Accepting Your Partners Limitations | Counseling | Therapy

Accepting Your Partners Limitations : Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City

Alex Robboy , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

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Accepting Your Partner's Limitations, Couples Therapy in Center City Philly, Mechanicsville, VA image

Understanding Your Partner's Limitations: Couples Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe

No one is perfect. Everyone has their limitations. This concept of learning to accept your partner's limitation is especially important as we choose our partners. No one is perfect. We are all works in progress. So the multimillion dollar question becomes - what limitation(s) can you / should you / will you accept and which one(s) can you not? In an ideal world, you would able to use dating to successfully screen out potential suitors with limitations that you deem unacceptable. For example, you have a dog, and on the third date, you find out that your date is allergic to dogs. You now need to ask yourself the following question: If things got serious, would I be willing to give away my dog? If the answer is yes, then you do nothing. If the answer is no, then you would need to share with Carl that the dog comes first, and thus dating you means he would need to take allergy shots. If Carl knew that he was too allergic to dogs to even consider that option or he simply did not want to take allergy shots, then he might decide to end the relationship.

Unfortunately, life is not always so simple. Sometimes it is only once you are deeply involved in a relationship that you become aware of someone’s true limitations and / or conflicting needs. At the point that many people figure out what the core issue(s) are, frequently it is not so easy to walk away, and you may need to learn how to accept the friction and / or their limitation(s).

If you are struggling with learning how to accept a partner’s limitations try the following exercise designed by our therapists who work offer therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe:

  • Name your partner’s limitation (s). Name your partner’s strength (s). For example, Bob's limitations are: He is skinny. He is socially awkward at parties. He can not stay up late at night. He has very few friends. His strengths are: he is a hard worker, he is always chipper in the morning, and he always makes time for you.
  • When is your partner’s strength a limitation? And when is your partner’s limitation a strength? For example: Veronica is lactose intolerant and can't always go to your favorite restaurants (limit). Flipped as a strength - she never eats your ice cream – thus more for you!
  • Looking at the limitations you have identified in your partner, which do you think are honestly fixable? Go back through the list and circle any limitations you think your partner has the ability to address. For example: if Jaleel is short, there is nothing he can do about it. In contrast, if Jaleel is sensitive about his height and takes it out on you, the two of you can work to rebuild his self-confidence.
  • What are your limitations and strengths?
  • Which limitations are fixable?
  • How do your limitations impact your partner’s limitations? For example: you get upset easily, and your husband is insecure and always takes things personally.
  • How do your strengths impact your partner’s limitations? For example: you have always taken care of your physical health. You eat three balanced meals a day and exercise regularly, thus you are able to model a healthy lifestyle for your partner who suffers from an eating disorder.

After you have answered all the questions, ask your partner to do the same thing. Now compare and contrast your answers. Do your two lists match? Usually there will be some slight differences. Often couples do not agree upon what is a strength and what is a limitation. Now, together talk about which strengths and weaknesses are most important to each of you and why. Of the limitations that you decided were important to you, how changeable are they? Together, can the two of you develop a strategy of change.

Still struggling with accepting your partners limitations? Need to talk to a relationship therapist, Contact a Relationship Therapist. Feel free to schedule and in person or virtual counseling session directly online. If you prefer talking to a relationship therapist first, you may call (215) 922-LOVE (5683) ext 100 to be connected with our intake department. Lastly, you can call our Director, “Alex” Caroline Robboy, CAS, MSW, LCSW at (267) 324–9564 to discuss your particular situation. For your convenience, we have five physical therapy and counseling offices and can also provide counseling and therapy virtually.

Therapy Services Offered in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe:


InPerson Therapy & Virtual Counseling: Child, Teens, Adults, Couples, Family Therapy and Support Groups. Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attack Therapy, Depression Therapy, FND Therapy, Grief Therapy, Neurodiversity Counseling, Sex Therapy, Trauma Therapy: Therapy in Providence RI, Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM, Mechanicsville VA