Today I am going to share a secret that I have discovered. A secret for the perfect relationship. This could possibly be the best-kept secret but the most helpful approach to saving any of your relationships. It can bring happiness that was once so elusive back to you. It will, if fully used, make you see others in a new light. It can show you that you too are worthy of this amazing secret.
So what is this powerful and unbelievable secret? Acceptance! That’s it! We just learn to find the true acceptance of everyone around us. With this simple action, we can find so much more compassion for others around us. We can find the special something that our relationship brings to us. We can then be free to offer that special something right back to others.
As we cultivate acceptance in ourselves we see that our relationship is wonderful for its uniqueness. It is perfect. It can bring unmeasurable joy and peace to our lives.
Acceptance allows us to see a person as they truly are. In the early stages of any relationship, we often feel like we are head over heels for the other person. We see them as perfect, without a single flaw. This leads to euphoric feelings of infatuation that many mistake for love.
When we find that we accept this person for who they are, flaws and all, this is when the real love can enter our relationship. We have lost the rose-colored glasses that dismiss anything that we may not like about the other person. That is where acceptance is so powerful, we can disagree and still be alright with them. That is why I call it the secret to a perfect relationship.
Not always happily ever after
So there are a few other points to make about acceptance in a relationship. It is not always followed by “…and they lived happily ever after.” Sometimes the things we need to accept will be things that we are incapable of living with. This is also a great thing because it will tell us that this person is not the one for us. Violence and control happen most often in a relationship when we choose to not accept someone for who they are and try to change them. Then we introduce bitterness and resentment into that relationship on both parts.
I remember when my wife and I first were married I had a difficult time with acceptance. My wife is a social butterfly. She enjoys her friendships and needs to socialize to be happy. I am not this way. I am perfectly content with being at home with a good book or a movie just us. I tried for years to either get her to forget her friends or find her happiness with me at home. I could not accept her as she is.
As I became more unwilling to see her for the person she was the bitterness in both of us built. If I had been able to see her as she was I would have known that she needed social interaction to be able to find her joy. Thankfully we now have a relationship that allows both of us to accept the other. We still have troubles, as many do, but we both find our relationship much closer to perfect.
It is completely possible to like, even love someone and know that they are not a fit for you in an intimate relationship. This is why I say it is the key to a perfect relationship, not a perfect marriage.
A perfect example of this is my cousin who married his high school sweetheart right after they graduated. They both were very much in love. As they went off to college together they started talking about growing their family. He wanted the children, house with a white picket fence in the suburbs, and the minivan. She was more about her career. She wanted to climb the ladder in her career and was not interested in kids in any way. As this was discussed more they came to a painful but inevitable realization. They had to accept the truth of who the other was or one would have to give up what they wanted to make the other happy.
Neither wanted to make the other give up anything and both accepted the truth of the other. It became clear this marriage would not work. They split soon after both still caring about the happiness of the other and knowing they could not provide that happiness. Last I heard they are still very good friends and still enjoy knowing that they made the right decision.
Acceptance not resignation
I also want to take a moment and make one last point on acceptance. When I talk about accepting people as they are I do not mean that we resign ourselves that we are stuck with someone the way they are. If, for instance, you are in a relationship that is abusive to you either physical, mentally, or emotionally I am not saying that you must just accept that person and take the abuse. This will cause great harm to you spiritually. You will eventually break down. You will soon no longer see yourself as valuable and special. A unique part of a vast and wonderful universe of possibilities. You will start to believe that the way the other person treats you is the way you deserve to be treated.
I do want to say that even in this situation we can find acceptance for this other person. We can choose to accept that they are, at this moment, a person we choose to not give the gift of our self. We do not take resignation in that they will hurt us forever. We find the inner strength of self-acceptance and know that we can make the choice to find someone who accepts us as we accept them. That is one of the amazing gifts we can also gain, to find that we are acceptable just as we are.
A powerful thing, this acceptance. It can lead to perfect relationships. I do like to make the distinction between relationship and marriage. I will never say that it will lead to a perfect marriage. I also want to make sure we understand that acceptance is not resignation. We should never resign ourselves to a situation that is harmful to us in any way. Lastly, we need to also practice self-acceptance regularly. You can’t give to another that which you do not have yourself. We can’t give acceptance if we do not have acceptance.