Patience and Your Relationships
By Jenny Palmiotto
Patience is something we admire in others, even if we’ve never told them. It’s also something we all wish to have more of…especially in our relationships with those who matter most. And it’s usually those who matter most to us that we tend to be the least patient with. How many people have the patience to make the most of their relationships? Do you?
When we act impatiently towards someone, it can be extremely hurtful. It communicates that we don’t value or care about the person we are in a relationship with.
How do we show our spouse or partner, or even our closest friends or family that we care?
As our stress increases, our patience decreases. Things that we were once able to move quickly past, become sticking points. If we are not careful, impatience takes over. It begins to characterize our feelings for our partner and makes the relationship painful for both. The less patient partner is also at risk of taking their loved one for granted. If left unchecked, these feelings can weaken the sense of safety in our relationships. At first, lack of patience may seem like nothing to be concerned about. But without intervention, can start an unhealthy relationship pattern.
In other cases, both parties in a relationship are willing to make a compromise, but somehow they find their relationship has grown “stale”. In the much the same way, the two parties have begun to take each other for granted. Having reached a point where they grown tired of trying to understand one another, leading to constant bickering over small matters. Impatience has taken root.
Does this feel like your relationship?
Patience is necessary if we are to see the best in each other. It’s needed to keep our relationship meaningful and inspiring. In fact, if one isn’t making a conscious effort to learn to appreciate their loved one more every day – taking time to seriously consider his or her needs – they can’t expect their relationship to grow. More often than not, such a relationship loses its joy and meaning. A valuable and essential connection is lost. And without help, it is a very difficult bond to regain.
Aristotle once said that patience is a bitter thing, but that the fruit of it is sweet. The truth is we have to work at cultivating our relationships if they are to bear fruit. In the beginning of a relationship we are inclined to love because of someone’s best qualities and learn to love them, in spite of their worst. However, a lack of patience not only masks someone’s best qualities, but also makes it impossible to tolerate their worst.
Yet, with that said, cultivating patience is something much easier said than done. In today’s world we have been trained to expect instant gratification. Almost everything is available at the click of a mouse. Technological advances continually present us with countless ways of doing unimaginable things faster and more efficiently. But despite how efficient this makes us, it seems to have led to unrealistic expectations in our relationships.
Add to that the ever-growing demands we place on our professional self, and the pressures to build a solid and stable financial future, patience, at times, may feel impossible. We are continually expected to perform harder a work, putting in longer hours, and as a result, limiting the time we have to spend with our loved ones. Rather than being in the forefront, our loved ones get placed on the backburner. Getting what’s left of us at the end of a long day, an even longer week, and sometimes an exhausting year. When looked at this way, being patient almost seems impossible. And it can definitely feel that way.
However, to build a solid and stable future with someone, patience is not just something to hope or wish for, but is an essential component that must be achieved. It is a necessity, not a luxury in our lives.
Solid relationships are built on solid individuals. To bring the best version of our selves into relationships, we sometimes need to work on ourselves first. Patience builds character.
It starts by developing patience for our self. This in turn can grow to increased patience for others. Patience shows your loved one that you value them and your relationship enough to see beyond their “faults.” By making yourself open to what your partner brings to the relationship, it shows that you appreciate their virtues. Showing your partner more patience can also inspire them to be more patient with you. And who doesn’t want that?
This is how close-knit relationships are built. Not through a series of spontaneous, easy decisions that appeal to one person in the spur of the moment. But instead, through careful, meticulous consideration of the relationship’s direction and attention to what you are bringing into the relationship on a daily basis. Good relationships don’t just happen. Good relationships are built. They are tended to and nurtured.
Does your relationship need nurturing? Do you feel like the stress of the day has zapped your patience and made you easily frustrated?
Growing closer to your partner and learning to love all of them, in spite of their faults, isn’t impossible. It just takes work. It may also be time to consider counseling and the help of a trained marriage and family therapist. If you want to gain more tolerance and build closeness in your relationship, let one of the therapists at the Family Guidance & Therapy Center help you. You can call us today on 619-600-0683 and we will gladly assist you.
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