When you first met, you may have been attracted to your partner because they were different to you. You may have thought, it’s so nice that my partner is carefree, but now it is annoying you.
What was once a cute difference can now be seen as a problem. You may be thinking, if only my partner or ex-partner were more like me or if they did things this way we would get along better.
There are differences in all relationships. The key is to try and see these differences as something to value, and not as a source of conflict. You can try to appreciate the ways your partner or ex-partner is different from you.
How to accept differences
- Talk openly about how you are different in a spirit of acceptance. Talk about the situation, not the person’s personality as this will make them defensive.
- Avoid arguing about who has the best way.
- Take turns so you can try things both ways.
- Try to see where they are coming from.
- If possible, you can offer to help them deal with the situation. For example, if they are always running late, you can ask if there is anything you can do to help them arrive on time.
- See your differences as an opportunity to see the world from their point of view.
- Be patient.
- Notice when their different perspective has a positive impact on you. Tell them.
Accepting differences, can enrich your life.
Mensline Australia’s Changing for Good welcomes new participants. Men who have completed a men’s behaviour change program and want to get extra support in their efforts at change, can ‘self-refer’. Just call 1300 015 120 and leave a message with your name and contact details and one of the team will follow up with you.