Expectations & Communication

This is our 5th story in our 8 part series, Loving Your Man When It Hurts! You can find all the stories here.

Contributing Writer: Virginia Davidson 

There have been plenty of times I have disappointed others and others have disappointed me – including my husband.  It seems the closer the person is to you, the harder the disappointment hits.  When we’re talking about our spouse, it’s a doozy!

It’s always funny giving advice – like I have it all together.  We would all admit that none of us have it all together.  That’s the wonderful thing about life….we can encourage one another along on our journey.  So, here are a few things I’ve learned in the past 5 years of being married ~

my wedding ~ Larissa Christine Photography
Do not have expectations ~

Yep!  I said it.  I know, I know, it’s impossible.  If we’re honest with ourselves we do have expectations.  Maybe I should say don’t have unfair expectations, but I caught your attention with the header didn’t I! I remember talking about this in our pre-marital counseling – what our expectations were for each other.  At that time everything is peachy & the biggest issues we have is whether our fiance responds with as much excitement as we wanted when we tell him the type of flower that’s in his boutonniere.  

I expect my husband to take out the trash every week.  What happens when he does it?  Not that much. I expected him to do it….it IS “his job” after all.

What happens if he doesn’t?  I get frustrated and let him know he didn’t do it.  I may even start to stack the garbage on the trash can and throw a box or two out the back door to let him trip over it.  

I expect my husband to take the kids outside and play with them on his day off.  What happens if he does?  Nothing.

What happens if he doesn’t?  I get disappointed and frustrated and claim that I need “my time.”

Do you see the pattern?  When we expect our spouse to do things we don’t really appreciate it when they do & we tend to be disappointed and frustrated when they don’t.  Make a list of the “expectations” in your marriage.  Prayerfully think about each one and reevaulate them.

Don’t assume the worst ~

My husband and I may be talking and I immediately take things the wrong way.  Quite often if we begin to argue it’s due to the fact that we are communicating on 2 different levels.  I’m on the “I’ve been home all day with the kids and I wanna talk to you” level and he’s on the “I’ve been listening to customers all day and all I wanna do is veg.” level.  So, if when he responds to a question of mine in a short way I immediately shut down or attack.  One of the biggest things we (still) have an issue with is the idea that I assume that he meant to hurt me with his words and he may have just said something (stupid) that he thought wouldn’t offend me at all.  To me it’s a “no-brainer” that, should never be said, but to him he honestly didn’t see it the way I did.  I’m working on not assuming the worst and he’s working on changing the way he speaks to me verses his buddies.  So, as we work through this I’m reminded of a verse in James 1:19,20

My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. A man’s anger doesn’t produce the kind of life God wants.

It’s not always as it seems ~

I watch the lack of emotion on his face or listen to the tone of his voice and don’t hear the words.  Moments like this I find myself frustrated and disappointed.  Disappointed that my husband isn’t meeting my needs by truly hearing me and responding to me as I need.  Although God does call us to listen well, it’s not my husband’s job to make me feel a certain way.  If I’m truly honest with myself I’m looking to my husband to make me feel good.  I feel disappointed when my husband doesn’t encourage me enough.  So then I have to filter those thoughts and feelings with “Am I placing my husband in an unfair position (as a god in my life) rather than the True God to be my perfect and number 1?”

There are many more times in my marriage that I may feel disappointed, but in the midst of it, I contemplate these things:

What do I do when I feel disappointed?

  • Run?
  • Hide?
  • Yell?
  • Scream?
  • Huff out of the room?
  • All of the above?

How should I react when I feel disappointed? (either  rightfully or wrongfully)

  • Take a moment, feel the hurt, contemplate what caused it.
  • Ask myself: Are my feelings legitimate?
  • Pray about it.  Let God cover me.  Let God speak His truth into me.
  • Maybe journal about it or write a letter to help me work through things.
  • Go back to my husband and explain to him what happened and how it made me feel.
  • Don’t blame and assume the worst.  State how the situation made you feel & that takes away any blaming and may avoid a bigger discussion fight.  

loving  your man series

To read the other stories in this series go here.

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7 Responses to “Expectations & Communication”

  1. Anonymous
    February 23, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    LOL, “I may even start to stack the garbage on the trash can and throw a box or two out the back door to let him trip over it.”
    Good info.

  2. 'ty
    February 24, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    true true about assuming the worst…thanks for this…it really really helped

    • February 24, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Ty, I am so glad you stopped by and shared. It’s always a delight for us and the writers to know how the Lord is using this series in your life. It has definitely blessed me.

  3. February 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Such good reminders…you have blessed me (and my hubby) with this post! 🙂 Cath

  4. Anonymous
    February 29, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    I love how applicable your article was. It gave me something I could “take home with me.” Very well organized and clearly stated, yet done with wit and authenticity = a difficult and rare blend.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. February 29, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks for linking up…this is being featured today at {Junk in their Trunk}


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