Do you have a perfect marriage? Of course not. We all know that perfect marriages don’t exist.
Are you acting like they do, though? Or do you believe your marriage should be the exception to that rule?
What would a perfect marriage even look like? 🤷
In most cases, when people picture a perfect marriage, they see a relationship where their spouse is doing everything you want and need them to do in everyday situations.
Do you see that in your marriage? Honestly?
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Since we are all imperfect people, your spouse stands absolutely no chance of meeting that expectation, meaning your marriage is less than perfect. And less than perfect stresses people out.
Here are some real-life reasons why stressing over having a perfect marriage is just going to lead to frustration and a weak connection between you and your spouse.
#1 Your spouse is human
Let’s start easy here. Your marriage can’t be perfect because your spouse gets hungry. And tired. And sick. All of these are reasons to get cranky, and that short temper can cause them to say things they may not mean, or react to your imperfections with a little less grace than they might typically use.
Accept that your spouse will have off days, just like you do. Until our bodies are perfect (not until Heaven), we will not be immune to these kinds of problems. So, don’t take these kinds of days personally. It’s probably not about you anyway.
Recognize imperfection as a byproduct of being a human being, and stop thinking of it as a deal-breaker in a relationship.
#2 Marriage creates problems
Marriage doesn’t solve all our problems. In fact, it creates new ones. As you move on through different seasons in your relationship, your spouse will change. Life will throw situations at you that you will need to face differently than you would before you were married.
You have to think of yourself as part of a “we” and not just a “me.” Developing this mindset is a difficult adjustment for some people. Making concessions is part of being in a long-term relationship, and in a healthy marriage, both people are willing to do that.
Look at each problem you face as a way to learn more about yourself, your spouse, and God, instead of a reason why your marriage isn’t perfect.
#3 Marriage is boring
When you first got married, you entered the infamous “Honeymoon Stage.” Your brain is flooding with hormones, and feelings of intimacy and passion are at an all-time high.
But your brain’s reward and pleasure centers don’t react as easily as time passes. It’s like anything else in our lives. You get bored with your job and want to move on. The same haircut gets boring, and the restaurant you loved and visited often begins to feel bland.
It’s completely normal to have those initial “I’m in love” feelings fade. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your spouse anymore. It just means that it takes more intentionality to keep love front and center in your relationship.
It’s ok for a marriage to go through highs and lows. It’s normal. All marriages do that. Just because you don’t “feel” all the emotions like you used to doesn’t mean your marriage is broken. It’s just imperfect, and that’s fine.
#4 Your spouse will make mistakes
Perfect marriages are between two perfect people who never make mistakes, never slip into sin, or treat anyone poorly. That’s not you, nor is it your spouse.
We are all sinful and prone to sin and mistakes. Jesus forgives us all for that. Since that is true, you must forgive your spouse for mistakes they make, even if they never come out and directly ask for forgiveness.
Asking you to forgive your spouse when they sin doesn’t mean we should just ignore things that hurt us or our marriages. It’s not an excuse to let your spouse continue to sin against you. But if you remember that you are just as prone to sin as they are, you can accept that marriage can’t be perfect since the people in it are not.
#5 Your spouse cannot make you happy
When you ask your partner to meet all your needs, they will fail. No human being can meet all the wishes and desires of another person. Sitting back and expecting that to happen will make you miserable.
On the flip side, if you focus your attention more on meeting your spouse’s needs than on having your own expectations met, you will actually be happier, as long as you allow yourself to be.
You are ultimately responsible for your happiness. No one, including your partner, can make you happy if you don’t want to be.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. If you determine that you will respond to what happens in your marriage Biblically, you will be more content and satisfied with your imperfect marriage.
#6 Men and women are different
News Flash! This seems obvious, but many of us look at our spouse’s reactions to the things that happen and expect them to react the way we would.
Men and women are different in more ways than you can see. Some of the most important differences are in the brain. Our minds work differently. Mark Gungor compares men’s brains to a stack of boxes and women’s brains to spaghetti.
You can find out more about it by watching his explanation here: Men’s Brains and Women’s Brains with Mark Gungor. Once you do, you’ll be able to discern why your husband doesn’t seem to be reacting enough, or your wife seems to be reacting way too much! (It’s also hilarious!)
When we accept and try to understand the God-created differences between the sexes, we will be better able to give up our own ideas of “perfect.”
Accepting that you have an imperfect marriage is not an excuse for ongoing poor behavior. It doesn’t mean overlooking sin or allowing yourself to be abused. That’s not what God wants from you.
Instead, we should strive to make our marriage more perfect every day. Intentionally work to move your marriage forward.
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48
Perfection in marriage and as individuals won’t happen here on earth. Our flesh gets in the way. However, we should be continually striving to be perfect like Jesus.
If you recognize that your marriage is not moving forward and may actually be slipping backward, where do you start first? Where should you put the most effort into your prayers for and actions in your marriage?
Check out our new “Marriage Killer Quiz!” It will help you identify your most prevalent mindset that holds your marriage back.
After you take the quiz, if you would like some help to start creating a less frustrating and fulfilling marriage, marriage coaching may be for you.
We help you create a new and improved marriage through results-focused coaching without talking for hours about feelings, placing blame, focusing on the past, or having to admit you’re broken. Compare it to sports coaching. Coaches don’t focus on the mistakes each individual player made during a game. Instead, they use those as a learning tool for the next game. Your mistakes should teach you, not shame you.
Coaching isn’t a crisis intervention. Nor is it a substitute for psychotherapy or advice from a professional such as an attorney, accountant, physician, etc. But, if you know your marriage could be a lot better and you’re ready to make that happen, it’s an excellent time for you to hire a coach.
Sign up for a free 45-minute marriage assessment to see the first steps you can take to put your marriage on a path to success. We’d love to help you get started!
There’s also a great book by Mark and Jill Savage called No More Perfect Marriages that you may find useful if you are struggling with perfectionism in your marriage. I especially love chapter 3 “Pick Up Your God-Tools.”