By Gigi Engle
Emotional resilience is something we tend to overlook in relationships. In fact, we often forget it entirely. We don’t give it enough credit. We see strength as displays of independence, zero tolerance, and no screwing around. While these are great things, they can hinder our relationships as well.
Often, when we see a friend weathering the storm of a relationship hurdle we are quick to announce that she ought to leave. “It’s not worth it!” we tell her. “It’s too much drama.” Yet, we don’t know what is going on inside of that relationship. We aren’t there through the day-to-day. Who are we to judge?
Being able to handle someone’s outbursts, inconsistencies, and BS does not always mean you’re a pushover who lets people walk all over you. Accepting that people are not always perfect and are human is a big step up on the maturity ladder.
Of course, it can mean you’re selling yourself short, but often we misconstrue emotional resilience and unconditional love for relationship masochism.
There is a distinction between having no self-respect and having the emotional literacy to know how to love a flawed person with eternal empathy. It’s about knowing when you’re being understanding, knowing when you’re being taken advantage, and knowing the difference.
According to Andrea Miller, CEO of YourTango and author of the new book Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love, “Together, we can spark a Radical Acceptance movement, leading to much more love, compassion, and happiness in our world.” If we accept each other, we have a better chance of forming better bonds.
The truth is, if we walk away from every relationship when the going gets tough and the road gets rocky, that isn’t a relationship worth having. Emotional resilience is the key to a long-lasting love. It’s how you wind up in a relationship with the person you want to be with forever, forever. Here’s why.
1. When you’re emotionally resilient, you can bounce back stronger.
Physical strength is great and all, but it has nothing on emotional strength. If you have the ability to internalize, process, and overcome all of the crappy things life hands you, you wind up stronger than your less attuned counterparts.
Emotional resilience means having the fortitude to overcome relationship hurdles and grow from them. You can’t expect to have a long-lasting relationship with someone if you don’t know how to accept and understand the harder lessons that come with a long-term relationship.
If you develop strong emotional skills, you become a better version of yourself. If your partner is able to do the same, you will wind up with a happy, everlasting love.
2. Judgment is the kiss of death in relationships.
“Loving your partner without judgment is the ultimate gift you can give them — and yourself,” Miller writes. It’s not just your partner who benefits from your choice to give up judgment; you too will experience an entirely new world free of nonsense and ridiculous social pressures.
If you want to have a meaningful relationship that actually lasts, you have to be willing to give up the urge to change your partner. The two of you need to grow together while still coming from a place of understanding. Love without judgment is the stuff of true love.
3. Love always wins.
What emotional resilience really comes down to is love. Not just convenient love, or passionate love, nor love that makes us feel good. It’s about all the bad stuff too and loving all of it. It means being able to love your partner, flaws and all, no matter what happens.
As Miller writes, “Radical Acceptance is about recalibrating the importance and value of love — for ourselves and for others. It is a call to action to elevate love and togetherness to their rightful high-priority status in all people’s lives.”
Love is the most important thing we have in this world. Without it, relationships simply cannot thrive. Emotional resilience and unconditional love go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other. Why? Because loving unconditionally sounds fabulous, but it takes a toll on you.
Once you’ve seen someone’s darkest parts, it’s hard to go back. Being able to see past their mistakes, flaws, and baggage and love them because of it, instead of in spite of it, is true emotional resilience. This makes you stronger than other people and it makes it possible to find a meaningful relationship that will last a lifetime.
This article originally appeared on YourTango. For more like this on YourTango, try:
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