Double standards – the one’s that hurt others
There are two kinds of double standards that harm your marriage – and they are exact opposites.
The more common is expecting more of her than you are willing to do, or expecting her to do things you won’t do. Another flavour of this is excusing yourself for things but being upset at her for doing the same things. Sometimes we are aware of double standards, but excuse or justify them with things like “she’s a woman, it’s different for her” or “she has more time, so she should be able to do that” or some other such bogus thinking. The bottom line is we are not even close to living the golden rule when we do this, and it’s certainly not WJWD!
The other from of harmful double standard is when a person is much harder on themselves than on others. I think being a bit tougher on yourself, and having higher expectations of yourself than you do of others, is a good thing – but only to a point. Expecting too much of yourself while expecting far less of others results in things like burn out, depression, apathy, and divorce without warning. While I’ve seen men do this, I see it far more often in women. If your bride has herself on the short end of a double standard it may seem like you are getting a good deal. However, this kind of a double standard costs a great deal, and will eventually harm your marriage.
Don’t think that this kind of double standard can be written off as “sacrifice” or “generosity”; a double standard is about seeing one’s self as different than others, and when you place yourself at the short end of a double standard you are showing that you think you are inferior to others. At best, this shows a deep wound that is limiting the person. More often, it eventually leads to self-destructive behaviour. If you are much harder on yourself than you are with your bride, deal with it. If your bride is doing the same, start working to help her see that she is too hard on herself.