Are You a More Perfectionistic or Realistic Spouse? Take the Quiz!

Realistic Spouse - Discover 6 Steps for Becoming More Realistic as a Spouse, as well as taking a quiz to see if you are more perfectionistic or realistic. Click the link to find out now! #messymarriage #realisticspouse #realisticmarriage #Bibleverses #perfectionisticspouse #perfectionism

My husband and I are both perfectionists—meaning we have double trouble when it comes to being realistic in our marriage.

No wonder we had a very messy start and still dip into messy moments more often than I’d like to admit! 😉

Realistic Spouse - Discover 6 Steps for Becoming More Realistic as a Spouse, as well as taking a quiz to see if you are more perfectionistic or realistic. Click the link to find out now! #messymarriage #realisticspouse #realisticmarriage #Bibleverses #perfectionisticspouse #perfectionism

And maybe, if you’re a perfectionist like us, you chant these words to yourself …

“I am able to do all things …”

But somehow trail off when it comes to adding the most important clause to this biblical principle found in Philippians 4:13 …

“through him who strengthens me.” 

Yes, God is the remedy for our unrealistic expectations.

But just how can we tap into His strength instead of our own?

Before we dive in, allow me to start off by sharing some examples of unrealistic expectations.

We might be unrealistic when we expect our mates to …

  • Apologize in the heat of the moment or even soon after
  • Recognize their fault when deep wounds blind their view
  • Focus on their fault when we’re not focusing on ours first
  • Respond with kindness toward us when we’ve shown harshness or coldness to them
  • Cooperate with us when they’re tired, wounded, fearful, insecure, etc.
  • Never disagree with us or turn us down
  • Yield to a boundary we’ve set the first or even second time we set it with them
  • Read our minds—following through on meeting that unspoken expectation
  • Want sex as much as we do, no matter the wounds of their past or current physical challenges
  • Pursue God as much as we do, no matter their past or where they stand with God now

Do any of these resonate with you? Sadly, they do with me!

6 Steps to Becoming a More Realistic Spouse 

1. Remember that expecting perfection leads to discouragement.

Not only will your mate grow discouraged by your relentless pursuit of perfection, but you will also grow discouraged by the burden of cracking the whip! 😉

No one on earth can shoulder the weight of perfectionism. Doing so actually weakens and weighs us down, as well as our mates and marriages. But when we strive to be realistic with them, it serves to strengthen our marriage!

So keep in mind this verse when you’re tempted to be unrealistic,

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Luke 6:31

Living out this verse brings balance, since we all want to be treated fairly and with a realistic perspective.

2. Know, accept and communicate your limitations.

In the early days of my marriage, I did not do this—not the knowing, accepting or communicating! 😉

I feared looking realistically at myself, believing it might mean I was unlovable or not worthwhile. So I remained in denial whenever I hurt my spouse. Or I kept the secret of my sin to myself, rather than openly admitting it to my husband. Though the truth was undeniable, in most cases!

When I finally learned to admit my failures to him, it broke down the barriers that kept me from connecting fully with him.

We must learn to embrace this biblical truth …

“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”  James 3:2

James was being rather facetious about being perfect here. The only one who is perfect is God! I hate to burst your bubble, but you aren’t Him!

The sooner you accept this harsh reality of your humanity, the sooner you’ll be able to bridge the divide your unrealistic expectations have created in your marriage.

3. Know, accept and forgive your mate’s limitations.

When we don’t accept our own frailties, failures and even idiosyncrasies, it makes it harder to accept our mate’s issues. We hold them up to the same unrealistic standard that we hold for ourselves. Or worse, we make their personality quirks our pet project and/or fodder for frustration.

Notice that this key step ALSO involves forgiving our mates, not just accepting them. And the only way to do that is through the empowerment and mercy of God!

Which leads to my next point …

4. Surrender your challenges to God.

If forgiving your mate is a challenge, don’t let the enormity of it paralyze you. Surrender that challenge to God who can carry the weight.

Surrendering is a rather abstract concept. But Jesus demonstrated and illustrated this perfectly for us. At one very poignant and powerful moment, the night before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed …

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:39

[bctt tweet=”We surrender when we lay down what we hope for and want, at God’s feet—seeking His good and perfect will be done.  #surrendertoGod #firststep” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

That’s the first step toward becoming realistic in your marriage. Bear in mind, it’s a step that you will need to repeat all.the.time!

5. Rely on God’s strength to work in each unrealistic task.

In this step, we look to God for the strength to deal with any impossible task in our marriages and lives, rather than relying on ourselves.

A quick way to know if you’re not relying on God is identifying whether you’re tired, frustrated and/or angry with your mate.

However, if you feel a peace about a challenging aspect of your mate’s attitude and/or behavior, then you’re probably trusting God with it.

Another sign that you’re trusting is when you show uncharacteristic love, mercy and/or patience with your mate. God is the Author of and power behind that amazing grace on display! Thank Him for it!

6. Prayerfully examine your motives and situation regularly.

This is one of the best ways to bring a realistic focus to your heart and marriage. If you do none of the others I’ve suggested so far, make this one your aim!

The following Scripture is one that I have regularly used as my template for self-examination …

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24  

Whenever I feel confused or angry about a situation, in particular with my spouse, I pray this simple Psalm.

[bctt tweet=”Praying this Psalm invites God to reveal the ways that I’ve sinned against my mate. And God faithfully reveals what I’ve overlooked or wanted to ignore. Find out what it is at MM! #Scriptureprayer” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Then I am able to take responsibility by apologizing and adjusting my attitude to a more realistic and gracious one moving forward.

If you don’t take the sins and faults in your life seriously like this, then you’ll harbor unrealistic expectations, whether you’re a perfectionist or not. It’s just the natural entropy and gradual decline that occurs without this vigilant approach.

[bctt tweet=”Take a quiz that will show you how perfectionistic or realistic you are as a spouse. Then follow the 6 keys found at MM to become more realistic in your marriage! #messymarriage #realisticspouse” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Interested in the quiz to see how perfectionistic or realistic you are as a mate? Click here to download it—being sure to be honest when you take it! Also, if you’d like a prayer that can help you articulate your desire for a more realistic approach to your life and marriage, then be sure to click on the image below to download this as a printable!

Realistic Spouse Prayer - Print out and pray this prayer if you want to be more realistic rather than perfectionistic as a spouse. Click to find the free pdf on MM! #printables #prayerprintable #marriageprayer #realisticspouse #perfectionisticspouse #messymarriage

Click the link to read more posts in “The Spouse I Want to Be” series. And if you’re confused about how to move through a process of forgiveness, be sure to subscribe to my blog! I offer an e-book detailing the steps of forgiveness and my Subscriber Library holds lots of tools for working through offenses in life and marriage.

Be sure to come back next week too when I’ll be doing a review and giveaway of Jim Burn’s latest book, Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity, whether to win the book for yourself or to give to your boundary-busting parents and/or in-laws! Lol! 😉


Which of the six keys do you need to work on the most in your life and marriage?


Dare to share what your score was on the quiz? More perfectionistic or realistic?


Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayEncouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementMoments of HopeGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday


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30 responses to “Are You a More Perfectionistic or Realistic Spouse? Take the Quiz!”

  1. You give some great advice here Beth, I think it comes down to always considering the other. Which is Jesus teaching…When a couple does this it brings great blessing.


    1. So true, Jennifer! Jesus truly was and is the standard for every character quality in marriage and life! Thanks for stopping by to encourage me!


  2. I’m working on this, and I really do see how I brought a lot of perfectionism into our marriage. Gratitude has been the key to realism for me.


    1. That’s a good point, Michele. When we are perfectionistic we are also saying we’re not happy with “average” responses from our mates. So gratitude surely pulls us back to a healthy, realistic and generous attitude instead! Thanks for sharing that important point, my friend!


  3. Great post, Beth, though personally, I’m long past being concerned with perfectionism.

    Survival, yeah.

    The only thing I can embrace
    is this bloody war
    and all the strength I have to face
    the need to now endure.
    I don’t care what anyone says
    or does, or thinks of me,
    for every day my body pays
    in dire humility.
    I long for the matrix of the norm
    but that’s forever gone.
    I have lost life’s old sweet form
    and the days go on and on.
    Still, cancer can’t take me by flood
    ’cause I’m washed clean in His Holy Blood.


    1. Yes, I bet that’s not even on your radar these days, Andrew, nor should it be! I really am amazed at how you’ve waxed poetic in these pain-filled days. It’s like your heart is stirring up something tender inside you that God is using to bless the rest of us with. You amaze me, my friend!


  4. Beth, you always share such great wisdom in your posts. At the end of this one you mentioned, “whether you are a perfectionist or not” I had already thought to myself, this is great even if you are not a perfectionist, because I’m not. I think the thing that is interesting is that even if we’re not we still can have the expectation that our spouse should be a perfectionist with us!! This is such an unfair expectation that I admit I can be guilty of many times. Thanks for reminding me of a few things and giving me even new things to watch out for!!


    1. I’m so glad you found it interesting and helpful, April, even if you’re not a perfectionist. I think we all dabble at times with perfectionistic expectations, even if we are not perfectionists ourselves. I think it’s that hunger for God’s perfect that He placed in our hearts long ago. Thank you for stopping by to join the conversation and to encourage me, my friend!


  5. Great post Beth! I failed the quiz. LOL! Thank God for his grace and for a patient and loving husband. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us at Blessing Bloggers. I tweeted!


    1. How funny, Tiffiney! But I’m hoping that with the insight this quiz unearths, we’re all in a better position than we were before we took it! 😉

      I’m so glad to hear you sing the praises of you hubby! That’s wonderful to hear! Thanks for coming by and hugs to you, my friend!


  6. Beth!! I am working my way out of so many of these. I am a recovering perfectionist as God ever so politely pointsout my own flaws. This, per usual, is an excellent way to approach marriage. May God continue to lead us and guide us as we do the best we can.


    1. Yes, I am too–recovering, that is. And like you, God points out my faults and flaws in the nicest and most compassionate of ways. What would we do without Him? Likely destroy our marriages while trying to make them perfect! Lol! Thanks for stopping by to encourage me, Brittany! Hugs to you!


  7. Perfectionism is definitely a challenge for me at times so this is great advice! It is important to remember to depend on God rather than to try to do it all in our own strength.


    1. Thank you, Lesley! I think it’s a common problem, especially for other bloggers. We typically are high-achievers in all areas of our lives, so it makes sense that we would let that impact our marriages as well. Thanks for stopping by to encourage me and join the conversation, my friend!


  8. Beth, this was great as always! Your post really reminded me of the book, “When 2 Sinners Say I Do”. I can not remember the name of the author, sorry. It transformed my marriage and I still recommend it to everyone. I am pinning and sharing your post!


    1. I love that comparison, Angela, because that’s one of my favorite marriage books too! How cool that you think that! You made my day! And btw, it’s Dave Harvey! Thank you for stopping by to say that and encourage me, my friend!


  9. Such wise advise, Beth! The older I get (and the closer to God I get), the more I am able to recognize my own faults, confess them, and try to change them. Pinning and sharing this!


    1. Thank you, Anita! Yes, that’s the nice trade-off for our bodies and faces breaking down–we get wiser and more self-aware. At least, most of us do. Thank you for sharing and coming by to encourage!


  10. Wow! Such GREAT advice and wisdom you given to us here, Beth! Thank you for sharing! God bless you!


    1. Thank you for your enthusiastic encouragement, Tai! I’m so glad you stopped by and let me know you found it to be helpful!


  11. Love this, Beth! I struggle with perfectionism in everyday life, and not carrying it into my marriage in a negative way is an ongoing struggle. Thanks for these practical points today!


    1. Yes, Stacey, I think it’s a common problem for most Christian women, and then add to it, for those who are bloggers! We always strive for excellence and, therefore, dance dangerously close toward perfectionism every day. I think it’s a good think to strive for excellence, but we probably need to leave the perfection part up to our perfect God who refines our character into a shining reflection of His perfect Son day after day. Thank you for coming by to encourage me, friend!


  12. Yeah, it’s so easy to do, Crystal. We see God doing amazing things in and through us and somehow decide it’s really our power that overcomes the deficit the next time a challenge comes our way! I constantly find myself vacillating between faith and self-reliance. Surrendering to God is a great one to focus on moving forward. We all can learn to better lay down our human efforts and trust Him to work in and through us! Thanks for the kind words. I hope you do look for those indicators. They remind me every single time when I’m getting out of whack. Hugs to you!


  13. I have always leaned toward perfectionism in general, but when it comes to relationships, I also do the same. I want to be understood but am not always forthcoming in sharing openly to help the other person. It’s an area I’ve been working on and that God has been working on in me. It all has to do with my identity and what I believe about myself. I am a work in progress for sure.


  14. Thanks so much for your honesty Beth. Both my husband and we’re definitely both perfectionistic. We even wanted to get counseling perfectly. Oh how thankful I am He showed us reality! I am challenged by #6 – to
    Keep examining my motives.


  15. Wonderful advice! I am most definitely NOT a perfectionist in any sense of the word. My fault lies if heading too far in the other direction: I sometimes think “good enough” when I really shouldn’t. Thank you for this information. I will be thinking about it for a long time!


  16. Beth, what a powerful, life-changing post! I can identify with so many of the issues you discussed. Some I have learned to do much better with, but … alas … some are still under construction. LOL


  17. What a powerful post ! We can push away our spouses in so many ways because of how we want them to be based on our expectations .

    I love your insights on marriage so very much . You are a blessing to this online ministry.


  18. Beth, this stepped on my toes, which is a good thing. I’ve learned my tendencies toward perfectionism are a protection mechanism to limit the hurt by keeping control. Needless to say, it doesn’t play out well for our spouse or our marriage. Your quiz is very revealing, even when we think we’ve made great progress…we are all such a work in progress and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continually bring these challenging areas of our lives to the One who doesn’t require perfection.


  19. To enjoy your relationship after going through a break, you have to control it. Love spell is the answer with the help of Dr Ekpen you have nothing to worry about contact him today via email at ekpentemple @ gmail. com your nightmares in your relationship will be over once and for all.


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