9 Signs You're Not Radically Accepting Him — And It's Going To Hurt You Both

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As Andrea Miller describes in her book Radical Acceptance, radically accepting your partner isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.

Radically accepting this person for who he or she is; radically accepting yourself for who you are; recognizing when your own junk and baggage are creeping into your relationship; recognizing when your desires and needs are projected onto your partner; forgetting that he or she has his or her own unique desires and needs; recognizing when you are getting in the way of your own happiness with your partner; acceptance of yourself and your partner —  this is what love takes. 

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Here are 9 signs you’re not practicing radical acceptance with your partner — and it's going to hurt you both:

1. You push them

This is one I had to learn myself. Pushing someone because you need him or her to do what you want him or her to do won’t help the relationship. It must come from the other person, and if it doesn’t, either you wait for it to come in his or her own time or you decide you cannot be with the person.

If you are pushing your partner to do/be/say something, you are actively asking this person to push you back — and not in the best way. Quit it. Let this person come around; if not, then you make the choice if this relationship works for you or not.

2. You shut them out

Do you get upset and emotionally shut your partner out? Are you difficult to approach? This is a hard example of you not radically accepting yourself. By doing so, you make it difficult for your partner and, in a sense, are not radically accepting him or her.

How so? Well, you’re not giving this person the chance to communicate with you. You’re ending the conversation before it happens. It’s not good.

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3. You assume

If your partner upsets you and you assume it’s because he or she wants to make you mad, you’re not radically accepting your love. You’re not considering how his or her day may have impacted that one thing that bothered you.

You’re assuming, which just makes an a** of you. Stop it. There could be any number of reasons for your partner’s behavior.

4. You think they're mind-readers

“But I really wanted…”

“Doesn’t she know…”

Ever hear yourself saying or thinking these things? Our partners aren’t mind-readers. Radically accept that your partner will mess up and won’t always know the right thing to do.

Accept that you — by not communicating your needs — are uncomfortable with your own desires and needs. You are feeling guilt over what you want and therefore can’t share it with your partner. Somehow, you expect this person to “know” what you want, which is unfair to everyone involved.

5. You react without thinking

Are you prone to blowing up or jumping to respond to your partner’s text or email with disapproval? Radical acceptance requires you to breathe deep and think before you react to your partner. Oftentimes, if we just thought more carefully, we would respond in a more appropriate manner.

If you’re blowing up at your partner or reacting too quickly, you’re not radically accepting him or her and you’re not much fun to be around, either.

6. You constantly complain

We all complain from time to time about our partners, but if you have made it a constant nag session, it’s a sure sign you’re not radically accepting your partner. Think of it this way: Would an outsider view your partner’s behavior with the same irritation? Or are you overreacting?

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7. You always have to be right

Have you noticed that you’re always trying to “win” any battle or disagreement that comes up between you and your partner? This desire to win is a sure sign of many things:

  • You’re not listening to your partner.
  • You’re insecure.
  • You’re not accepting yourself or your partner.

Don’t focus on the “win” in the relationship. Focus on getting on the same track and, if possible, share the same vision.

8. You keep having the same fight

Do you two have the same old fight constantly? Think about it: is arguing going to change whatever your partner is doing or not doing? It hasn’t thus far, so accept it or walk away. Battling and expecting your partner to do X, Y or Z has gotten you nowhere thus far. Accept and move forward!

9. You withhold affection

When you get chilly and start to shut out your partner physically, it’s a brutal sign that you’re not radically accepting this person and are letting your emotions shut the relationship down. If you feel this way, consider these things first:

  • Are you overreacting? Would a stranger agree to your cold shoulder act?
  • Why are you so upset? Is it worth it?
  • Are you communicating how you feel with your partner, or expecting him or her to mind-read?
  • Are you projecting what you want your partner to do, onto him or her without considering if he or she wants to do it or not?

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Laura Lifshitz writes about divorce, relationships, parenting, and marriage for YourTango, The New York Times, Women’s Health, Working Mother, and Pop Sugar.