The desire to be perfect or to have a perfect mate and marriage is something I see a lot in the couples I counsel, as well as in the marriages of my friends. We all want things to go smoothly and believe the lie that aiming for perfection will bring us to a blissful state. However, in my experience, the more I try to pursue perfection in life and marriage, the more I invariably miss the mark and find myself discouraged and discontent.
Ironically, it’s really easy to spot our mate’s perfectionism, but not so easy to see it in our own lives. Allow me to pose some questions that might bring this tendency into clearer focus for us all.
- Do you struggle with feeling like you can never satisfy your spouse?
- Do you tend to get into arguments with your mate over who’s right or how something should be done?
- Do you ever feel like you’re in competition with your spouse?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you might be married to or, even worse, “be the perfectionist” spouse in your marriage.
Heaven help you if you are like me—where both you and your spouse are perfectionists! In my marriage, our striving for perfection has caused more failures, especially in our efforts to communicate, than I can begin to tell you. It has left us feeling emotionally insecure—both when we’ve individually blown it, and when we’ve collectively caused a marriage meltdown.
Maybe you’re discouraged because your mate is the perfectionist who can’t accept you as you are. If you’re a perfectionist yourself, you’ve most likely felt the frustration and disappointment of a mate who has regularly failed to achieve your ideal standard.