Do you ever feel like you can never satisfy your husband because he expects perfection from you?
Are you constantly being challenged by your wife to do something her way, and in her opinion, the only right way?
Is your marriage beginning to feel like a competition with only one winner?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might be married to or, perhaps, be “the perfectionist” spouse in your marriage.
Heaven help you if you’re like me and my guy, where you’re both perfectionists!
The perfectionist spouse thinks he/she is making things better by striving for perfection in every way. But this strategy is counter-productive. The perfectionist spouse often makes a marriage messier and more flawed by his/her continual efforts to achieve perfection.
Being married to a perfectionist feels, at the very least, draining and, over time, can feel overwhelming and defeating.
But being married to someone who isn’t achieving your ideal standard also comes with its challenges. You start out feeling frustrated and, in no time, begin to feel resentful, perhaps even growing to the point of hopelessness.
What’s even more ironic here is that you probably were drawn to your spouse because of some very positive perfectionist traits, like the fact that your mate is …
- A good leader/manager
So how do you deal with your spouse’s incessant need for perfection?
Or what if you’re the one driving your spouse crazy with all of your rules and “oughts”?
5 Ways to Move Toward Acceptance Rather Than Perfection
1. Become more aware and convinced of how God views you and your spouse.
If you stick to your human logic or the world’s perspective, you’ll continue to think your only as good and worthwhile as your last achievement. But if you look to God’s word, you’ll see that the good any of us try to do in and of ourselves is worth nothing compared to Christ’s goodness.
Paradoxically, He is the PERFECT standard we need to put ourselves up against, if we want to correct our imperfect view of each other or ourselves.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10
When we truly receive this truth, we are able to view our mates as the flawed and sinful humans that we all are. Striving for perfection gets replaced with trust in the one who is perfect, Jesus Christ!
2. Extend to your mate the same grace and forgiveness Jesus has extended to you.
“For by the grace given me I say to everyone one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
This means when your husband is making you crazy with his nit-picky expectations, you can look to God to help you extend His grace to him.
And when your wife is on a fault-finding rampage, you can find the power to forgive and let her momentary criticism roll off your back. That’s because you’re ultimately letting it roll off Jesus’ back—the One whose back was scourged for both of your sakes.
3. Prayerfully evaluate how you’re coming across in tension-filled moments of marriage.
A lot of the time my husband and I are oblivious to how high our standards are coming across to each other. In those moments, neither one of us should try to convince the other of what we personally see. Instead, that’s the time for me (and hopefully my husband too) to stop and go to a private place to pray.
In moments like these, God has shown me time after time the truth of my own attitude. That’s when it’s always best to confess my sins to the Lord and then move bravely and graciously back toward my husband again.
4. Apologize to your mate for your perfectionistic and unrealistic attitudes and actions.
Over the years, I’ve learned that confessing to my spouse never really feels comfortable or right while I’m doing it. But it sure does make things feel right the moment the words fall from my lips! It’s like Jesus takes the heavy weight of guilt and sin off my shoulders the moment I confess and apologize to my spouse.
If you haven’t already made this your habit, you should give it a try!
5. Forgive your spouse for being critical and expecting perfection from you.
This is where we circle back to #1. After all, how can you withhold forgiveness from your spouse when Christ has so generously and undeservedly extended forgiveness to you?
This means forgiving our spouses even when they don’t see how perfectionistic they are being with us. It also means forgiving them when they are completely unwilling to admit to us their faults. We must leave our mates them in Christ’s capable hands to convict. Our response should be to show kindness and love. And …
[bctt tweet=”We should focus on the good that is present in the lives of our spouses, rather than becoming bitter because of the bad we’re momentarily experiencing. Head to MM to find out more about this choice!” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
What about you? Are you a perfectionist or married to one?
How do you positively or negatively deal with the struggles that come with perfectionism?
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