What to do when he is not ‘Perfect’

By McCall Jones — Founder & CEO, Institute for Adult Communication

The Institute for Adult Communication looks at ways to improve individual and organizational communication and relationships to produce more effectiveness and more satisfaction. This matters at home and in the office.

First off, (and of course generally speaking) ‘perfect’ is a value that women hold. Men hold the value of ‘effective’ or ‘efficient’.

‘Perfect’ is a unilaterally imposed value and a standard to which you hold him but is usually rarely communicated to him. Taken deeper ‘perfect’ is rooted in your own feminine values and expectations based on ‘how a woman would do it’. This is the core and fundamental root of the profound misunderstanding that women have about men: he is largely incapable of becoming a ‘better’ woman. Why not? Because he is not a woman.

I know this is a shock to many of you but it’s also true. As it relates to ethics, if he is regularly found to be lying, breaking his promises, etc., AND if that is unacceptable to you, then you need to not be with him. This one is a simple one. (You’ll notice that fighting with him about is has produced no change. Right?)

Otherwise, if you need something from him ASK for it. Most women, it turns out, do not ask for what they really want; not at work, not at home, not in their intimate relationships. Over time, not having your needs and wants met, can cost you your health with consquences that can include high blood pressure, depression, heart attack, and stroke to name but a few. And asking leaves the space for him to say ‘no’. If there is no space for him to say ‘no’ then understand that you are making a demand. Sometimes demands are what is needed but rare in comparison to what can be accomplished by making requests. If he says ‘no’ he may have a very good reason and if you are committed to you requests, he will most likely give you an honest and understandable answer as to why he cannot; which tends to also help fuel intimacy and understanding.

So, what’s a more effective and more consistent way to get what you want?

ASK for what you want. He cannot read your mind and your needs are more complex than you think. Guessing will not cut it.

ASK because the act of asking is a pressure release valve.

ASK even if you believe “it’s not romantic/it will be different if I have to ask”. There is still an ask to be created here. Be creative but be direct.

ASK because your self esteem and self respect grow inside you identifying, honoring and asking for what you need.

ASK because his respect level for you will instantly go up when you are CLEAR about what you want.

ASK because you matter. So, you are right: he will never be perfect. And you are also right: honor and respect him for who he IS; not who you want him to be.

Be LARGE in each other’s listening, do not diminish him by thinking you need to accept the unacceptable and instead honor his competence and desire to make you happy by asking him for exactly what you REALLY need.