How many times have you heard the phrase: “No one is perfect”? We all say it; both to ourselves and to other people yet when we’re confronted with the inevitable imperfections of our partners, we often want to run the other way.
During the honeymoon period we only see our partner’s strengths and tend to overlook their weaknesses. We think we’ve found the perfect soul mate and then reality sets in and we discover the person is just as human as the rest of us. For some people, that may take a few weeks, for others a few months and for some, it might take a few years. Eventually though, we all discover that our partner is just like everyone else and does and says things that anger or irritate us.
My husband says things that make my roll my eyes and he watches endless hours of sitcoms, none of which interest me. He also tends to be quite anal around a lot of things. There have been times when I’ve focused on these things to the point where I couldn’t see the light in him. I allowed all his strengths to be obliterated by the things that bothered me.
One day I decided to use a pie as a visual of our relationship. Let’s say there are eight parts. When I looked at it that way, I realized that six of the eight parts work really well so why don’t I focus on those things instead of the two parts that don’t work? I started looking at the things I value the most and realized we are very much aligned around our basic values. I started writing down those things about him and our relationship that I was grateful for. I noticed by doing that, those things we both value and the things I appreciate about him, became bigger.
My husband and I have been together nearly 30 years and when I look back at the silly things we argued about in the early years, they were truly not important. There are things that are important to address, for the health of the relationship and there are other things that are simply not worth bringing up. Do I really need to make a point of telling my husband how inane a show is, that he likes? Is he harming anyone by watching it? No. Do I want to be reminded of some of my quirks and bad habits? No.
So how do you address the imperfections in your relationship? Unless they are obvious deal breakers, and you know the ones I’m talking about, for the most part it’s best to take your focus away from the imperfections and towards what you like and appreciate. Make a point of saying out loud what you like about your partner. Remind her or him what she or he is good at. Also, don’t be afraid to express what you need. Just be sure you say it with kindness. Demanding someone do something differently isn’t going to get you anywhere.
We know every human being on the planet has imperfections. If you make a decision not to dwell or focus on them, you’ll find you notice them less and their significance will diminish.