Are you like this woman, who was frustrated in her search for a perfect marriage partner?
She wanted to get married. According to a widely circulated, word-of-mouth tale, here’s her story: She met many men but was always disappointed. None had the combination of traits she felt she deserved. Despairing, she consulted Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, respected around the world for giving sage advice to whoever sought it.
She told the Rebbe that she wanted someone who was always kind, considerate, generous, sensitive, assertive, a good listener, handsome, healthy, reliable and responsible. He should be a good provider and excellent father to their children. “I’m afraid I’ll never find such a man,” she added. “Certainly, you can find him,” the Rebbe replied. “You can find him in a novel.”
Who’s Perfect Anyway?
In real life, people have imperfections. (Yes, you too!) So when your partner disappoints you, ask yourself how important it is in the grand scheme of things that he or she behave exactly as you would like and possess only excellent character traits.
For example, you may have a husband or significant other who is a considerate, responsible partner who has a great sense of humor and other traits you value. It happens, though, that you love receiving flowers from him, but he rarely gives them because he thinks they are a waste of money. Do you want to kvetch and whine that you shouldn’t have to settle for this “inconsiderate cheapskate?”
Adapt To Your Loved One’s Imperfections
What if you are annoyed by your wife’s habitual lateness? Yet you value her joie de vivre, creativity, helpfulness, and other fine traits. Will you grumble that you deserve better and think that if she really loved you, she would be on time? Instead, let go of unrealistic expectations. Buy your own flowers or live without them. One wife bought a lovely painting of flowers that now hangs in her dining room. It cheers her to see it from her seat at the table.
Work around her lateness when it’s not crucial to be somewhere on time, and tell her in advance when it really matters. Negotiate creatively by using positive communication skills; do so when both of you are calm, sober, well-rested and not hungry.
Focus On Positive Traits
Appreciate your partner’s strengths and work around his or her limitations, and your partner will be more likely to do the same for you. If your relationship is basically healthy, you are not settling in the sense of accepting less than you deserve. You are settling down into living in harmony with your spouse. You have a marriage that is reality-based. It is less than 100 percent perfect, but it’s real life.