How does your spouse measure up? I mean is your spouse good enough, or is there something about your spouse you wish you could change? Is there something about them that drives you mad? Or have you reached a point where you find it hard to see anything good about them at all?
If this is you and you find yourself feeling disappointed because your spouse is not everything you expected them to be, you could be heading down a dangerous road right now. There are many reasons for a marriage to fall apart. But one of the most subtle ways that goes unnoticed is when a wedge is driven between husband and wife over lingering disappointments in each other.
Everyone wants to be good enough
Everyone of us has the desire for people to like us. The power of acceptance and approval is huge. With it, we feel we can accomplish anything we set our hearts on. But without it we feel we are doomed to fail before we even try.
People will often fall into severe behavior problems because they are searching for some way to fix this void in their life. It is from feelings of rejection and isolation that drive people to desperate measures. And there are times when challenging situations come along, the fear of not being good enough becomes one of the hot buttons that are triggered and anger erupts.
Even when people are their own worst critics their reactions are often defensiveness when they get any sense of disapproval. Their fear of rejection will scream so loud within them and they will put up these huge fronts so that others around them cannot see the hurt they feel inside. When all along their feeling like a child that just wants to be loved.
Many times a husband and wife will get into a conflict over something and the next thing you know a big fight erupts over a small thing. And they wonder, how did this happen. But, what they didn’t know at the time was feelings of inadequacy were triggered and their defensiveness rose to protect themselves from the greater pain of rejection and disapproval.
Safe at home
In this world of broken lives and daily challenges our marriages should be the one absolute place of acceptance and approval. Sadly though, a lot of couples fail to give each other this kind of love. And instead, their marriage is filled with shame, confusion, anger, and fear of never being able to be good enough. When this continues, it leaves at least one person wondering and jealous over why their spouse is more loyal to a parent, a career, or their children.
The thing is, we all tend to move in the direction where we can feel successful and accomplished. And we tend to move away from areas where we feel like failures. This is part of the law of attraction.
Law of attraction: What you appreciate and approve of will move close to you. What you despise and reject will move away from you.
How you started out your relationship is always in play. When you and your spouse came together, there was an attraction that brought you together. I’m not talking about mere physical attraction. But, you had a reason you wanted to be close and your spouse had a reason to be close to you. You liked each other. You admired each other. You were thinking great things about each other. When you two started out, you seen each other in ways that left all other comparisons laying in your wake.
Get it back
Your approval and acceptance of your spouse is absolutely necessary for a healthy marriage. And whatever changes you want to see in your spouse and your marriage you will have to learn how to encourage healthy growth without rejecting who your spouse is as a person. You can start seeing your spouse as good enough by making a few simple changes yourself.
- Take a look at your expectations: Where does your expectations come from? Are there some unrealistic ideals that have caused you to expect your spouse to be a certain way? Did you come into your marriage with the idea of changing your spouse once you were married?
- Repent: If you are not showing your spouse the kind of love and acceptance that God shows you, then you need to repent. Which simply means to turn in the right direction. Here is some scripture to help bring you to right perspective.
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we would not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
John 8:7 “They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
- Find the good: Use the 100 to 1 rule. If there is only 1 thing you find good about your spouse, then focus 100% of your attention there. Then keep building from there by looking for the good things you can see.
- Understanding: And when there are certain things you are not happy with, look for why your spouse is a certain way. When you begin to understand some things about your spouse your compassion will grow and you will respond with acceptance in spite of their faults.
- Use your words wisely: Use words of encouragement to let your spouse know how pleased you are with them. Put a guard over your mouth to not speak negative about them, to their face or behind their back. This will train you to not even think that way about them. And be sure to not use words in jest or sarcasm that tries to get your point across in some subtle way.
- Honor and Respect: Finally, keep your heart clear of negativity by showing your spouse the honor and respect they deserve. This is not something they must earn from you by their behavior. It is something you give to them because of their position. You are in a covenant relationship that should be treated as sacred. The title husband or wife means a great deal in God’s sight and it should mean a lot to you. And we each deserve honor and respect for just being the individual that God created us to be. We may not be perfect, but that’s Gods job to determine how perfect we should be and what He wants to change about us.
As always we encourage your comments. We really want to hear what your thoughts are on this issue.