0115 – When Should You Exercise Patience With Your Partner?


We’re talking about how to know if you should be patient with your partner, or if you should leave that to someone else


By the end of this episode:

  • What situations may require patience
  • How to be patient with your partner
  • The #1 tip for patience in your relationship

Describe the problem

…Surprise! Relationships involve human beings, which means that there will inevitably be times where one human needs to be patient with another human. But are there “good” and “bad” types of patience? And how long should you be patient until you finally lose your mind over one more dish in the sink? Find out in Episode 115: How to be Patient.

Segment #1

Situations where you might find yourself being patient (for right or wrong reasons)

  1. Partner going through transition: new baby, new job, new place, new phase…big (and sometimes not so big) transitions can be tough for some, monumental for others. Your partner might be stressed or angry or just simply out of sorts. You find yourself needing to be patient while you weather the storm.
  2. Partner experiencing sadness or loss: Susan Sontag said “you can never ask anyone to change a feeling.” This saying is never more true when it comes to sadness or loss. Perhaps your partner’s parent passed away and he or she is grieving. It might seem easy to grieve with them in the beginning, but if you are not experiencing the same loss, you might have to be patient with your partner while they grieve
  3. Partner says they’re not ready…yet: you’re not on the same page with what you want. Maybe your partner has been clear about what they want (and you’re not listening), or they’ve asked for time as they figure things out
  4. Partner is a giant jerk-off: From Captain Awkward–”When my needs come into conflict with what is actually happening, I will teach myself not to need those things anymore. I will sacrifice them on the altar of TRUE LOVE. Our relationship will be like a constant audition where I strive only to show the best, prettiest, least messy parts of myself to prove that we should be together!” You do this weird balancing act…”I will be so good, they won’t have a choice but to see my goodness as the salvation from their own continued badness.”

Segment #2

  1. Definition: Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset. But! Just because you have the capacity, doesn’t mean that it’s required in every situation.
  2. Reframe patience into an act of compassion, both for yourself and your partner:Compassion is the act of reaching out to those who are suffering—including ourselves. I definitely suffer when I’m impatient, because lack of patience is a stress response to whatever is going on in my life. I can feel the stress in both my mind and my body. And so, cultivating patience is a way of taking care of myself, which is the essence of self-compassion.”–Psychology Today
  3. Ask your partner what they need: sometimes it’s not enough to simply “feel” patient, sometimes you have to practice it openly. Maybe your partner needs someone to talk to, or maybe they need alone time. Have an open discussion about how you’re trying to be understanding, but you may need help in how that understanding manifests itself.


Final Thoughts:

#1 Patience has an expiration date: patience with a partner’s transition or loss or even quirks you don’t understand all has a time limit, meaning that your partner should not be grieving forever or transitioning forever (for their sake and yours). And if you’re in the situation where you’re being patient with a partner who cannot tell you or give you what you want, or is not a nice or good person to you more often than not…no need to be patient, go.


  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts

In Closing

If you have a question, comment, or funny story about [INSERT SHOW TOPIC] we have a private SafeSpace on facebook where we talk about all sorts of social, professional, and romantic relationship topics, and after every show you can go there and share you story, get some advice from great people or just hang out. Both Sarah and I are there every day and you can be there too, just go to www.relationspodcast.com/join and click the “Join Now’ button.

Until we meet again, keep striving to make every relationship you have the best it can possibly be, including (and especially) the one with yourself. We’ll talk soon.

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