If you struggle with being patient with your wife, you may wonder if you have damaged your marriage. Perhaps the stresses of life overwhelm you and cause you to be impatient with the ones you love the most. Whatever the case, patience is a learned skill both you and your partner need to learn if you want a fulfilling marriage, according to Richard Nicastro, Ph.D., Psychologist and Relationship Coach. Since patience is a learned skill and not a natural ability, you will be able to practice it and improve your relationship with your wife.
Accept your wife's imperfections; do not criticize them. Remember that you did not marry a perfect woman, just as she did not marry a perfect man. Instead of trying to change your wife, accept what makes her less-than-perfect. Patience is about learning what needs to be changed versus tolerated, according to Sheila Garcia. Ask yourself if it is essential that your wife pick up her socks off the floor, or if it is simply something that annoys you. Would you sacrifice harmony in your relationship for a clean bedroom floor?
Look for opportunities to practice patience. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you must go out of your way to put yourself in places that will test your skill. For example, your wife's loud chewing may annoy you. Sit with her at lunch and practice listening to what she is saying, instead of paying attention to the way she eats. You may develop empathy for her instead of annoyance. The more you practice prioritizing patience, the more natural of a response patience will become.
Let go of control. Impatience is often caused by always needing to be in control of a situation, according to Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and author of "Daring Greatly." When you feel your impatience beginning to grow, ask yourself what you feel the need to control. Perhaps always having to have an organized house is the reason you are impatient with your wife's disorganization. Prioritizing your marriage over a perfectly clean house is one way to demonstrate patience.
Change yourself. Instead of focusing on your wife's imperfections and what she needs to change, take note of your own problems. She most likely is annoyed by some of your behavior, as well. When it comes to the problems in your relationship, you most likely fail to see how you have contributed, according to Douglas A. Abbott, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology. You will change your marriage for the better if you make the difference you want to see in your relationship.
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- As you learn to be patient with your wife, be patient toward yourself. It will take some time and effort to begin changing your perspective on her behavior.
Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.