No one’s perfect. We hear this all the time, so why do we still foolishly believe that our spouses need to be perfect themselves? How do we get to a place of loving our imperfect spouse and marriage?
I think it’s natural for us to judge others while turning a blind eye to our own negative qualities. In no way do our natural tendencies justify our doing this.
At times when I find myself focusing on my husband’s faults or imperfections I like to remind myself that I’ve got imperfections. They may not be the same imperfections, but I certainly have them. I also like to remember why I married him in the first place. When I think about this I realize that he’s still that same guy and that I just let myself get carried away by something that isn’t that important. He is what is important and our marriage is important, not some behavior that I’ve labeled a fault or flaw. Remembering this helps me nag him less and return my focus back to myself.
It is unfair to expect our spouse to change when we are unwilling to change as well. We need to focus on changing ourselves before we try to change our spouse. This isn’t to say that spouses shouldn’t change, but that we should begin with ourselves. A good spouse will follow our lead and feel motivated by our positive changes to make some of their own. Change takes time and I believe that a willingness or desire and trying are enough temporarily. This is assuming of course that we are further than we were in the past and continue to move forward, even if it isn’t drastic.
Don’t get hung up on your spouse’s imperfections! Don’t they have good qualities as well? Don’t their positive qualities outweigh or outnumber their bad ones? If they have good ones, and I must believe they have good ones, then focus on these. Remember their good qualities when you become stuck on their one bad one. Be thankful for their good qualities and that they are trying.
I think it can be frustrating to hear only complaints or requests for changes from our spouse. We want to hear the good, when we feel like we are trying to do good in life and in our marriage. It can be damaging to a spouse or their relationship if their spouse fails to notice their efforts and continually brings up their faults. This is why it is important to see the good and show gratitude, as well as communicate it to our spouse.
Accept your spouse. They may not be perfect, but neither are you. You married a packaged deal, so learn to take the good with the bad. Don’t be so quick to assume that you’d be happier if your spouse was the perfect package. Think about it! If you had the perfect spouse wouldn’t this make you unhappy because you would know that you are not perfect? Perfection is a lot to measure up to, so let us be accepting of our spouse’s imperfections.
Be happy with your spouse. Overall how would you describe your spouse? Are they a good, decent, and likeable person? If so and you’re feeling unsatisfied in your choice of a spouse, then you may be in need of some self reflection and an attitude change. Don’t allow yourself to compare them to other people. Comparison in marriage is never a good idea. You either end up feeling superior to other couples or lowering your marital satisfaction, neither is a good result.
Forgive your spouse. When your spouse does or says something that might unintentionally offend others choose to not be offended. How often do you say or do something to your spouse that is misinterpreted or you regret later? I know that for me it is often. I’d like to believe that my husband doesn’t hold everything I’ve done wrong against me, so I need to be willing to do the same for him.
Let go of grudges. Holding grudges will never help you create more joy and happiness in your marriage. Grudges harm marriages and are in no way romantic, appealing, or attractive, so avoid grudges as often as they come up.
Ultimately, you need to make unconditional love a priority in your marriage. Love your imperfect spouse! Don’t put a limit or condition on the love you give your spouse. Remember your marriage covenants and honor them. Practice forgiveness, if needed.
Decide how you will move forward and what you would like to change. Remember you can only control and change yourself. So, are you going to worry about your spouse or YOU?
1. Write down what you love about your spouse or why you are thankful for your spouse. Then share what you’ve written down with your spouse.
2. Write down one of your own imperfections that you would like to change or work on. Feel free to keep this private or share what you’ve written down with your spouse. Spend the next week becoming more aware of this imperfection and stopping it from harming your marriage.