23 Jun Patience Is A Virtue
Patience is the essence of a healthy relationship.
Patience is a virtue. Alas it is one (of the few), that I am sadly lacking in. I wasn’t sure whether I to be relieved or dismayed when the good Dr G recently put it to me that patience was the essence of a healthy relationship. My initial reaction was, “Oh that explains it, no wonder I suck at dating.” _Closely followed by, _“Uh oh, how am I ever gonna do this?”
Patience is all about sitting silently with my mouth shut when things don’t go my way. It is not about the instinctive expression of my anger, frustration, hurt or fear. Patience is about taking the time to calm down and think through the when and how of tabling my concerns. It’s making decisions about what is non-negotiable and sometimes choosing to cede way for the sake of harmony. Patience is having the faith in myself to make the right choices.
As I pondered this concept I realised that the quality that I most admire in my partner is his patience, in particular his patience with my foibles. This doesn’t mean he is a walk over; far from it. Much to my frustration, he is one of the most stubborn men I know. Lucky really, otherwise I might just get bored!
I previously thought trust was the essential foundation to build a successful relationship upon. A healthy relationship was based on respect and honesty. From this trust could grow. Throw in a dash of sexual attraction and you had the makings of a partnership based on friendship as well as attraction; one that was well grounded in reality. As opposed to an infatuation based on a fantasy, which can never live up to expectations. Alas I have a stronger track record at the latter than the former.
However to ensure that the romance lasts beyond the early stages (the honeymoon period as Dr G likes to call it), I need to develop patience. Patience in the timing of when and how I choose to raise issues and patience in allowing my partner time to process and respond.
Patience is all about understanding that I have to take responsibility for my emotional needs, but I cannot demand or expect my partner to change. That is his choice alone. In that “still getting to know you” phase if I, or Hannah (my self-saboteur), chose to raise my issues and concerns confrontationally, or worse as an ultimatum, any potential relationship will quickly dissipate into the quagmire of “It’s not my fault…” _or _“If only…” As my good friend the Mistress of Social Etiquette (Big Girls Don’t Cry) once said “Nobody wants to hug a porcupine.”