Expecting our husbands to behave the way we want them to does not guarantee they will do whatever we want. What happens if they have no interest in living up to our expectations? Do we set ourselves up for dissappointment and become resentful because they failed to do what we expected? It is even worse when we try to manipulate them into fulfilling our own desired outcome. Expectations in themselves are a part of life, but where we fail ourselves is expecting others to live up to our own personal standards.
It is the unspoken expectations that are almost guaranteed to go unfulfilled. We must not expect anyone to know exactly what we want without expressing it. We must communicate the things we need from one another without placing demands.
It is unrealistic to think that merely communicating our expectations clearly is going to get our husbands to behave the way we want them to. It is also unrealistic to believe that they will live up to our desires all of the time. When we expect them to act in ways that are not consistent with their personal interests, they may resist our expectations.
A husband’s failure to fulfill expectations often leads to disappointment and resentment. When wives think the answer to unmet expectations is to yell and threaten, or pout and give the silent treatment, or allow their desires to be known in ways that are belittling, emasculating, sarcastic, or outright rude towards their husbands to get their own way, they might want to consider other alternatives. This kind of behavior will not facilitate a positive change in a marriage.
When my husband does not do certain things that I want him to, or seem to have much interest in the things that I “expect” from him, I no longer take it personally. I used to spiral into a frenzy of doubts about his love for me and think because he failed to do certain things that I wanted, that he no longer cared for me.
When he does things that I do not prefer, such as sitting on the pretty new decorative throw pillows and squashing them, or forgetting to close the toilet lid so that I don’t accidentally fall in, to more serious things like feeling as though he’s not paying enough attention to me, or not being so enthusiastic about doing specific things together that I prefer to do, I accept the outcome of these issues that I may have without trying to force him to change.
I understand it is my role in any issue that I am having to take responsibility for my own behavior and accept the things about him that I cannot change. I also understand that we must find our own level of closeness that fulfills our needs for companionship and intimacy without depriving each other’s time for independence.
Regardless of the different type of things we are hoping for from our loved ones, we cannot pin all our hopes of happiness on fulfilled expectations from them. We need to let go of expectations and find something to be grateful about.
Even when things do not turn out exactly the way we expected, we must continuously put our hope in God to meet all of our needs. He is able to do way more than we could ever even imagine!