One of the most important things in a successful relationship is acceptance. Our goal should be to always try to accept our partner as much as we can for who they already are, who they were when they came into the relationship and with the baggage they come with. Some compromise of course is okay, expected and part of being in a working relationship. We do need to meet our partners half way. But we need to limit the changes we expect our partner to make. Essentially we need to pick our battles.
The other important thing to remember is that using positive and affirmative words and language will always yield better results over nagging, nitpicking and/or criticizing. Focus on the positive things your partner brings to the relationship and to your life. And, your partner will melt like butter in your hands.
Sometimes, understandably, problems or issues that we have with our partners are too big or too glaring for us to let go. Focusing on the positive just won’t do. These are what I call deal-breakers. A deal breaker is something that you absolutely cannot deal with and will end the relationship. It generally stems from a behavior, or characteristic, which absolutely must change in order for you to feel that the relationship will work for you. Often times, the deal breaker is merely the straw that broke the camels back. There are only so many things you will tolerate. Other times it’s a major character flaw. In a deal breaker situation you can and definitely should express your concerns, and your feelings to your partner.
Always use as much positive and affirmative language as possible, and focus on your feelings. It is especially important that you own your own feelings as yours, as opposed to pointing the finger at your partner, and his/her behaviors. Blaming, nitpicking, and guilt tripping are more manipulative than effective. After you have stated your thoughts, let the cards fall where they may. Your partner may indicate that he/she wants to change, but whether or not they really do change is up to them ultimately. People will do what they do, and holding them to their word can be like pulling teeth, often causing more anger and resentment from the nagging and nitpicking you’ll be doing. If your partner has a difficult time accommodating your desire and need that which you believe to be a deal breaker you need to really rethink, “Can I live with this?” If you cannot then it is a deal breaker.
I definitely recommend not having too long a list of deal breakers. If you have more than two, this will feel like nit-picking, and this should also be a sign for you to really take a look at yourself, what your needs are, how important this relationship is to you, how important it is to have this person in your life, do you really love/accept this person for who they are and what other options do you have that you might not have looked at? For example, can you live separately and still be together? Sometimes thinking outside of the box a little, too, can help solve our problems.