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Don’t Settle for Mediocrity


man and woman sitting on bench

Photo by Vera Arsic on

I know guys that only want the best in life. They drive luxury cars, wear the most stylish of clothes, drink the best wines and eat at the highest rated restaurants. When it comes to their hobbies, they settle for nothing but premium equipment. But get into a conversation about their marriage and they’ll typically say something like, “It’s okay, I guess”.

It’s not just about wealth. I know other guys who are perfectionists in all that they do. They may not have the most expensive possessions, but whatever task they undertake is not complete until it is nearly flawless. They will invest hours into a project beyond a point where most others would consider it complete. They work long hours ensuring that every report or email they write (and rewrite) is perfect. Ask these guys the same question about their marriage and you’ll typically hear the same response.

This makes no sense to me. When it comes to “things” or “efforts”, only the best will do. But when it comes to the most important relationship they can have with another person they settle for “okay”; two adults living in the same house, focused on kids or other things, crossing paths occasionally. Time together consists of sitting on separate couches and immersing into their smart phones. It’s not that they’re arguing all the time, that would require more interaction than they allow. They’ve simply become “Okay, I guess”.

If you find that I’m describing you here, let’s be honest, it’s about control. While you are in control of your possessions, your spending or your time, your marriage requires another person that can’t be controlled. You may have tried for awhile, but in time  you gave that up as a futile effort. Without control you can’t perfect it by yourself, so you quit trying. You’ve settled for mediocrity.

So, how can this be avoided? First, it’s not a solo effort. Both you and your wife have to be committed to striving for excellence (or at least continuous improvement). This requires communication, setting some goals, tracking progress, making course corrections and celebrating success. It’s a process that takes time and attention. Life’s distractions will pull you away, but you have to commit to return to the effort to sustain it.

If you want the best or are a perfectionist at work or in your hobbies, it’s time to apply that same effort and thinking to your relationship. Take the time and effort into moving to the next level. Your marriage is far more important than any work report, or home project. Give it the priority it deserves. You’ll see the lasting benefits are much greater!

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