The other morning I was holding my sleeping son, who currently is getting over a bad case of baby acne, and found myself fixated on one of the particularly large bump on his face. I was resisting the urge to scratch it off his face when I realized that while I had a precious baby in my arms I was only recognizing the imperfections.
This is sometimes how we view marriage. We have a precious relationship, one that has many good things in it and so much potential, but we become obsessed with one little imperfection. When we focus on these little imperfections they can block everything good out. Everyone has faults and shortcomings, which we find easier to excuse in ourselves than in our spouses.
In fact some argue that imperfections can actually enhance a relationship. They allow a couple to come together and help each other out. Many times our imperfections happen to be the things that we feel the most vulnerable about. We feel silly we are forgetful, have social anxiety, or whatever our personal shortcoming is. And in marriage, where we are together a huge chunk of the time, these are going to come to the surface. I think it’s safe to say that my husband knows my shortcomings better than anyone else, and I know his. So armed with this information spouses have a choice of what they are going to do with it. It can draw them closer together or further apart.
For example last week I locked myself and our son out of the house in the freezing cold and had to call my husband at work to come let us in. I was feeling stupid and frustrated when he arrived. And what a perfect opportunity he had to make me feel worse with one comment. And he had a long list to choose from: me throwing off his work day, putting our newborn in danger, or being so ditzy. However he took the chance to draw us closer together. He was worried about us, apologized for taking so long to get arrive, and even said how glad he was he got to see me in the middle of his day.
This is the approach that we should try to take with frustrating situations rather than becoming fixated on one problem. Sometimes we feel that it is our responsibility to fix our spouse. We can become so obsessed with an imperfection, whether to complain or fix it, that we miss all the other good out there.
Don’t let the one zit ruin the whole baby. Don’t let the left-up toilet seat, clothes on the floor, running late, or lights left on ruin the whole marriage. Instead look for ways to support your spouse and grow closer together as imperfections arise.