Sunday, June 7

Mr and Mrs Imperfect

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with GNG some weeks ago. We were talking about relationships and accepting imperfections in your partner and she suggested I should do a post about that. So here goes:

When we are single and thinking about the attributes we would like in our future partner, most of us think about the desirable things we would like. For example, we could say we want a man that is God-fearing, caring, patient, hardworking, honest, family-oriented, intelligent, etc. This is great and there is nothing wrong with setting a high standard for one's choice of future spouse. After all you are going to spend the rest of your life with this person, and you have to love them, and be proud to show them off to family and friends.

However, many of us forget that no matter how great a guy is, he will definitely come with his faults, weaknesses and imperfections. Just as in the same way, no woman is perfect and the guy too would have to deal with an imperfect wife. We don't often think about these things until we are confronted with them. I am often amused when I come across wedding websites and I read about the couple's glowing remarks about each other. Of course they both talk about the great characteristics of the other person and present them in the best possible light. Still, I know that even the happiest couples have to deal with each other's "shortcomings".

Now, please note that I am not talking about obvious major deal-breakers here. If a man totally compromises your principles on major stuff like pre-marital sex, religion, honesty, physical violence, integrity, fidelity, alcohol and substance abuse, etc, then that is a completely different issue and it is best if you try to spot those issues VERY early on, before you get into a serious relationship with him. It would certainly not be worth the heartache to start dealing with the consequences when things go wrong as a result of things that you are totally not comfortable with.

What I'm talking about are those "little" things that we would like to change in our partner but it's not really up to us if they can change. It could be things like: he doesn't know how to share his deepest feelings with you, or he doesn't like to be the first to say sorry after an argument, or perhaps he's a complete introvert and your friends think he is anti social. Maybe it's the opposite and he's so friendly and social that you feel his life is too crowded. Perhaps you like to receive gifts often and he's just not the gift-giving type. Or maybe it's something as silly as: he totally abhors any kind of physical contact when you are in public. (I know a friend of mine that said she would like to hold her fiance's hand when they are out together but he doesn't like it! But apart from that, she's totally fine with him).

These are things that don't mean he is a bad guy, and they could stem from many things, either the way he has been brought up, his experiences in his previous relationships, things he observed in other people's relationships and many other things that could have shaped his views. The same thing goes for you as the lady. You are a great person no doubt, but you have also been shaped by many factors that make up the totality of who you are.

I read somewhere that the 80:20 principle comes into play here. Since nobody is perfect, you are never going to find somebody that is 100 percent good 100 percent of the time. (Only God is good all the time!) So the rule is that you are most likely to meet someone that ticks 80 percent of the criteria on your list. If you fall in love with that person, you then have to deal with the remaining 20 percent that is missing. It could also mean that you two are perfect for each other, 80 percent of the time.

Now imagine that you have found the man of your dreams and he is everything a girl could ever wish for. He is God-fearing, generous, intelligent, well educated, considerate, an excellent cook, got a great sense of humour and good looking to boot. But he has a few minor flaws, he's a bit of a workaholic and he chews his food really noisily, so how do you deal with it? Especially once you get married and you are confronted with these issues over and over again? (I would like to hear your answers please!)

Let me give you a personal example. Hubby is the best man in the world (yep!) but he doesn't usually compliment me on how I look. It used to annoy me a lot before, especially when I make an extra effort to look fab and he says nothing. But when we are out, I get compliments from everyone else and I wonder if he just doesn't notice. I brought it up one day in conversation and he said he would try to give me compliments more often. I can't say he does it a lot now, but oh well *shrugs*. I've learnt to ignore it and compliment myself when I look in the mirror. I've also had to learn how to receive compliments from other people without holding it against hubby. Hopefully one day he'll change, if I'm patient enough but what if he doesn't? I can't do anything about it, that's something I've come to accept. In the meantime, I know for sure that he's having to cope with my own flaws too. I'm not the most organised person in the world, and he has to work around that. I'm not likely to change into Martha Stewart anytime soon!

L - Listen
O - Overlook
V - Value
E - Encourage

(I'm guessing overlooking imperfections is a major part of love!)

Have a great week!

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