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Learning To Accept Each Other

Learning to accept each other. If you genuinely love and accept another person, his deviations and "faults" will not matter too much. If you do not accept each other, nothing which either of you can do will save it, as long as a basic rejection remains. How often this is the heart of a relationship difficulty!

Clemen had been married to Josie for about six months when he began to notice a change in her. Nothing which he could do would please her. He had always kissed her upon coming home. Now she repulsed him saying that "she hated to be pawed."

Yet when he no longer kissed her, she accused him of coldness. If he would come in and sit down before suppertime, she would call him lazy and complain that he made her do all the work.

If he tried to set the table or do something else, she accused him of meddling in her affairs and upsetting her plans. If he failed to keep well-dressed he "looked like a tramp." If he bought new clothes, he was extravagant and selfish.

The husband was desperately eager to make a success of his marriage, and told the counselor that he would gladly "crawl on his belly like a snake" if it would do any good.

He searched himself earnestly to see what was wrong with him. Perhaps he had not loved her enough, or had some unknown "complex" which was the cause of the difficulties.

As soon as the counselor had interviewed both parties, the basis of the difficulties became obvious. Fundamentally, the wife rejected her husband. This being the case, there was nothing which he could do to please her.

Trying harder only made things worse. As long as he had the faults about which she complained, she could feel that the difficulties lay with him, and berate him with a clearer conscience.

But as soon as he began to conform to her wishes, she found it harder and harder to find any grounds for mistreating him.

This made her own problem more difficult, and she became increasingly furious. We shall not attempt to go into all the details which the counselor uncovered in discovering the cause of the rejection.

Some were closely related to the experiences of the wife with her father. Suffice it to say that when she did come to accept her husband, none of the things which she had found so irritating mattered any more.

If acceptance is complete enough, even vicious and criminal behavior may be endured without seriously threatening the relationship. If you do not accept each other, you will never be learning to accept each other.

I do not mean to imply that attitudes of rejection can never be changed. They can be and are. But while they remain, it is almost impossible for the one rejected to behave in ways which are regarded as satisfactory.

Therefore if you are planning to marry, learning to accept each other is vital. Examine it with utmost care.

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