I was expecting (hoping?) someone would comment on yesterday’s Forget perfect, it’s rarely necessary post and suggest I was advocating not doing our best.
Finding balance on this is a difficult thing. Push too much for perfection and you will accomplish little because perfection rarely happens in real life. Seeking perfection is also a great way to drive your bride crazy, especially if your desired level of perfection is significantly greater than hers. On the other hand, if you are too unconcerned with doing things well, you will fail to meet her needs and desires.
I think the level of perfection we need to aim for is an ever-changing thing. How much we can and should do is going to change depending on our life circumstances. This is not to say our spouse is last place, getting what is left over; there needs to be a minimum we do and give to our spouse, and then we go beyond that as we have the opportunity. Setting a minimum level well is important, but we need to realise the minimum level is not sufficient to keep our marriage healthy if it is all we give for an extended time. What’s more, the minimum is never going to lead to growth in our marriage.
The other side of this is your spouse needs to do the same thing – and you need to be okay with it. If her minimum is too low, let her know in a loving way. If her minimum is okay, but it is all she does too often, you need to communicate that. Another possible discussion would be the minimum is all right, but you would like much more when her life allows.
Maybe you can discuss this together and talk about what you each really need and what you can do with less of when things are difficult. Also, encourage each other to speak up when there is not enough.