Monday, June 23, 2014

Expectations

I believe that one reason we find ourselves in silly arguments that easily escalate into full blown fights, is that we don’t always voice our expectations with our spouse.

I find that, occasionally, I will come to a conclusion about a situation, in my mind, and neglect to tell my husband, or even other people, what I’ve decided.  I move on assuming everyone knows where I’m coming from.  Of course, my husband should be able to second guess my actions; we’ve been married for thirty-three years. (Ha ha!  That couldn’t be farther from the truth!)  Needless to say, things don’t get completed very efficiently when no one knows what you expect, and a situation like this easily turns into a fertile breeding ground for arguments.

Recently, we were in a social situation and nearing the time to leave, and Rick neglected to voice his expectations to me.  I am such a people person that at a party, I want to talk to everyone.  It seems that Rick thought we were leaving and got upset with me when I wasn’t right behind him walking out the door.  I had gotten side-tracked by someone stopping me to say “Hello.”  This happens to him all the time, actually, more often than it does to me, where I can’t get him out of a room because he’s talking to other people.

I didn’t know that someone had mentioned an interesting football game that was starting in fifteen minutes - hence, Rick’s eagerness to leave.  His mind was set on getting home, but he neglected to tell me of his intentions.  I didn’t understand his impatience with me when we both normally like to linger when there are people around.

I would hardly call what ensued in the car as a fight, but the normal peace we have driving together had been stolen by the devil himself.  I felt upset but didn’t know exactly why.  Normally, we are very good at preparing each other for what we expect.  This particular day we were both tired and not thinking clearly.  The football game was last minute news that we hadn’t discussed.

Another area where we need to speak clearly to our husbands about our expectations is at home.  I lived in a perpetual state of anger when my children were young because Rick did nothing to help around the house or with them.  Of course, I never asked for his help.  I assumed he would see what needed to be done and would offer his assistance.  That never happened until years later when we learned to communicate, and I learned to voice my expectations.

Women seem to have this sixth sense when working with each other where no one has to say anything.  We automatically see what needs to be done and we do it, especially when doing things around the house.  Men may have this capability in a work situation, but usually, they are clueless domestically.  That’s why you need to guide them one task at a time, or they will quickly become overwhelmed and eager to move on to something more desirable.  Ladies, if you want your husband to do something for you, you need to ask him - maybe even more than once.

Few of us come from families that actually communicate well, and this may be a foreign concept to you.  I know it was to me.  I’m amazed how easily we destroy relationships because of poor communication.  That is the major cause of every problem in a marriage.  It’s not the actual problem, but how you communicate it that determines your success.  I think if you learn to talk about everything, voicing your expectations and desires, you avoid the chance of arguments and fights rearing their ugly heads.  The devil will not find a foothold to get in the middle of your relationship.




1 comment:

Debra Childs said...

I agree; communication is vital. I'm guilty of not communicating when Hubby does something small, but lethal. When I hold my bad feelings in because of fear (afraid of what he'll think), I'm giving the devil an opportunity to get a foothold on my thought life. The longer I hold my feelings in, the bigger the problem gets. When I saw my husband at the end of the day, after I let the problem simmer, I was so mad at him! When he asked me, "what's wrong?" I replied, "nothing!" The original problem was so small that I was too embarrassed to mention it. I actually had to give myself time to cool off! So, it's better to get it off of your chest while it's still small or you'll wind up with a big mess and a lot of wasted time.