It’s not good enough, so why bother

November 16, 2011

in Communication, Seeing Clearly, Understanding Her

Pink level © Maspi | Dreamstime.com

Do you ever feel you can’t do something up to the standard you bride expects? Or, maybe you know you could reach her standard if you worked at it, but not as fast as she expects you to reach it. Maybe you could do it to her standard now, but it would take an unreasonable amount of time and/or effort. For any of these, a natural reaction is just giving up. If you cannot please her, why even try?

While not doing it at all is a natural reaction, it is not a good one. Assuming you have talked about her standard, and she has not been willing to bend, you need a third alternative. The best way to deal with something like this is to decide what a reasonable standard is and do that, regardless of how she reacts. If she complains, tell her you feel you cannot should not do it to her standard, or that you are working at it and will get better with time. Let her know you love her and care about how she wants things done, but in this area (or areas, it is likely more than one) you don’t feel her standard is reasonable.

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6 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Debi - It is interesting to know you now, as you are now, and to hear you talk (so openly, thanks for that) about how you used to be. What a joy to see how God has made you more and more what He wanted you to be, and to hear how it has blessed you, your husband, your family, and so many more. And, props to Tom for being a godly man who was able to love and give with humility while God had his way with you! It takes a wise spouse to get out of the way and let God work.

Debi - The Romantic Vineyard
Debi - The Romantic Vineyard

Having been the perfectionist wife at one time, this post makes me sad to remember who I was apart from the grace of God. My advice would be to address the issue with your wife, but PRAY long and hard before you do. Unless God opens her eyes to see her pride and perfectionistic ways she will never change. And your reproof will only stir the pot. I was a proud wife who felt superior in many ways to my husband - ugh! It pains me to write that sentence. When God intervened and showed me who I really was and what an amazing husband He had provided for me, I was literally undone. This issue is pivotal in crossing the bridge from an "ok" marriage to an "outstanding marriage." Humility expressed by both the husband and the wife is the BEST way to a great marriage. "Let no one think more highly of themselves, but let each regard the other as more important..." (Bible verse my translation.)

Bill
Bill

I learned a long time ago that it was less painful to be raked over the coals for not doing something than to face the scolding and rejection of being raked over the coals for not doing it well enough. Every married couple should get some sort of counseling about once a year just to nip these sorts of things in the bud.

Marv
Marv

This one hit home. In 22 years of marriage my bride has told me I did 4 maybe 5 things well. I ususally don't park in the right spot, don't stain the wood right, or put it up right, buy her the right gift, etc., etc. etc. She is a wonderful bride in many ways, but a perfectionist married to an imperfect man. I'll give this a try.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Bill - I never thought of it that way, but I can certainly see how it would become a reality. That means the over demanding person is actually encouraging their spouse to not even try. Uninitiated consequence can be horrible!

John
John

With regards to your second situation i.e. Doing what your spouse requests but not up the “standard” (and I am excluding things like painting a wall tan that they wanted yellow because you “thought it would look better”). If a spouse gets upset after your best “attempt” then it is very possible that what they actually want has only the smallest connection to the “request”. There answer to a “What’s up with .......?” or some open question like it may get you a better understanding of what is really going on.

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