Loving Past What I Dislike

This year, my wife and I celebrated twenty four years of marriage and twenty seven years of dating. I am grateful to have shared more of my life married to this one woman than I have lived unmarried. So often, people ask me, “what is your secret for being happily married for so long”? To which, I often reply, “some of those years were not happy, they were commitment”.
Over the years, I have discovered one of the most amazing truths about love and marriage:

The truth that I cannot change another human being, nor do I need to change them in order to be happy with them.

Which means, if we are to forge loving, lasting relationships, we must learn to love past [beyond] the things that we dislike about our partners.
For your convenience I have extrapolated from my marriage some keys for loving your partner beyond what you do not like about them:
1. Be honest about how your feelings, but don’t use them to emotionally badger your partner. There is an amazing freedom in expressing your truth, and then leaving things alone.
2. Pray for greater strength to love beyond your limits. Some things are humanly impossible.
3. Don’t focus too deeply on what you dislike; focus instead on what you love about your spouse and the things that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
4. Avoid becoming negative and antagonistic about what you dislike, as this will plant emotional toxicity into the relationship, and will ruin your ability to be able to truly enjoy your partner.
5. Remember that no amount of complaining will change another person. A better choice is that of expressing gratitude for them. You always get more of what you are willing to celebrate.
6. Consider your own imperfections when dealing with your partner about theirs.
7. Practice seeing your partner as a new being each morning. This resets the relationship.
8. Expect the best, even when you sometimes see the opposite. Hope has a powerful way of bending life in your favor.

Lastly, understand that it is impossible to create perfection when working with imperfect pieces. Just because your relationship is not perfect, does not mean that it cannot be fulfilling. Practice giving yourself permission to thoroughly enjoy an imperfect relationship, with an imperfect person.
After all, that is what you are also.

Dr. Mark T. Jones Sr.
Happily married

Loving Past What I Dislike

12 thoughts on “Loving Past What I Dislike

  1. Emerson Tillman II says:

    “Practice giving yourself permission to thoroughly enjoy an imperfect relationship, with an imperfect person.
    After all, that is what you are also.”

    Excellent read & counsel. Thank you Mark Jones

    Liked by 1 person

  2. VINCENT Shannon says:

    It’s very insightful. Has some strong keys to self maturation. I believe the challenge is growing stronger in commitment that will enable one to move past the emotional strain of the detrimental imperfection. Knowing how to occupy while praying for GOD to change one’s self.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tanika Ranson says:

    Awesome and very insightful. Although I’m not married as of yet. I might have missed out on a great man and person. By highlighting the small ,and supeficial thing I did not like about my partner. When I stopped . I allowed myself to fall in love with who he is and not my perceptions of what I think he needed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shawney T says:

    WOW!!! Very good and insightful. # 6 and 7 really helps you to examine your perspectives of how you see your spouse by looking at “yourself” first!! I love that!! That’s deliverance right there….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon Robinson says:

    This article is very encouraging. Even though it’s relating to marriage; it can be applied in any relationship. Loving someone despite their imperfections will allow the same opportunity for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kenesha says:

    Great read. Learned that marriage is a process of growing together. It not going to always feel good but you have to choose to love through the tuff time and most importantly pray.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lytonia Fuller says:

    This is the knowledge I wish I had before I got married and help destroy a marriage. It takes maturity to process and walk these steps out in a relationship, and having a carnal mind trying to live in this truth is impossible. This material is needed in marriage counseling abroad, I remember getting marriage counseling eight years ago, and this information was definitely not imparted nor planted as a seed in our lives. Thank God for Mark T. Jones Sr. for his transparency and his willingness to build marriages.

    Liked by 1 person

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