It goes without saying that relationships can be a challenge and difficult to navigate. After all, we are just people and we are imperfect. Hopefully, most of us are doing the best we can to live to an acceptable standard of caring for others as we attempt to care for ourselves. That said, we are never going to get it “just right,” nor should we hold ourselves to a level of unachievable perfection. (Read the blog entitled “Addressing Shame” for further clarification).
What do you do in a relationship where your partner is doing their level best to be good to you, serve you with love and kindness and they fall short? You want to marry her but some of her behaviors remind you of your ex and that terrifies you. But what she does offer is loyalty, honesty and an equal partnership, which you never had in your former life. He’s not great at gift giving – a vacuum cleaner for Valentine’s Day? However, without fail, he will hold you as you cry when you talk about your estranged relationship with your mother. She can be a bit cranky after a full day with the kids. You can hear them screaming as you approach your front door. But you can also smell your delicious dinner, which you have no idea how she finds time to make, every day when you come home from work. What do you do with a partner that does not meet every one of your needs? You choose to love and accept them, flaws and all.
There are no perfect people. Stop hunting for them. Grace is the foundation of every great relationship. If you are sharing your life with anyone to any great level, you will have to find the strength to overlook the things they do that aggravate you while they do their best to honor the privilege of your presence in their life. And guess what? In a true partnership, they are doing the same for you.
Set the standard for loving people well. Be emotionally available to them, even when you feel frustrated by their behaviors. Do not hold them to an impossibility that neither you nor they will ever fulfill. Show your partner some grace today.