Perfectionist? Your Secret’s Safe with Me

mr. and mrs.

My man is a bit of a messy. Not filthy, rather blissfully cluttered and unaware.

I asked his parents prenuptually, as we searched for an empty spot to sit in his living room, if he’d always been like this.

“Yeah, pretty much,” said my future father-in-law. Then he looked at me, a glint in his eye, and said, “You know he’s not going to change.”

Without hesitation I said, “Neither am I.”

Smug in my neatness, I relayed this story to my husband all these years later.

“Oh, really?” he said. “That’s funny, because around that same time your brother pulled me aside and told me you’re a perfectionist.”

What? My brother knows I’m a perfectionist?

“Yeah, he said, ‘You know she’s going to want everything to be perfect.’ I think he wanted to prepare me and protect you,” said my husband.

A perfectionist? My brother told my fiancé I’m a perfectionist? How did he know? Who told him?

Perfectionism is akin to chicken pox. And messiness. Can’t be hidden really. That’s its main imperfection.

I like to think my perfectionistic tendancies have mellowed with the years.  Same way my husband likes to think his messiness has. I like to imagine my Myers-Briggs Super Feeler personality has no qualms with my Super Thinker husband. My J and his P can live together peacefully.

Seems truer though, our greatest strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin.

The optimism that so attracts me to him drives me to the brink when it runs up against my realism. My emotion that so touches his heart often leaves him flailing alone in his logic.

How do we survive? Somehow we work it out. Temper one another. Genuinely like one another. Struggle and fight to love. Pick up day after day and maintain a disciplined loop, a quiet repeat of what works, a layering of commitment and time as circumstances spiral up and down.

Where I bring organization, he brings spontenaeity. Where I bring order, he brings fullness. Where I am prone to panic, he is even-keeled. Where he is tempted to inaction, I hold ground and press on.

Not sure how it works, messy and imperfect though it may be, but thank God by His grace it does.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

we three

You Take Me the Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson is one of the sweetest songs ever. Some people don’t like the video. Must be the clowns. Normally I don’t like clowns, but I do like this video. Reminds me of a certain married couple I know.

I’m also including a link to You Take Me the Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson with a little Vanilla Ice on the front end. What a hoot! Keep watching until Michaelson sings. Her voice is très bien. And you know we’re rather fond of Ice Ice Baby around here.

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12 Responses to Perfectionist? Your Secret’s Safe with Me

  1. What a terrific post Aimee! Different personality types working together make a better team.

  2. Lisa

    I cannot believe that his messiness has subsided, not even in the least. I love this post, you two are indeed a great balance. It shows in Theo. And it’s a great reminder that it is often our differences that make us stronger as a family.

    • Not even a little bit better on the messiness :)?
      Yes, our differences often make us stronger if we don’t kill each other first. That’s where the grace comes in, and we all need a whole lot of it.

    • Jeff

      I agree Lisa. I would be lost without them both. And now I do have occassional bursts of order in between long seasons of chaos.

  3. Elizabeth Whelan

    Love this post…obviously my pick. I think Don and I have mellowed with each others “issues” also but it still makes us shake our heads at times…plus the video of Ingrid Michaelson was icing on the cake…her voice is like butter!!!

  4. Pingback: Reader’s Choice 2011: Perfectionist? Your Secret’s Safe with Me | everyday epistle

  5. So thankful for my wife’s talents as an organizer or else our move the week before Christmas would have cancelled the whole affair. Fortunately, true to form, we arrived, unpacked and the movers remarked upon leaving…this looks like a house on HGTV. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Merry Christmas and thank you Aimee!

  6. Funny, we have a household of two perfectionists. The trouble is that two individuals rarely can agree on what “perfect” is. Enough other things are opposite and unique however that we make a balance. Bottom line is that no matter how much alike or opposite, relationships take work and that is where God has all the fun.