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!
“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!