What holds the key to a happy long-term relationship? Tolerance. The ability to accept or deal with something one dislikes or disagrees with – the capacity to endure something. Tolerance possesses the characteristic to transform even the worst. It doesn’t mean yielding to pain inflicted repeatedly mentally or physically and shouldn’t be substituted for suffering – for these are two different words with different undertones. Tolerance is the hinge on which even the most precarious marriage can stay.
People’s tolerance has taken a beating. Specially to sustain a marriage, you need tolerance in small things – a struggle for many today.
Intolerance towards your partner’s choices – personal and professional is common. Don’t forget you are one of them and lean to live with them. Criticising your partner for not being a movie buff, for not being that foodie or not being bitten by the travel bug as you, are baseless. Every individual has a right to choose. “She never drinks with me” or “he never comes to my friends’ gatherings” are common rants. The “never” says it all. When you know that he/she doesn’t like something why force them into it? You can jolly well do without your partner not drinking or not going out with you at certain places. Avoid letting it have an adverse cascading effect on the other areas of your marriage.
Longer the relationship, larger the tolerance – so one would believe. Unfortunately, it is getting inversely proportional. With passing years, tolerance levels are dipping. What was accepted or tolerated earlier is not acceptable any more. It could be a catharsis of long term suppression. It could also stem from some other nagging issues. But even the magnitude of smaller things is magnified and not borne. “I cannot stand your terrible dressing”. “I get so put off when you remove your shoes anywhere”. “I can’t take your dishevelled hair any more”. Why the intolerance for something which was put up with all these years?
When a relationship loses the spark or lacks the stimulation, intolerance gets into the driver’s seat in the form of boredom or monotony. Anything said or done is seen with contempt or criticism. Do not take your marriage or your partner for granted to an extent where you become an object of his/her intolerance. Be the catalyst to get back the spark. Don’t wait. Go date your mate. Celebrate!