To have, to hold… and to tolerate.

When my beautiful wife and I got married a couple of years ago, we chose our good friend’s father to officiate our wedding. Terry “Rev Coach” Miner agreed to marry us, but he wanted to talk to us first. We agreed, and met him at a restaurant near his house.

Rev-CoachTerry asked us a gaggle of questions about how we met, when we knew we were in love, when we decided to get married, how I proposed, etc. We talked for about an hour and a half. Then the conversation shifted. It wasn’t about how in love we were anymore.

Terry talked to us about “tolerance”. He and his wife had been married for decades, and he said that Jeanie loves him, but mostly…she tolerates him. Apparently it has become a joke among his family about how much Jeanie “tolerates”.

I’m a pretty smart guy, but I wanted to to consult the Googles to confirm what tolerance actually means. According to the Googles, tolerance means The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. Well…that isn’t helpful. My wife and I share the same opinion on almost everything. That means I don’t have to “tolerate” very much, and by the same token, neither does she.

However, Terry’s words of wisdom have stuck with me since that night. Terry made some very good points that I try to keep in mind in my everyday life.

For example, I tend to leave dishes in the living room, and Natalie has a habit of nagging me about that. That’s tolerance. She tolerates my inability to get the dishes to the sink, and I tolerate her incessant need to bug me about it. We are still in love, it isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, and all it takes is a little tolerance.

What do you tolerate in your relationship? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author: Ken Jamaca is a twice married father of two. "When I can't sleep, I think of fun, interesting things to add to the inter-webs." Mr. Jamaca noted "But my best ideas come to me in the shower...or in traffic. I'm not sure why that is." As the founder and chief editor for GoodHusbanding, he takes his role very seriously. "I've been both sides of the coin, and everyone is happier when men are good husbands!"

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  1. ObviouslyAnnie says:

    I tolerate my husband’s habit of taking his socks off in bed and he tolerates my nagging him on laundry day to dig in the crack between the bed and the wall to retrieve the socks for washing. I’m sure he has far more detailed complaints about me though! 🙂

  2. Jeani says:

    I have to toss in my two-cents worth on this one as the one who tolerates Coach. Tolerate as a word has a somewhat negative connotation as it implies that you ‘put up with something or someone, rather than actually accept it/them’. And while that may the the strict meaning, there is more to it than that. In our case tolerating means learning to live with a person who has a different take on things as insignificant as how to hang the toilet paper to important issues like religeous beliefs. The most important distinction I would add to this topic is that we tolerate the behaviours, not the person. Because we love each other (and respect each other), we’re willing to put up with those little things that could be a pain in the ass if we didn’t practice tolerance. In short if you love the person, you’ll tolerate the actions. 42 years and counting, it must be working.