An Ostrich’s Response to Emotions

Brad says…

Expectations, we all have them. We all want others to meet them. How often do you stop and look at what expectations others have of you?

When I read Kate’s, My Husband Is a Greek God post I felt pretty good, for the first paragraph. Don’t worry my puffed up pride took a nose dive hearing all of the expectations that my wife had of me that I wasn’t meeting.

Kate’s post concluded that she had expectations that really belonged on God, not me. That doesn’t change the fact that as her husband I would like to be meeting all of her expectations. All of her desires, dreams, wishes, and meeting all of her needs.

I know, that wasn’t the point of the post, and yes I do think that guys also misplace expectations on their wife that really belong on God too.  However, reading Kate’s post the most significant emotion I felt was regret. Regret over how much I have missed, how much I have let selfishness take over. Regret over how much I played ostrich with Kate’s emotions.

Expectations: Acknowledge or Ignore?

Let’s be honest guys, we often know when things are not quite right. We know when we have not been spending quality time with our wife. We know when she is stressed out because of the kids, the schedule, her work, whatever.

The problem is the difference between knowing and responding. When I see these things I get defensive. I don’t think of my wife’s needs, desires, or expectations; I look at myself and say “want do you want from me?” (I don’t really say that out loud, that would be rather ignorant, but you get the picture)

When I feel the expectations from my wife rising I choose to look at my own needs rather than hers. I choose to play ostrich and stick my head in the sand.

Ostrich is Easy

I have a million reasons why I could ignore her needs and play dumb to her emotions. I’m busy, I’m stressed, I need time, I need a break, I need …

All of that doesn’t matter. God calls us to more. Our wives deserve more.

I challenge all of you to lift your head out of the sand and take a hard look at what needs and expectations you wife has that you are not meeting.

Knowing Isn’t Understanding

Just because we might know that things are not right, doesn’t mean that we actually know what is wrong. Once you lift your head out of the sand you are going to have to actually figure which of your your wife expectations should be tackled first.

Communication is the only way. Talk to her; tell her you’ve noticed   (fill in the blank) and ask what you can do. Then actually stop and listen to what she has to say.

Understanding Isn’t Fixing

Just because you understand what some of the expectations are that you are not able to meet, does not mean that you will know (or even be able to) fix them. As Kate’s post said sometimes these expectations are really misplaced.  That being said, I think we should make every effort to try!

Try this:

“I know that things have been really busy and stressful lately. I know that you haven’t had the time you needed for yourself or for us. I’ve carved our tomorrow evening to fix that. Tomorrow night is a YOU night. You can do whatever you want. You can go out with friends, we can spend time together, and you can spend time alone. I just need you to let me know what needs done to make whatever you want to happen.”

Time doesn’t fix everything but without it not much can happen. Simply giving the gift of time can go a long way!


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6 Responses to An Ostrich’s Response to Emotions

  1. My hubby tends to do this to me … I have to remind him to stop checking out when things get uncomfortable for him … I need to talk things out, figure stuff out and need him to be present for that 🙂

    • Hi Sandra! That is not at all uncommon! Good for you, being proacative in keeping communication up! Blessings to you both! kate

  2. Yes, and even though we really want our husbands to know without us saying anything, wives need to be willing to come right out and ask for what they need. Awesome post Brad!

    • Yep, as much as we would LOVE for them to read our minds, they can’t and nor should they be forced to … you just gotta open your mouth in LOVE and tell him what you need/want 🙂 Worked wonders for me in the bedroom recently … lol … not that we were having any major issues I just needed something “tweaked” in regard to technique … rofl … and oh boy did he learn well 🙂

      • Hi Sandra! Thanks for writing and sharing! I find myself still wanting Brad to be a mind reader at time-well because it would be nice! But you are so right, just as we cannot read their minds, neither can they read ours. When you talk and communication is a priority, there is so much room for growth in your one flesh union! Kudos to you and your hubby for learning and tweaking things, especially in the bedroom! 😉 Blessings, Kate

  3. I have this problem with my husband in our marriage. I have tried to communicate to him my needs/expectations and he tells me they are too high and impossible to meet. At one point I could see some of what he was saying there was a truth to what he was saying, so I worked to lower the more unrealistic expectations to more realistic ones. Although I have done this he now tells me that I make him not feel good enough and I belittle him the times I try to talk to him about my feelings. He says he can’t make me happy no matter what he does it’s all wrong. I don’t always communicate the way I should but I have gotten better with how I try to reach him and try and do it in a gentle caring way at the same time as putting my feelings out there. I know the times I have gone about it wrong was from frustration of trying to reach him and it feels as if He doesn’t want me to have any needs or expectations at all. It makes me feel sometimes that I am in the wrong for having them. He says he is trying but it’s not good enough for me and there are times I see him try on occasion but quickly give up because although I explain what I need and I even try to compromise and meet in the middle he does it in his own way that doesn’t come off as he doesn’t quite understand what I tried communicating to him and it leads to more frustration and stress. I don’t expect my needs and expectations alone to be met and I have wanted to learn about his and wanted to work to meeting his to help show him it’s not all about me and I love and respect him and want to do the same for him, but he tells me he doesn’t have any. I feel rejected and like he pushes me away. He tries to tell me men don’t have those it’s just women but we are all human and have them although we are different genders everyone has them. I feel as if we have many problems and I have wanted us to seek help. So we could both learn to see where the other was coming from and both work to making a better, healthier, and happier marriage where we both contributed, but he refuses to go with me and where I’m trying to grow in my faith and trust in God he doesn’t necessarily not believe in god but he battles with questions such as if he has a plan for everyone and it’s good why do bad things happen like children getting hurt by adults and such. I don’t feel as if I am at a point to help him in finding god and knowing and feeling his love because I still feel like I have a lot to learn myself before I can really help. I have tried reaching and asking to build a spiritual relationship with him but he refuses. He says he prays but god doesn’t answer his prayers and has never answered them in his past. I feel like I put some much into trying to help improve our marriage and help my husband to want to meet my needs and for him to open up to me about his so I can meet his that there is so much and I feel as if I’m failing at everything that I try to do to help. I am far from perfect and I do make mistakes and have flaws although I’m still learning all of them to try and work towards becoming a better follower in Christ and to lead my husband to him as well I feel like I am stuck and I’m not making any improvements with any of it. My husband says I make him feel inadequate by being open and honest about my feelings and that has never been my intentions and have told him so and feel like my actions show that I don’t personally feel that way and I also voice it and try to be loving towards him, but it’s looked over his attention seems to always been some where else. I don’t know what else I can do, but I don’t want to give up on us, our marriage, or our family. I’m i ways at at loss on what should be my next step.