner has their own opinion their own beliefs, and their own ideas and that’s okay because it makes up who they are. And that because of those differences it creates a deeper level of IN-TO-ME-SEE within the relationship.
I encourage you if in the future your partner does have an opinion that’s different from yours or shares something about themselves, showing what you perceive as inappropriate, just take down your own lens…. be aware of your own perception and listen to what they are saying, you’ll find out who they are at a deeper level, what they like, it’s very beautiful to be seen and accepted by your intimate partner. Before you were a couple you were individuals that came together and both individuals have unique behaviours that may interfere with the other and it’s okay not to change those behaviours if it doesn’t get in the way of the needs of the other partner.
Respectfulness, maturity, patience, and kindness are some qualities needed to be able to show acceptance to another, we may not like it but when we love our partner so we are able to accept all of them as we would appreciate being accepted ourselves.
Benefits of Understanding & Acceptance in Relationships
● Autonomy within the relationship
● More clarity with less conflict
● Happier and more satisfied when being heard and acknowledged
● Accepted for who you are, and that feels awesome.
● Feelings of being important to your partner
● Learn who your partner is
● Embrace differences
● Develops deeper connection and intimacy
Healthy and satisfying relationships take hard work. There are many skills and knowledge required to understand yourself and your partner but when you do it can be magic, but don’t become complacent. Your relationship needs to take priority and needs to be front of mind on a regular basis.
I love the saying listen to understand not to respond. And be curious, ask open-ended questions.
How to Listen
Be present and engage all of your senses. Ask open-ended questions.
Eye contact is very important. What do you notice about them ? are they distressed, are they happy, what feelings do you see, look at their body language, are they relaxed or comfortable, and notice if they are talking at a faster pace than usual, this usually means that they are distressed, what do you notice?
Coming from a space of kindness and care and wanting to understand their point of view, doesn’t mean you need to agree with them but that is not the time to mention that you will have your time later. The important thing is acknowledging them.
So many things can occur when someone is given the chance to talk to really talk at a deep level without being interrupted, without being told that they are wrong.
They feel validated and it’s an opportunity to get out what may have been there for some time in a safe space.
My podcast is called Transform Relationships. If you want more help with understanding and acceptance in relationships contact me or find out more about my online and in-person relationship counselling
Listen to Podcast 5 below – Pillar 3 – Understanding & Acceptance