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PATIENCE IN RELATIONSHIPS

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Sir,

Consider your partner’s feelings; if you are patient and kind with your partners, they will feel loved and adored. If you are impatient and intolerant, your partner is likely to feel rejected by you.

Your actions and reactions can have a direct effect on how your partner feels, so think about this when you’re feeling impatient or frustrated. Remember that you care about your partner and don’t hurt them.
If your partner forgets to buy milk, saying “That’s okay, we’ll just get it later,” shows you understand it was a simple mistake. If you instead say something like “I can’t believe you did this again; you always forget everything,” you are implying that your partner is flawed and that their mistakes are unacceptable. Remember, a little mistake like this isn’t the end of the world. It’s normal to be impatient yet many assume that mistakes are the result of incompetence.

This is a bleak outlook to have and it may lead you to say hurtful things before you even realise it. A great way to break this habit is to use a buffer to force yourself to think before responding.
You could make it a personal rule that when something frustrating happens, you take three deep breaths before you say anything. This will give you time to process the situation and respond appropriately.

You’ll probably realise that what you thought was a huge mistake actually isn’t that big of a deal, and you can downgrade your response from angry to understanding. In a more serious situation, you could leave the room or go for a walk. This will allow you time to cool down and think about your reaction. Patience will come along with understanding, and one of the most important things to understand about your partner is that they’re not perfect. When you set unrealistic expectations for your partner, you will be disappointed. This disappointment will lead to impatience and frustration in the relationship.


An example of an unreasonable expectation might be thinking that your partner should be home at exactly 5:30pm every day, even though they have a 25-minute commute and work until 5pm. This leaves little to no time to account for things like walking to the car, or changes in traffic, and ultimately sets your partner up to fail. Try instead to hold a more reasonable expectation, like expecting your partner to let you know if they will be held up.


If you are easily frustrated, that isn’t likely to change overnight, and being hard on yourself will only add to your frustration. Instead, recognise that you are working toward being more patient and forgive yourself for mistakes that you make along the way. Remind yourself that patience will pay off. Being patient benefits you in many ways. Your relationships will be more loving and respectful, and you’ll find yourself calmer and more at peace. When you start to feel frustrated, keep in mind that responding with patience will help you live a more satisfying life. You’re in this for the long haul, so don’t get distracted by minor frustrations along the way.

Nkosing’phile NtshaliNtshali

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