Are You Suffering from Perfect Wife Syndrome? Stop that. Dream Deeper Instead.

wonder woman syndrom stress symptoms women overwhelm

Are you a current or recovering perfectionist? Do you ever mentally beat yourself up for not having the perfect:

• Clutter-free home
• Meal cooked for dinner
• Dress size
• Sexy-ready-to-go-lingerie (and massive amounts of desire to go with it)
• Reaction to your hubby’s request
• Insert yours here: _______________

I am a Life Coach so I am highly self-aware of the myths of perfection. However I am also human so I also fall into the PWS (Perfect Wife Syndrome) from time to time. Especially if my mother in law is visiting.

Now for the record, I have the best mother in law ever. She is super supportive and does not count the number of dust molecules on my dinner table.

She does not need to, because that’s what I do, right before she is about to come over. Which of course, happened last night.

When I had my latest attack of Perfect Wife Syndrome and thought, if this happens to ME and I am constantly finding ways to create a marriage and life that works for me, then what about you, my beautiful readers?

By the way – I cleared the table in record in time and forbid my hubby from opening the door to my dressing room. Draw your own conclusions on that one.

Yes, I have a room we call the dressing room which is really this tiny bedroom in our house that I commandeered to be my personal closet. It is the only space in our home with a massive amount of pink. (in the form of a huge, shaggy carpet on the floor).

As I was saying – I cleared the table, my wonderful mother in law came over. And she had much more important things on her mind than dust. We had a family chat and all was well.

I love my mother in law

Then this morning I realized, there are multiple places in my life where the illusion of perfection creeps up –

• The aforementioned messy kitchen table. If you have one – I love you!

• The fact that I don’t know how to cook and don’t really want to learn. Such a disappointment. To me. The hubby loves cooking. He could care less as long as I am his dedicated Sous Chef and wear the apron that says “will cook for kisses” which always makes him smile.

• The idea that I can never, ever miss a week of writing my blog or “The World, As We Know It, Will End.” Seems so silly to write that – I mean your heart and my heart will go on. Celine Dion says so, so of course it’s true. But I feel like I have failed in my duties if I am not religious about posting. And I have to talk myself out of it and say – this is REAL LIFE. Things happen. And hum some Celine to calm myself down.

• The fact that sometimes, I would much rather cuddle and talk and watch our favorite TV show and laugh together than have super-sonic sex. I mean we can all agree that super-sonic sex is awesome right? So I have to actually give myself permission to say, yes, it’s awesome, but what I would really like right now is just a deep conversation with lots of hand holding.

let's cuddle

I have decided to label myself a “recovering perfectionist.” Because in my mind, there are countless other things my illusion of a Perfect Wife and Blogger would do.

• Never ever be late to anything for any reason.

• Never gain an extra pound (or 5)

• Always give the perfect gift (never an accidentally lame one).

Have shoes that were both comfortable and look like they are not. (I mean, a perfect wife would be able to and they look it.

• Be ready for anything at all times of the day and night – staff meeting? Yes! my notes are here! Adventure trip to Costa Rica? Yes! my bag is ready!

• Create 72 hour days to do every single thing everyone wishes I could do but really can’t.

You know, stuff like that.

So this morning I woke up and reminded myself of the following:

Perfect is an illusion.

Joy, pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction are only possible for me when I say goodbye to perfect and hello to me.

Hello me!

I can do things with heart.
I can do things I love.
I can love my husband as best as I can. And that is okay.
My table can be messy.
Holding hands can be awesome.
The blog can be late.
The world will still turn.
Hearts will go on.
Celine will still sing.

Whenever I am tempted to dream bigger, I can remember that I have the choice to dream deeper instead and choose what makes my heart sing instead of what makes my body clench with fear or anxiety or both.

brene brown oprah imperfection vulnerability whole hearted quote

It also means I can dream deeper on how I want to define my life as a wife and create something that truly works for me and my hubby – even if it doesn’t look anything like what you see on TV or what the lie of “Perfect Wife Syndrome” would have me believe.

Nothing I own or do or don’t do can take away from who I am inside, which is a person with a heart full of love to give.

And that’s what really matters.

The love we put into the world.

The time we take to dream, to create, to imagine and to forgive.

Not the number of dust molecules on my kitchen table.

how we love lyrics beth nielsen chapman

This week’s LOVE WORK?

Complete this sentence in the comments –

I feel like I have Perfect Wife Syndrome whenever:_______________.
And this is what I am going to do about it: ___________________________.

(Forgive myself, let it go, talk to the hubby about it, do THIS instead, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO


  1. says

    Maggie- great read for my Sunday morning! I suffer on occasion from PWS (and pms if you ask my husband) and it takes a moment of desperation to realize “I’m there!” Thank you for sharing words of encouragement! It’s always nice to be reminder that you aren’t the only one *smile*

    • Maggie Reyes says

      Shannon – thanks for your comment – yes, knowing we are not alone always gives me comfort. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. says

    “Perfect is an illusion” -Maggie Reyes

    This blog hit home! Thank you. And my table is full of stuff, until anyone is coming over…
    So you, my friend atmre not alone.

  3. says

    This is my first time ever visiting your blog and I am thrilled I did! My husband and I spent a long time last night talking about how I hate myself because I don’t keep our house perfectly and how he feels like he can’t even ask me to do something small because he knows I’ll take it the wrong way and feel like I should have already done it and he shouldn’t have had to ask, and I’m am thus the worst wife ever. Which is exactly how I feel. We just moved and last night he asked me where I wanted him to put my makeup in our bathroom and I responded defensively that I’d do it because I felt like I already should have put that away. My poor husband was just being sweet, but I got upset with him because I was upset with myself for no reason. He didn’t feel like I should have already put it away, he just wanted to put stuff away since moving is chaos. My husband is an angel for loving me when I don’t love myself and I’m so thankful for his support. I’m just glad to know this isn’t just my depression talking, but other people struggle with trying to be the perfect wife. I need to make “I am enough” my mantra. Thanks so much!

    • Maggie Reyes says

      Oh Casey, I just want to wrap you up in a huge hug! Notes like yours fuel my fire to write posts like this – because someday at the perfect moment someone – like you! could read it and know You are not alone. And sometimes that’s just all the comfort we can take. “I am enough” is a GREAT mantra! We can say it together.
      Maggie “I am enough” Reyes


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