How effective is the marriage counseling in saving my marriage?

2017_1image_11_54_079681812newly-married-couple.jp-ll“I have always had a very problematic marriage and all efforts to make things right have been of no use. I have been advised by my friends to seriously think of consulting a marriage and family therapist .But every time I think of reaching out to one, “the only thought that comes to my mind is, “What if this too does not help. Let, me ask you a simple question, “does marriage counseling really work?’.

Priti (name changed) had expressed apprehensions about the process of marriage counseling when she had, asked me this question.

Experts differ on the effectiveness of marital issues in marriage and family therapy. Some of them will simply say no to any external intervention in a marriage. They are of the opinion that “marriage is sacrosanct and privacy of the bed room should stay within your bedroom. Most of them however will speak in favor of getting a professionally trained family therapist’s help. Marriage is often an adjustment of two different personalities who come together to raise a new family in their wedlock. In this journey some distance can be smooth, some part of journey could be rough too, where an external help can smoothen the edges and provide the necessary cushioning.

advice-newlywed650x325Your life can be difficult and beautiful both at the same time. The life of the newly married couples is like a baby conceived in the womb of a mother, giving tough time to the mother all through nine months of its growth from the embryo to delivery but once the baby is born life becomes joyfully beautiful, yet bringing with it challenges everyday of raising a child. The joy of watching your baby grow always is greater than the challenges that come in the process of being a mother.

photo-1523975989600-f61068b1a4b3Marriage offers similar such journey of smooth ride and rough road of mutual problems .The partners to a marriage love each other and at times hate each other but they continue with the journey of matrimonial bliss. Sushant and Daisy (names changed) are in one such relationship. They have had fights; yet they have been living into their marriage despite all odds for ten years. “It had never occurred to me even once that I should walk out of this marriage. I am from a conservative Christian family and Sushant belongs to a kind of liberated Hindu family. Our marriage had not been accepted by our respective families for almost five years. There were issues of social norms, of cultural differences, of devotions and faith. My mother has been a devout Christian and it was difficult for her to conceive that her daughter will not follow a religion of the family”. “Both I and Sushant had made a pact that we would always refer our matters to a third unbiased arbitrator in case of any of the differences that might crop up into our marriage. We found one such unbiased opinion and advice in Family Therapist and Marriage counselor Dr Ramneek Kapoor and all our differences get resolved to our mutual interest”.

couple therapy“I have had many cases of family differences, husband wife disputes, cohabitation problems and other adjustment issues and working through their disputes and differences can really be worth it. Most such married couples come to us when they face communication issues, marital discords and even the personal ego matters, at the breaking point of their marriages, but they are benefitted by consulting a professional family therapist and marriage counselor who help them in dealing with those difficulties, look at their disputes from a much wider point of view and different perspective. The couples are encouraged to sort out the difference, take them on to find satisfactory resolution instead of being judgmental and giving up on the relationship. They are made to work hard to eventually come to an understanding of the beneficial fruits of making their marriage a success.

download“Much of the ideas people get about their marriage counseling at times can be wrong. It is not necessarily the bed room story that is talked about in the counseling. A marital life holds many other points of discord and differences of opinions. There can be personality issues, adjusting with other members of the extended family, household issues, individual career matters, spouse behavior concerns, children growth subjects, older parental care concerns and of course faith and trust fears . Only a third party intervention may not solve these issues but a detailed worked out therapeutic strategy and planning with the help of a qualified professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor can definitely go a long way in resolving all such matters.

“It sounds good. It makes sense to me” said Dinesh(name changed) when he had walked into our clinic for consulting us on his broken marriage of fifteen years. “The problem is my wife feels it usually doesn’t work. We had gone to a traditional matchmaker to help us reconcile a broken marriage. Their process is not very professional”.

counseling-clipart-marriage-family-therapist-16You really have to be careful when dealing with a delicate matter of marital compatibility and communication breakdown. It cannot be resolved merely by advice of do’s and don’ts. All matters need to be handled in a manner that the counseling given has to achieve the outcome, the couple and the family looks forward to. An untrained and non professional marriage counselor has no idea what he or she is faced with and how this needs to be analyzed and resolved.

In a complex family therapy situation counseling an estranged couple may be the hardest thing to do .It takes longer to resolve their differences and the couples are advised to be patient and cooperate with the therapist ,whose basic aim is to help the client come to agreement and understanding within them.

Surveys indicate that many of the match makers, social activists and soothe Sayers undertake family therapy and couples therapy. They do not possess the professional qualification and they never got their training into marital counseling and family therapy.

We need to understand that couples coming for family therapy and marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples. Often one or the other party will have thought of either divorce or separation. Traditional matchmakers or even normal psychologists will not prove effective in dealing such marriage counseling as they do not know the professional way to deal with those problems.

Much of the advice couples get from family advisors or traditional matchmakers sounds good to the ears but it doesn’t work in real life. When it comes to marriage counseling, one solution cannot be applied to all situations. Each marital discord will have its own unique dynamics and a professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor takes into account the uniqueness of each dynamic while dealing with a husband and wife disconnect.

Couples can at times become disconnected emotionally for various reasons. Their passion and excitement can wear out faster than expected out of their marriage if their fights and day to day quarrels continue. Their novelty can finish sooner as monotony creeps in into their partnership. It happened to Nidhi (name changed) who admitted in a session

images (12)“I decided to call our marriage off because I felt like I have been living with a rival roommate not a husband, after we got married his attitude and tone changed towards me. His true nature comes to the fore as he sheds the facade of pretended love.”

What can married couples do if they’re having some difficulties?

I would advice, “one person in the marriage doesn’t have to wait for the other to start working on the reconciliation .Either of the spouse could begin with positive changes in the marriage. Don’t wait for your partner to agree, you can initiate the process of contacting a trained professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor.Do Not say to yourself that things will improve with passage of time. That’s the wrong ideation. The key to succeeding in your marriage is to sort out the differences at your earliest. What better time to begin doing this than now. Now is the time to find the right therapist; who will help you to connect with the person you married .You do not have to wait to be lucky in love .You make it your choice to be happy in your marriage, the love will flow thereafter. Get in touch with us today, and take control of your marital bliss. Let’s make it happen.

One last advice though, as far as possible stop discussing with your friends about your marital problems. You must not break the unwritten code of privacy of your marriage. Many a times it’s fatal to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It’s a mockery marriage’s privacy and it’s not the done thing.

You should come to us at Family Therapy India and we will help you resolve all issues of your marriage in more amicable manner .Find us @ http://www.familytherapyindia.com.

Email us @mansikpramarsh@gmail.com

Call: 09179383554,917324263087

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

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Roles Reversed – Taking Care of Parents

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As I was growing up, I had always missed one major factor of any child’s growth. That was the presence of grandparents into my life. I would often hear my parents talk about my grandparents in a very fond manner reminiscing about their life with them. I am currently in my mid sixties and I have experienced many different roles so far that being of a son, a brother, a husband, a father in law. I have been a mentor, an academician, a psychologist and a family therapist. During all these roles, l have noticed that the roles of elderly in the family have always been that of providing love affection and a sense of stability to the family. Yet of these roles I have had positive experiences and some negatives, and I have been grateful of the experiences that life had taught me in all these years. But again in the major years of my growth I could simply reminisce about my parents to my children as my parents had long been dead before my wife and my kids came into my world.

But the story I am discussing here is a little disturbing for many of us, though to some it may seem absolutely justified way of dealing with ageing elders of the family.

Santosh (name changed) contacted us for family counseling sessions after she had been physically beaten by her son after an argument and heated discussion on some family matters. As an old lady and mother of 30 years old married son (whom she has supported in all his endeavors of life) Santosh could hardly believe it that her son, her only dear son had beaten her so mercilessly. Her only fault being that she loved her son Shubham (name changed).She had simply advised him to not to create embarrassing moments for the family by doing things not expected of a person of his maturity.

Happy_older_couple_Phase4Photography_Fotolia

Similar is the story of Rajpal (name changed), who has been married to Binita (name changed).To his parents distress (who have so far been living with their son in their own house), Rajpal’s wife Binita does not want the ageing parents to live with them. She finds it very disturbing and difficult to establish a communication with her in laws she has been the lonely bird during all her pre marriage years. She had told, Rajpal that she would get married to him only on the condition that she would not be sharing her husband and their marital space with any one, be it his family or her family. She wants the parents-in- laws to be moved out of the house to someplace else .Rajpal should find another place for setting up their household as she needs complete privacy.

The youngsters in any society are today finding it difficult to play the role of a caregiver. They find it very stressful to take care of their elder members of their family. The stress of caring for parents and grandparents ultimately falls on the society and other welfare organizations. But not many such organizations exist in our country.

The country though is claiming to be the source of largest young population but the population of the elders and soon to be an elder too is proportionately very large.

In many cases it is seen the youngsters are willing to take up the responsibility of looking after their parents and other elders in the family, but their own commitment to their careers and jobs definitely make it difficult to do so. The youngsters in modern times want to be mobile not only within the country but they want to be globally competitive and hence the youngsters move away from home to charter new career paths for themselves.

old woman

The elders would never like to leave the places they have spent their lifetime in, at their old age .They feel comfortable living in their own cities and the homes in whichever they have spent the good part of their lives. With the children moving away, the empty nest syndrome hits every parent at this age coupled with the prospects of loss of occupations for the seniors. I can feel the same stress in many of my elderly clients as they talk about how they are dealing with their lives in their empty nests. I know how they find it difficult to cope up with their daily activities and failing health on account of age catching up with them.

old man

Mr. Shukla 70 years (name changed) had shifted to his son’s home, after Mrs. Shukla had passed away a year ago. Though he had a huge comfortable house with all facilities available, the family still preferred that Mr. Shukla moved to his son’s home in the nearby town. Mr. Shukla has ever since been suffering from anxiety and depression. He feels completely lost and rootless, in spite of being with his son and two grandkids.” I had a routine when she was there living with me .I would still have managed being alone in my own home where I have a kitchen garden my wife had so lovingly developed. I have a good collection of plants and trees in my backyard .But I find that loneliness creeps on me even after having done all that. I just do not have anyone to talk to now either in my home or in my son’s home. My son and his wife do take care of my needs but they have to lead their own lives and take care of their infant daughter. Most of my friends have gone to God’s home. Some of them have just shifted to their ward’s place. If only we could have a system that would take care of our short term and long term care needs, things would have been much brighter”.

old couple

The seniors would require someone to take care of their full time needs that can last for years. Such needs as cannot just be fulfilled by part time caretakers or by technology alone.

Not many commercial , government or non governmental agencies exist for providing such caregivers .There are some old age homes and few geriatric care commercial companies operating but these too do not serve the actual care giving purpose .Such agencies operate more on profit making terms for themselves and are very rarely subjected to any government audit for their services standards. We need to have more trained psychologists and family therapists well familiar with the geriatric care needs and the mindset to reach out to the needy.

We need to educate people on better self care in their old age and at the same time we need to have more social and community based institutional support for our growing population of old people.

old couples

The youngsters need to be trained as better caregivers for their elders and other senior members of their society. On the social front these young men and women should understand that the act of caregiving can be very rewarding. It enables them to build up their relationships to the generation that has just gone by and understand the nuances and cultural norms of the society and community. The love and affection that these seniors have always showered on their wards need to be returned by the family youngsters by taking care of the elders just when they need them in the far end of their lives.

We at Family Therapy India do hereby commit ourselves to take care of their needs with an empathetic human approach .Please reach us at http://www.familytherapyindia.com if you have any such caregiving needs for your elders in your family.

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance

Energising your Relationships

img-20190313-wa0000-444810066.jpgI love to go to a garden nearby to look at the plants growing and to savor their fragrant breeze full of oxygen and greens. And let me tell you I do love to speak to the plants in the morning as they open up their lovely flowers to the rising Sun and rebuild their energy which they gather from the sunlight .At home we do not have a lawn where we could grow these plants (we live in an apartment) . But on the top of the building where we have managed to rent a terrace we do have a few pots with plants. These plants have very tenderly been reared by my daughter with great care and love. I have seen the fresh flowers of white, red and yellow colors bloom to the plants virtually growing from little buds to the full blown beautiful flowers. Whenever I go the terrace I water them, talk to them and make sure they feel loved and taken care of by me and feel happy about this. I feel my conversing with my plants exactly is the reason these plants have grown from tiny saplings to the full grown plants adorning their smile into these flowers.
Similar to these little saplings and plants all kinds of relationships need constant communication, love, tender care, nurturing and sunshine of trust and admiration. If any of the same is missing our relationships tend to get withered away just as all those seedlings died which had not been attended to by me.
We would often take our relationships for granted once we have formed them. We allow the novelty and the freshness of each other’s company wear of, thinking, “now that we have each other where the hell can the person go”. It is easy to do that as you get busy with the daily grinds of life. But like the delicate plants that were given extra care by me to grow, each relationship too needs to be handled with full involvement and care.
In a relationship or in a friendship, we need to regularly spread the showers of mutual understanding, of admiration the nurture and love. Not all relationships may require you to go out of your way to attend to them. A periodic touch of getting to know about each person as to how he or she is living life ensures we do not feel cut off and likewise the other person too feels in touch. In the current age of internet and social media though people are always available online, yet the lack of personal touch and physical presence of good listeners is felt by one and all. People living under the same roof and sleeping in the common bedroom become strangers as they remain occupied in their own virtual world of WhatsApp.Facebook,instagram,twitter and other online social media apps.
I have many a times met such husbands and wives who do not have either time or an empathetic ear for each other to give at least a hearing to the partners when they need to talk. Being there with an empathetic attitude and listening with patience to the other’s point of view can go a long way in solving many compatibility issues the couples face in their marital life.
I am currently meeting and counseling quite a few numbers of families, where all family members have agreed to spend at least two evenings in a week on working days and every alternate weekend in a month together on family outing or family dinner and they have shown wonderful results in their understanding of each other. The faces of the family members more especially the younger members beam smiles as big as the rose in the picture above after they find their parents spending a quality time with them in such a positive manner.

fam din
Just as we need to take care of the plants, saplings and flowers an protect them from all kinds of weeds, strong winds, too much of sunshine, the same way we need to tend to the relationship by giving our empathetic, loving , and understanding physical presence and listening ears  to all family members.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance

What should you do if your marriage partner is having an affair ?

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Every marital relationship is based on mutual trust and understanding. If ever such a question as mentioned in the headline above arises, your immediate response obviously would be, “I would definitely divorce him/her”, and that being an overstatement, you might get agitated and say, “I shall confront him/her and then ask him either to leave the person or leave me”. It is obvious we cannot tolerate cheating of any kind in our life more so if it comes from a marital partner. Hence the response from many without second thought would be, “I will kick him/her out “.

But what will be your reaction, if I ask you to reconcile with your partner in spite of all the betrayal inflicted.

Some of you will say,”He is talking out of his hat,” but trust me there are many others who would want to reconcile despite being betrayed. They’re willing to forgive and believe they can mend the marriage and bring around their partner to see the reason and come back to the marital fold.

It is true that most of us just cannot accept the idea of forgiving a cheating spouse, but you never know how you’ll react to that situation until it happens to you,

pensive woman

It becomes an altogether a different story when you’re faced with the decision of ending a marital relationship and the consequences thereafter you have actually ended many years long held marriage . You have spent a good part of your life setting up the marital home and then all of a sudden the fairy tale dream turns into a nightmare. It can really be shattering for both partners involved and more so I’d say if you have had kids in this marriage.

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Some of the things that could affect the decision making to either hold on to marriage or move out of the relationship could be —living life without a father for the kids, living life without the kids, living life with lesser money, moving into parental home or moving into a smaller house, a different or lower standard of living, the possibility of looking for a new marriage partner again, and the prospects of your accepting the new life/new partner in your life. In totality it involves tearing up your years of brick by brick built home. Yes cheating is definitely unacceptable as it has undermined your value as a marriage partner and more so as a self respecting individual. But for many people it can be worth it to try to reconcile and rebuild from there. The decision to divorce is a punishment at both ends. It punishes the perpetrator and the victim both ie., The partner who has cheated gets that nightmare too.

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If you have already made up your mind and you are in the process of divorce proceedings, we will advise you to at least give it a good second thought and pay attention to the possibility of reconciliation through the family counseling. If you decide to save your marriage and reconcile your marital relationship, you may want to follow some of the following important steps: advice:

-Do not just spy on your spouse: just expression of doubts can trigger distrust in marriage and if you have asked someone to follow your partner this spells into total betrayal. You have to learn to be a leader of your marriage and not a follower. Your integrity is the key word to your being the leader in your marriage.

-Just hang on to your marriage. The affair your spouse has been indulging into could be a passing fad and may end soon. It had been observed that most of post marriage affairs end up in 9 to 12 months time. Though you do not want to live this torture for so long but it could be worth it to save your marriage for your children.

-Your kindness can become the key factor. You do not have to treat your spouse with disdain, hatred or anger. You can be more accepting, more accessing, more sympathetic and more tolerant towards your spouse during this period. The kind attitude shown by you will bring about a feeling of guilt, repentance sooner than later and act on the conscious of your spouse.

-Use your seductive charms to your advantages.Do Not just grieve over what has happened and neglect yourself. On the contrary now is the time to use your seductive powers and your sexualities to charm the person like the proverbial music played by a snake charmer. Do not withdraw yourself into a shell; rather be more outgoing and more inviting to your spouse.

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Soon you will notice the competition dying down and the vagrant partner returning back to marital fold. Even if it doesn’t happen soon do not give up, extend the rope a little more by your killing charms and soon the effect will take place.

Once the victory is yours, do not celebrate with a war cry. Maintain your dignity self respect and do not have a showdown with your spouse.You don’t want a spouse back with a dented confidence.Act natural and let the spouse gradually become so over a period of time.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance.

Should you really leave him or does he deserve another chance ?

cuplAmrit (name changed)had not believed her eyes and ears when she just discovered that her husband has been cheating on her for so many years.She found out about him accidentally on the internet when her friend pointed out to the similarities she noticed in her new instagram friend and Amrit’s husband,both the persons were no different from each other.She was shocked to see his pictures with another woman and a kid.Indeed it was her husband only. Amrit didn’t know what to do.She had become suicidal in her thoughts but the question of her three years old child kept her away from any such action.

She had been referred to us by the same friend.”I didn’t want to come for marital counseling “,said Amrit, “but now that I am here , I want to ask you a very pertinent question, “My husband has apologized to me for hundred of times.He promised to me that he has stopped his affair.He says he is committed to becoming a new man. My family too believes that he has changed. But my heart refuses to trust him .I feel I and my child {she has a three years old daughter } would be better off without an unfaithful husband. But my moot worry is whether I can really think of getting married again . Should I consider starting my life again with somebody unknown and new? Or should I really forgive my husband and become blind to his future clandestine affairs and trust he has improved now”.

upset cplThe pain of heartbreak, of loss of faith in her own worth and of loss of trust in her marital relationship is difficult to measure yet it is understandable. She has a lot to deal with in her life,in her marriage ,in her mental and emotional pain. To carry on the hurtful baggage, of her husband’s unfaithfulness, and a broken marriage to heal is definitely a tall order to ask for from any wife. The same is probably true in the case of Savi(name changed) whose husband unabashedly admitted to his affair when Savi had caught him red handed.

It is a very painful decision to make and decide to either sustain a marital storm of infidelity or to end and break a marriage when the hurt has been on account of complete loss of trust.

Is it possible to come back once the trust is broken? Is it possible to heal your family from the mental, emotional and social ordeal caused by infidelity of your partner? Does it make sense to just get out of the current relationship and start over with someone else?

Most victims of infidelity and marital cheating and /or other emotional abuse will prefer to believe that they’ll be safer in a new relationship .They definitely hope they will be happier with someone who doesn’t stray away from marriage or who doesn’t cheat on them or abuse them.

Yes it could be true .Such a wishful thinking is completely understandable . However, Sudha was quickly disappointed when in her case,her new husband proved to be much worse than her first partner.She had been abused by her husband of earlier marriage . It took her good five years to come out of it and get legal divorce .Her new husband who is a divorcee himself continues maintaining relationship with his earlier wife ,despite all objections from Sudha. His statement is ,”I feel responsible for her now that she has been wronged by me”.

In the case of Sudha(name changed) above, it appears that her husband really changed for his first wife where he felt responsible for her after having divorced her.But this certainly causes lots of hurt to Sudha.

I’ve seen husbands transforming themselves and changing their attitude towards marriage and family after getting the “I want a divorce” notice from their wives . This wake up call opens their eyes to the possibility of their losing the existing family. But mere words may not be enough .The couple needs to undergo marriage counseling and family therapy to ensure spouse learns the values of family ,love ,affection and fidelity.Having been awakened to the possibility of divorce and subsequent marital therapy sessions a spouse is less vulnerable to make the same mistake again and lose it all.

According to a survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States admit having been unfaithful sometimes or the other . Another research findings indicate the probability of cheating by partners in marriage closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men.The statistics may not be much different in India given the spread of social media in all sections of society and the access to better online communication on these platforms.

I was not sure how Amrit’s husband’s promises will hold till he falls into another affair. What If Amrit gave him another chance,on my advise, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family and daughter? But our persistence and the couple’s regularity and sincerity in attending all sessions of couple’s counseling did help bring about better understanding amongst the partners.Says Amrit,”your sessions have been very helpful.Even I understood where I had to make amends in my relationship and attitude towards our marriage.And as for my husband, he is a completely different man now with complete sense of loyalty love and affection towards me and our daughter “.

Yes I’m aware that this could be a rare case where a husband truly transformed himself and proved to his family that he’s changed.

crossroads cplBut If partners were to leave her husbands or the other way around,the very concept of marriage may have to be given a new meaning by the society.It has been my belief that a family is a place where a human can be educated,reformed and brought back with right counseling and marital therapy.Not that I would recommend cheating in this sacred relationship but our counseling and family therapy can ensure that this sort of transgressions would never happen to her again.

But as I had mentioned in my one of write-ups earlier, many wives continue suffering abuse in relationship for years and years .When they wake up to seek amends to the marriage and expect their spouses to mend their ways, it becomes too late.

The best advise here could be ,”to keep an eye on your spouse and read the signs of infidelity”,but it is not the intention of this writer to make a family a detective agency.

Yes it’s true an erring spouse has made serious mistake,but it is also true that the warning of a divorce and taking the kids away with you could be a very harsh wake up call for him to mend his waywardness and improve for future. He can become a better spouse better than anyone else not known and coming as a stranger into your and your children’s life.

We will help you with our counseling and family therapy to develop fulfilling and complete relationships between the two of you .

There is a very strong possibility that the erring spouse who had been disrespecting the marital relationship will now become very keen to transform it; into true love based marriage.

divorcedIn situation to the contrary here the wife will have a choice. She can let her husband go and she can get out of the marriage. Her husband most likely will marry another woman and treat her like a queen. He will leave you saddled with the kids that you had from him (like it has happened to Divya (name changed) whose husband left her high and dry with a two years old child ,after their divorce.

The question obviously is: how do you heal from your hurt and ordeal? How do you forgive? How do you get to the head-space where you’re able to give your spouse another chance? These are the questions we help you find answer to in our Family Therapy and Marriage counseling sessions .

Come and discuss with us how to proceed.

You take the first step today and find the much needed happiness by calling on us @9179383554 or write to us @ mansikpramarsh@gmail.com

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

logo family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance