We all have our own expectations in marriage. And we can expect a lot from our husbands. Because we feel that this is the person who should get us the most right? The one who should want to make us happy and want to change for us.
For the most part these things are true. However, what I’ve come to learn is that sometimes our expectations can put some unnecessary pressure on our husbands to be people they simply are not. Or at least not yet. And if we’re not careful, they can prevent us from appreciating our husbands, and loving them unconditionally.
I used to have a whole heap of expectations. And although I know that I’m not the best communicator, I had been trying to express my expectations to my husband the best way that I possibly could. Only to feel like they still weren’t being met.
I viewed it as him not caring enough, and it was actually really frustrating. So much so, that it made me moody. It caused me to put some walls up. There was some passive aggressiveness happening. And I definitely wasn’t being as loving as I could be.
After a while, I just stopped talking about it. I told myself that it wasn’t worth the stress. And I did what I should have done in the first place. I gave it to God.
I prayed about it. A LOT.
And you know what happened?
Or at least that’s what I thought at first.
Because God didn’t change my husband. Not in the ways that I was praying for Him to.
But do you know what God did do? He started changing me. My heart, my attitude, my approach to things, and my perspective.
I needed to take a step back, and stop being so ME-focused. I now have a completely new perspective and I’d like to share what I learned with you.
These were my five takeaways from what I learned when I stopped expecting so much from my husband.
If you’re feeling frustrated that your husband isn’t meeting some of your expectations like you want him to, see if any of these things change your perspective.
Tell Him How You Feel and What You Need
I used to think that my needs should just be obvious. Like my husband should just know when I need help, or some attention. Or when I need to be comforted or given a pep talk. I used to think like Does he even know me at all? Could it be any more obvious? But I had to learn that I can’t expect him to pick up on what I need or how I’m feeling every time. Or expect him to know when a slightly sad looking expression on my face means I need a hug. How can I expect him to know something that I haven’t expressed?
Our husbands aren’t mind readers. No matter how much you feel like your husband should know you by now, or what you expect, he may not get it right every time. And that’s okay. We have to share our concerns and let them know what’s on our minds. We can’t keep them outside of our world and expect them to know how we’re feeling. We have to tell them how we feel and what we need.
Don’t Let All of Your Expectations Measure the Health of Your Marriage
I used to be big on compliments. I love when my husband compliments me by telling me I look beautiful, or maybe commenting on something that I’m wearing. So much so, that I felt like it was something that I should be hearing every day. I also appreciate a little romance because what wife doesn’t right? However, my husband is just not the naturally romantic type. And although he does compliment me, it’s just not something that he does every day.
But what I realized is that I don’t need to put so much pressure on us to be more romantic, in order for us to have a happy and healthy marriage. And although it’s nice and flattering when my husband tells me I’m beautiful, I don’t need him to tell me every day to believe it, or to believe that he feels that way.
Sometimes when certain things aren’t occurring in our marriages the way we think they should, we can magnify their importance or significance, and put way too much weight on them. But that’s not necessarily the determining factor as to whether you have a loving or healthy marriage. And it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you, your husband, or your marriage.
Although some of the things that we want or desire are good things that can make us feel more connected to our husbands, even when they’re not happening all the time, we can still be connected.
It all just depends on how you think about it.
Think Positive Thoughts, Say Positive Things
If you find yourself comparing your marriage to others often, and you go around having only or mostly negative thoughts about your own, you’ll start seeing your marriage through a negative lens. All of your husband’s shortcomings, all the things you feel your marriage is lacking, all that you wish it was but isn’t, will stand out more than ever. In fact, that might be all you see.
But if you choose, even despite the imperfections, to think positive thoughts like My marriage has so much potential. We’ve come a long way. We’re both doing our best. We’re trying. We love each other. We’re committed. We’re growing. Then that’s what you’ll see. You’ll see the beauty. The potential. The love. The commitment.
Your thoughts about your marriage set the tone for your marriage and become your reality.
If the thoughts are mostly negative, it creates a biased reality that doesn’t include the whole picture; only the negative things that you’ve chosen to focus on.
So, when those negative thoughts pop up, choose to focus on the positive instead. This can allow you to begin to see that although it isn’t perfect, you’ve actually got something pretty special.
Accept That Some Things are Just Beyond Your Control
No matter how much we wish our husbands acted a certain way, or wish they were more like this and less like that, we can’t change them. And we shouldn’t try to. That’s not our job. That’s God’s job. We can pray for them, but at the end of the day, we only have control over ourselves.
Another thing to consider is that our husbands are growing just like we are. We have to respect and be supportive of each other’s journeys. And just because he’s not where he could be, doesn’t mean he’ll never get there. But at the same time, even though we may have our own ideas about how or where we think they should be, our expectations for them are not the standard for them.
So when it comes to your husband, show him grace and embrace who he is and where he is. And be patient with his growth because it’s not something that you can rush or control.
We have to let go of some of those expectations, hand it over to God, and respect, embrace, accept and love them as they are.
As wives, we have the opportunity to be examples of light, love, patience, and understanding in our marriages. We have control over how we carry ourselves, how we choose to respond, and how we choose to love.
This is when showing grace comes in. And although we may not do this every time (because no one is perfect), when we do lead with love, grace, and patience on a regular basis, we begin to create a different atmosphere in our marriages, even if we can’t see it at first.
Those were the lessons that I learned. I hope you found them helpful.
Letting go of some of the expectations that I had for my husband and my marriage allowed me to see things differently. And I feel like I’m in a place now where I can appreciate my husband a whole lot more.
I encourage you to think about some of the expectations you have for your own marriage. Perhaps some of them aren’t as essential as you may have thought they were. Maybe all it takes is seeing things from a new perspective.