Are you a perfectionist? Is your spouse? Although perfectionists tend to pride themselves on their meticulousness and attention to detail, those of us who experience perfectionism often find that the people around us don’t necessarily uphold our ideals. And in a marriage, perfectionistic tendencies can create major strain.
Today, we’re breaking down a few reasons why it’s time to let go of perfectionism in your marriage. Let’s dive right in.
Expecting perfection in one or more areas of life and marriage sets us up for unnecessary stress. Stress, in turn, can negatively impact our health. It also strains our closest relationships–especially our marriages.
Modern life is stressful enough as it is, especially during uncertain times. What couples need right now is to focus on de-stressing, not piling more on. If you find yourself agonizing over things, down to the tiniest details, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re worried about.
A great exercise is to ask yourself whether this issue is going to matter in a week, a month, or a year. Then, adjust your perspective accordingly.
Perfectionism makes us controlling–whether or not we want to admit that. When we want things just-so, that naturally extends to the people around us. Suddenly, we are concerned with whether those people are doing things our way, too.
When we’re worried about others executing on tasks and responsibilities in a specific way, we become controlling of their methods and their behaviors. And when we act like control freaks, that makes the people we love resent us. That’s not a dynamic you want in your marriage. You and your spouse will be dealing with long-term problems if you’re hung up on perfectionism now.
Remember, perfectionism is relative. Your idea of perfect might not be someone else’s. In fact, your perfect might not be perfect at all–it may just be a reflection of your personal preferences.
If we’re perfectionists, and we’re stressed and over-controlling, we also tend to form unrealistic expectations for the people around us. Then, if they don’t meet those expectations, we resent them. Eventually, our relationships break down under the strain.
Try this: evaluate the expectations you have for your spouse. Are these expectations realistic? Are there some that can be adjusted, relaxed, or let go of altogether? Letting go of certain expectations can lift a tremendous amount of strain and pressure from your relationship.
If you and your spouse need help navigating perfectionist habits, check out our book, The Control Freak. It’s a great resource to help you get started addressing your perfectionism.