Have a Perfect Wedding, Not a Perfect Marriage

Adrienne Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage Therapist and nationally recognized relationship expert, discusses why Having The Perfect Marriage Will Only Set You Up For Failure. Adrienne is the owner of THE ENGAGEMENT COACH, and provides exclusive, customized premarital counseling to her clients nationwide.

We’ve all got them…fantasies of the perfect relationship, the perfect partner, and even the perfect marriage. Logically, I think most of us know that these goals are impossible to attain. However, emotionally most of us desire these perfect scenarios because we’re lead to believe it has to be this way in order to be meaningful or successful.

After working with over 1,000 couples in the past ten years, I’m passionate about setting couples up for success by telling you there is no such thing as a “perfect” anything!

The Myth of the Perfect Partner {“The One”}

You did it! You found the one person you were meant to be with in this whole wide world. You can’t wait to marry him/her and spend the rest of your lives together in love and creating happy memories.

Sounds wonderful, right? Well, it is wonderful and it’s important to hold those beliefs about marriage because it creates excitement, desire, and future possibilities. However, the truth about marriage and both of you as partners is that no one is perfect, there is no perfect relationship, and having those expectations will only result in disappointment.   

What’s important to remember is that each of you brings to the marriage your own thoughts, feelings, annoyances, wants, needs, flaws, family issues, trigger points, desires, sexual expectations, personal habits, personality traits, etc. The key is to acknowledge these differences early on in your relationship, and be open to discussing and understanding them so you can know your partner better and understand what is necessary for each of you to be fulfilled in your marriage.

The Fantasy of Perfect Communication

Unfortunately, too many couples struggle to admit they have differences because they believe that a good relationship doesn’t involve conflict. Their skewed view of a great relationship actually inhibits them from having the relationship they desire. 

I’m here to reinforce the truth that there is no such thing as perfect communication. The relationships that don’t involve open communication or conflict can be a breeding ground for anger, resentment and distrust.  It’s time to change the way we all think about marriage so that it feels safe turning to our friends and family to discuss our relationships in an open and honest way. Please remember that there is nothing bad about having conflict in your marriage, as long as you treat each other with respect and love, and try to produce a healthy solution that works for both partners.

My Partner Completes Me

I’m definitely dating myself with this one, but every girl back in the day swooned over Tom Cruise bursting into Renee Zellweger’s house shouting in front of everyone, “You, complete me!” Unfortunately for all of us, marriage isn’t a Jerry Maguire movie and no one person can complete anyone else.  It’s just not possible.

Can your partner complement you? Absolutely! Can he/she fill in the gaps and offer strengths to counteract your weaknesses? Most definitely! Can your partner make up for all of the things you’re not happy about within yourself? Never!

It may feel like this is possible in the beginning of your relationship, but over time your partner will start to let you down, and he/she will no longer be able to meet your expectations. That’s because each person has to take care of their own emotional and physical needs in order to offer support, love, and understanding in return. 

My husband and I have said this from day one…“I don’t need you in my life, but I really want you in my life.”  There are many things a great partner can do, but turning you into something you aren’t already, is not one of them.

Adrienne offers both in-person and online premarital and relationship counseling, and is passionate about helping couples create a beautiful, successful marriage. Please visit her website at TheEngagementCoach.com for more information and to contact her directly.