During a couples counseling session, Jeff said to Ali, “I love you as you are.” Jeff was occasionally mean to her and sometimes disconnected, but his statement expressed loving acceptance. It was clear he didn’t want to change her and was willing to tolerate her foibles.
All partners have weaknesses and limitations, and living with those personality idiosyncrasies is part of being in successful relationships. Couples counseling works on changing a partner’s inappropriate behavior, such as verbal behavior, but accepting a partner for who they are is essential. Jeff loves Ali for her gifts and attributes and accepts and tolerates the less appealing parts of her personality.