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patience in marriage couples

From our experience, patience in marriage is essential for your relationship to thrive. So much so, that we believe it’s one of the important marriage skills every couple needs to learn and practice on a daily basis.

Because without patience how can you listen effectively to each other? How will you be able to talk about money, sex, and resolve your conflicts without fighting?

So in this article, we are going to share what patience in marriage means, and 6 practical ways to become more patient with your spouse.

Let’s get started!

What does patience mean?

Well, patience is the ability to tolerate or restrain yourself from reacting in anger or frustration.

Let’s look at this everyday example:

Have you ever had a slow computer or a computer that takes its sweet time to load after turning it on?

What did you do when the computer was being slow? You either waited patiently or began to complain about the computer being slow. (or click the button several times like my wife!)

In either situation, did the computer perform any faster for you? The obvious answer is no. But either waiting with patience, or complaining had two different effects on you. – Marcus

By being patient for the computer to load, your mood was calm and positive. However, when you complained, it’s as if you are fighting against a wall, which just irritates you (your patience for waiting is gone); leaving you in an angry mood or frustrated emotional state.

Based on this example alone, we can all realize that being patient will provide us with a positive mood.

Now:

What does patience in marriage mean?

It means being patient with your spouse, your kids, and marriage.

Patience also means being able to prevent yourself from saying hurtful things to your spouse during a heated conversation. In other words, not lashing out at your spouse.

Furthermore, it means we have to be patient with our spouses’ when they hurt or make us angry unintentionally. We have to be patient when our children push every single one of our buttons, and when our marriages’ are not what we want them to be.

Imagine belittling your spouse or child just because you were angry about something trivial they did. How do you feel moments after having realized you can’t take those words back?

Not a great feeling right?

This feeling alone implies being patient is the best solution when we are angered by our spouses’, children, or something else.

6 Practical ways to become more patient with your spouse

1. Practice patience daily.

When you practice being patient with your friends, family, kids, co-workers, etc. it gives you the skillsets you need to be patient with your spouse.

Also, being a parent who is patient will give your children (if you have kids) many opportunities to learn how to become patient too. They are watching you carefully.

2. Limit technology.

Limiting technology and other distractions can be effective in enhancing the quality of your communications as well as your patience.

I have noticed that when I use my phone, I get more impatient when my husband and children try to communicate with me. I have made a point to put my phone down when they try to talk to me. I’m not perfect, but I try to do better every day.

This has helped me to be more present in the moment, which has enhanced our connection, relationships, and my ability to be more patient with them when they need to ask me questions or tell me something. – Ashley

3. Identify your triggers.

This takes time and intentional effort. As a result, practice being patient every day, especially with the little things that could make you impatient.

In addition, try to identify those things that easily trigger you to be impatient. E.g. Words that make you angry and/or defensive, being stressed or hungry, sickness, the way you speak, etc. Take a closer look at why these things bother you.

And when you make a mistake by losing your patience, learn from it.  Then try to be more patient next time!

Remember, patience is necessary for a healthy, happy, and fulfilling marriage.

4. Choose your timing for conversations well.

Be mindful of when you try to have certain conversations that may be more involved. It is best to wait to have a deeper conversation or one that may be more emotional when you are both relaxed and have a moment to yourselves without distractions.

Prepare your spouse for the conversation (like we mentioned) by saying, “Honey, I want to talk to you about __, so let me know when you are ready.”

Giving each other a heads-up is beneficial for more than just longer conversations.

By letting your spouse know that you have something you need to express to them, it gives your spouse the opportunity to pause, or finish whatever they are doing, so they can give you their full attention.

We have found this technique especially useful in our day-to-day lives, from asking each other a question to remembering to do something around the house, and everything in between.

Or, if your spouse comes to you with a conversation and you can feel your frustration rising, take a pause.

“I know this is important to you to talk about this, but I’m really not in the right headspace to give you the attention you deserve on this topic. Can we wait until ___ to talk about this?”

5. Manage your expectations.

This means you need to recognize or verbalize what your expectations for your spouse are, your conversation, or the outcome of your communication. Managing your expectations is paramount to effective communication.

Sometimes, you may need to lower your expectations and be okay with baby steps.

Managing your expectations can help you be more patient with your spouse because you understand the overall goal you are both trying to achieve.

It helps you look at the big picture, instead of getting stuck in the immediate situation and the emotions that come with it.

Patience is a virtue! 

6. Take a break.

When you realize you are losing your patience, take a break.

Sometimes a simple 5-minute break can help you calm down and respond better, instead of reacting.

How your marriage can benefit from patience.

In general, everyday moments your marriage will benefit from you being patient are:

When fighting fairly or arguing with your spouse. It allows you to think before you speak and before you react.

When your spouse isn’t paying attention or listening to you while you have a conversation.

When your kids are being disrespectful, creating a mess, or won’t do their chores.

When you are having difficulty communicating with your spouse about things like money, sex, housework, etc.

You will communicate better because your discussions will be calmer and respectful.

When your marriage isn’t where you wish it was.

When your spouse starts to vent their frustration from a stressful day, being patient will help you be the listening ear they need.

And when your spouse can do just that, it shows them they can be vulnerable with you.

A simple thing you can do if you have an impatient spouse.

If your spouse is impatient, you can help them by being an example they can follow.

For example:

During our first year of marriage, I will admit, I didn’t have any patience, Marcus had a lot of it.

Eventually, his patience did rub off on me. I have since learned and grown in my patience. I came to realize if he snapped at me, as much, or as quickly as I did to him, I would feel so hurt.

So why would I continue to do this to him? A big apology was in order, and I began the hard journey of learning patience in marriage. – Ashley

Final thoughts

In our experience, patience is an important skill to have in your marriage toolbox because it’s so crucial for the success of your marriage.

More importantly, the lack of patience in a marriage can be very destructive and easily lead to saying or doing regretful things. We highly recommend you do everything possible to have more patience for yourself, your spouse, and marriage.

So practice the simple ideas you’ve learned right now to become more patient in your marriage and with your husband or wife.

“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Your turn

What prevents you from being patient?

What is one tool you can use to build patience that we missed?

You might also like:

How to Communicate with Your Spouse Without Fighting in 7 Simple Steps

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Patience in Marriage: 6 Practical Tips You Can Implement Today
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