Stop Tolerating Pain


Maintaining emotional intimacy means accepting your partner for who he or she is. But some behaviors you should not be tolerated even if it means creating distance. How do you know if you are accepting your partner or simply tolerating behaviors that are harmful?Acceptance feels like giving a gift while tolerating feels forced. Acceptance comes from your heart and is an expression of love for your partner. When you are tolerating behaviors you are failing to address your discomfort. You are telling yourself that this is a price for being in the relationship. But is it a price you should be paying?
Acceptance is a position of strength. You are mature enough to recognize that you and your partner have different views, reactions and goals. You accept the differences out of respect and caring for your partner. You expect the same in return; acceptance is shared.
Tolerating a behavior is more one-sided. You are being asked to absorb the pain but you are not hurting your partner in exchange. Behavior that is tolerated never loses its ability to cause you pain. The price you pay for tolerating the behavior continues to be the same (or greater) in the weeks, months and years to come.
If you find that you are tolerating behaviors that are harmful, you must address this with your partner in a manner that does not sound like criticism. You want to trigger your partner to hear your pain, not become defensive. This may require you to rehearse what you want to say and to be willing to repeat the message until it is heard.
If your partner remains defensive or uncaring to your message then he or she should get less of you. Distancing physically, emotionally and sexually sends the message that the relationship does not feel safe. This can be done gradually, but must be a consistent message. The surprising result can be that your partner may reassesses your worth and be more than willing to work on improving your connection.

For further inquiries:

Check out Lee Horton, Ph.D., Psychologist, at

Phone: (901) 818- 5450