We create an ideal picture of what our spouse should be, then we work hard to mold them into this ideal figure. When a gap exists between the "real" and "ideal", frustration and disappointment occur and the marriage suffers.It's not only in the area of marriage. Many of us put unrealistic pressure on ourselves to perform. When we don't meet our "ideal," we feel like failures. Pursuing excellence is good, but falling into a "perfectionistic" mentality results in devastation. A good way to escape this way of thinking is to take a hard look at your current performance level. Then make that your baseline for setting goals. What I mean is this, take an average of your performance in a given area, and then set your performance bar a little above that, but not much higher. Once you achieve it, then you can raise the bar a little higher again. This will help you feel continually like a winner.