This was first published on KSL.com
I read in Psychology Today recently that 70% of the most common conflicts in any relationship (even good relationships) are perennial conflicts, which means they are conflicts that never get resolved and happen over and over again.
These conflicts are usually based on character and behavior differences between the two people that irritate the other person. Most of these differences are in a person's subconscious programming and innate wiring, and most are not going to change. I am talking about things like being late all the time or not being organized.
If you want to have a rich and healthy relationship you are going to have to accept some of these things about your partner and quit trying to fundamentally change them. You are going to have to choose to love who they are.
That doesn't mean you can't bring up behaviors that bother you; but if you decide to do that, you better take stock of your own faults, flaws and quirks first. You must decide to forgive your spouse some of their flaws and quirks because you want some of yours forgiven too. You must be more accepting and less critical, let small irritating things go, and try to laugh at the funny ways you are wired differently.
Note: This article does not address relationships where abuse is happening. It is directed to those who have run of the mill conflicts, arguments, offenses and irritations with their partner, but there is no emotional, mental or physical abuse happening. If abuse, infidelity, dishonesty, cruelty, or other problems are in play, acceptance is not the answer and you should seek a mental health professional.
Here are some things you can do to become more accepting of your partner and reduce the perennial conflicts.
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.