It may to difficult to accept but the ingredients for a happy and fulfilling relationship with your significant other or spouse rests on the foundation of acceptance. Acceptance of the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Acceptance of who that person is at their core. Acceptance of all the little things they do.

1. Acceptance does not imply giving up. It is not a negative term. It is acknowledging reality. Acceptance means that we come to understand and accept our mate and our life for what it is. There is no judgment involved. It means that we accept things as they are, not as we think they should be.

2. Understand fully the difference between what is and what you think should be. You know, wishful thinking. An abusive spouse is what is; your belief that he or she is going to change any minute is what you think reality should look like. Big difference

3. Acceptance does not suggest that if your lover is abusive to you that you simply accept it and do nothing? No. You do accept it as a fact but then you are free to make a decision as to what you will do next. There are plenty of options but all of them are based on acceptance of what is. You can choose to take a different approach to the problem and see if that works. You can choose to leave the abusive situation. The choice is yours.

4. Here is the core truth behind acceptance. You have heard it before: “Oh Lord, give me the courage to change the things I can, the strength to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.” What exactly do you have control over in life? Think hard about this one. You basically have control over one thing in your life: You. Period and end of discussion.

Look to your past and do a reality check. I know for myself that I spent about 40 years thinking that I could change my Father. I would somehow, through countless hours of discussions and arguments, show him the error of his ways and make him into the ideal Father that I wanted. Guess what? I am fifty-five years old and my Dad is still my Dad. The more I resisted who he was, the more he dug his heels in.

My Dad is at his core a wonderful, compassionate and giving person. He becomes that person when I exhibit those same qualities. Bingo! So it is my behavior towards my Father that empowers me to transform our relationship. I change my approach via the road of acceptance. Does it always work? No. Mostly? Yes. Which brings us to our next point…

5. We don’t impress people by describing in words how we have transformed ourselves. We transform ourselves and the people around us by being what we believe in. We lead by example. If you are looking to stop anger in your house, don’t get angry. Walk away from anger. Allow it to diffuse and then have a discussion about the effects of anger on the household. If you scream back in response to an angry person, you only add fuel to the fire.

6. Acceptance and transformational behavior are habits that we can master. Initially it will not be easy but that is always the case when we take on something truly meaningful. We need to unlearn old habits or ways of being and initiate new ones. Make a list of how you would want to be treated in very specific ways. For instance, “I want to be treated with respect”. Then your new habit is to treat everyone around you with respect. It is through repetition that we master new ways of being. New habits, if practiced, can take hold in three months.

After three months, see what is appearing in your life. I believe that you will see amazing results. The least thing you will have accomplished is a new you. Chances are extremely good that your mate will have experienced your new way of being and will change too. They will change because they want to, not because you want them to. That is true and lasting change. A change that results in a transformed relationship.

Author's Bio: 

Shelley Stile is an ACC certified Divorce Recovery Life Coach and author who guides her clients to let go the pain of their divorce and move on to create new and vibrant lives after divorce. Shelley has been through her own divorce so she knows first-hand about the journey of divorce recovery. Shelley coaches her clients on a one-on-one basis and also leads tele-seminars and workshops. She has published powerful articles and books on life after divorce and is the author of the new book, 95 Transformational Tips for Letting Go and Moving On After Your Divorce available at

She is a certified coach and member of the International Coaches Federation, the governing body for Life Coaching. Shelley trained with the Coaches Training Institute and the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching’s Spiritual Divorce Recovery.

Receive her free, powerful e-book, The 10 Secrets to Coping with Divorce’, and her monthly ‘Take Back Your Life After Divorce’ Newsletter by going to: or contact Shelley at to schedule a free consultation and sample session of divorce coaching. For more information on Divorce Recovery Coaching, go to