Or anyone else for that matter.
The truth is…
…people are hard to work with sometimes. Regardless of who your co-worker is, there are times when other people just ANNOY you. They chew their gum loudly, they talk too much, they don’t do their fair share of the work or they don’t rinse out their coffee cup.
The truth is…
….I am hard to work with sometimes. I have annoying habits, and I always talk too much. (Although I do ALWAYS rinse out my coffee cup.)
When working with other people, spouses or otherwise, we have to expect things aren’t always smooth sailing. People are grumpy and they don’t do things right.
And that is the crux of it, isn’t it?
Others don’t do things “right.” In other words, they don’t do things the way WE WANT them done. We expect that our way is the correct, most efficient, and expedient way to get things done.
That usually doesn’t work too long before something (or someone) might snap and release a tirade of words, actions, or facial expressions to accompany anger, frustration, or even sadness.
As a couple working together, how do you weather the storm?
We learned long ago that one of the most useful and helpful words to reach for in these trying times is Perseverance.
Perseverance – a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
Perseverance means to stay with it.
When you start working with your spouse, there is excitement and a big push to share your dreams with one another. You talk about it, work it every day, constantly analyze and re-analyze. Finding creative solutions to the problems that arise, we push through every challenge.
And then…the excitement fades. You begin to feel like you might have made a mistake. The griping starts, the criticisms of friends and family, and finally you and your spouse may feel like just giving up.
Set aside the frustrations and take a breath – use the ‘count to 10’ method (even if you have to count to 100).
Giving up is not the answer. Perseverance is. It means to keep fighting through the frustration, even past your comfort zone.
Start by looking at your past successes. Get a piece of paper and write down the small and large things that HAVE worked so far, even to the specific time and day you saw success, no matter how small.
Remember the Goal(s) you began with – what? No Goals? Well, remedy that right away. Make big, audacious goals. Reach beyond your current ideas to see what could be in store if you are successful. Write them down. Post them. Read them every day. (If you need help with goal setting, we can help guide you.)
When you need to persevere, remind yourself of the biggest reasons you wanted to work together when you started this adventure.
More time together.
More shared successes.
Understanding why you are doing this together can help you persevere. When you feel like quitting, remind yourself of why you started.
Perseverance is about having your goals and the mindset to push through to try again, and then again.
Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., looked at more than 700 older Americans for a study he called the Marriage Advice Project. Interviews with couples who had been happily married for 40, 50, or 60 years to see how they made it, gave him the opportunity to see how they stayed together. He commented, “Searching for a way to characterize this attitude among the elders, I found myself using the word spirit. That is, many of them have a spirited approach to the discipline of marriage, to get better, to forgive, and to innovate. There’s a spirit of initiative to overcome problems and an indomitable attitude to move on despite problems.”
In other words, they chose to persevere. Can you also choose to persevere?