I expected my husband to complete me.
Guess what I found out? He's not God. So He's not going to do the job that only God can do. So many times as women we get God and the men in our lives (husbands, fathers, pastors, leaders) mixed up and wonder why we end up getting hurt all the time.
Sometimes women say to me, "You are so lucky. You're married to a man of God, not just a Christian, but a pastor!" And I say, "Yes, he's a man of God but he's still...a MAN."
That's not a slam, it's a reality. Men are men. They are not God. When we build them up to be what only God can be, we will be let down every time. Reality is, I am lucky - I am blessed - I have chosen well. And, my husband is still a mortal who makes mistakes and cannot possibly complete me like God can.
I expected my husband to read my mind.
He should have just known that I wanted to go to Panera Bread...not Quaker Steak and Lube.
He should have just known I wanted to see the movie where people were kissing and laughing, and not blowing one another up.
He should have just known that I wanted a purse for my birthday, not a juicer.
He should have just known that I wanted to go straight home after church and not out with anyone.
All this time, and he's still not reading my mind. What the heck is wrong with him?
I expected my husband to grow at my pace.
He has grown and changed, so much since we've been married. Never on my personal timetable. And I let him know it, far too many times.
"Why has it taken you this long to see this?"
"Why has it taken you all this time to make a change?"
"I told you, you should have done this years ago..."
I deeply regret these words.
We all come to realizations over time and make changes and grow at our own pace. Unfortunately I extended far more grace to other people, even strangers, than the person I slept with every night.
I expected my husband to be like a girlfriend.
Why doesn't he want to talk about the things we girls talk about, for hours, and never get tired of it?
Why doesn't he get excited about the spinach salad with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts? Why will he never, ever eat that for dinner and be absolutely repulsed if I even suggest it?
Why doesn't he grasp the power of a pedicure?
He's not a girl. I married a man.
We should never let go of our girlfriends. We need them for topics that are worthy of a five hour conversation. We need them for times we must cry about the same thing over, and over and over again and not have them think for one moment that we are strange or should have moved on.
I expected my husband to remember what I want in the bedroom every time.
So we've been married for 25 years. My happy place has not moved. But I still have to introduce him to it and show him around.
There were times it would anger me. Does he not care enough to remember what I told him or showed him the last time?
Again, false expectations of mind reading and perfection. Not only is it perfectly acceptable to remind him, but expecting him to just do whatever it was I said the last time might make things kind of stale and boring. But I never thought of that. I just considered him an uncaring and memory challenged.
I could have considered it an amazing opportunity each time to share with him exactly what I wanted from him. I didn't, but now I'm wiser. I've discovered that telling my husband exactly what I desire in and of itself is quite the fire-starter!
Notice the commonality with all these mistakes...
Expectations are not always bad, but false ones are a killer to any relationship. And ones that are unspoken are almost always deadly.
What mistakes have you made in your marriage, and how did you fix them? Or have you?
*photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net