Guest Blogger: Dr. Laurie Appel, Psychologist and host of “You Think You’ve Got Issues” podcast (available on iTunes and most podcast apps) gives future brides marriage advice. She is a guest blogger for Bella Angel on many wedding related issues.
The best marriage advice I was ever given was given to me by a friend’s grandmother.
She said, simply: “Honey, start out as you can hold out.” Here’s what she meant by that: We often start relationships, in an effort to put our best foot forward. In the beginning we are overly yielding and accommodating to our partner. Sometimes we even mold ourselves in the hopes of pleasing and connecting with our object of desire. We may try to become more interested in opera, sports or skiing, etc. Even when this is not really our “thing.” We may make the effort to be more social or less social to accommodate the other person. We try to be neater or more laid back about messiness, to be an early riser or stay up later.. We want to get along and avoid conflict, so we accommodate and shift in our partners favor.
But.. Here’s The Problem
Over the years, resentment can build toward the other person for not accommodating our needs. Our partner, who has likely been happy with being accommodated to, may be blindsided by our sudden anger and resentment. In fact, to your partner it seems like you’ve changed a perfectly good system! So, we are in a much better position for future success if we ask ourselves in the beginning, “will I be able to sustain this pattern for the next 40+ years?” Then, and only then, can you decide how you want to conduct yourself. If you can’t sustain the pattern – be honest with yourself and your partner. You may be delighted to find that your partner is willing to accept you for who you are. Your partner may also be willing to make accommodations as well. Then, you can have a partnership that will be based on mutual acceptance and accommodation.