Ask Alison- Autumn 2010

For many couples the idea of celebrating difference is an alien concept. Most individuals seem to think that they should be able to change their partner into the person they want them to be and get disillusioned if they can’t. Sound familiar?

So why is is so important to celebrate difference? Because if we don’t, we can make a difficult situation even worse. By acknowledging differences individuals can enjoy what comes easily and naturally in a relationship whilst being conscious to accept the more challenging aspects of their partner. (I’m not talking about any form of abuse here. That is an entirley different kettle of fish. Whether, emotional, social, financial or physical, abuse is not acceptable. Instead can I urge you to seek professional advice from a centre such as Relate. It is vital informed and ethical advise is sought in order to minimise any further abuse)

So how might you learn to adapt to those annoying habits or unmet expectations in your relationship?

One way is to seperate the problem from the person. Sometimes we get muddled up with the person being the problem as opposed to the problem being the problem. I regularly encourage my clients to seperate and even name the difference in order to detatch it from their partner. This then frees them to love and accept their partner whilst working on the problem or difference together. A united front presents itself as the couple work together against a common enemy instead of each other. And with God working as part of the equation, anything is possible.

So why not become more like an alien, acknowledge and externalise your differences and then work on managing them together. I’d love to hear how you get on!

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