I admit: it’s difficult to not expect things from people. I expect hard work from my co-workers, respect from my kids, and loyalty from my friends. But I tend to have the highest and most unreasonable expectations for my wife, Susan. Here are 3 major things I often expect from her:
1. I expect her to be the mediator. Sometimes, I find myself saying to Susan, “Grant came home past curfew last night. You need to talk to him about where he was and what he was doing.” Or I’ll suggest, “Why don’t you talk to Megan and Emily about their bickering.” In these types of situations, I’m looking to avoid the hassle of hard conversations with my children. So, instead of consistently delegating everything to my wife to solve, I’m striving to address problems myself when I notice them.
2. I expect her to be like my mom. My mom is incredibly neat. Because of this, I grew up in a house that never knew a piece of laundry to be lying in the hallway, a bed unmade, or a sink with dishes in it. In the early years of our marriage, it was really difficult for me to deal with any messiness in our house. It was always a sore spot in our relationship. But through the years, Susan has worked harder to keep things picked up and neat and I’ve become less obsessive about it. I still have some expectations in this area, but I’ve learned to take them down a couple of notches.
3. I expect her to think the same way I do. While my wife and I are both passionate, driven people, we still differ in many ways. Specifically when communicating, it’s easy to forget that we don’t always have the same mindset. She’s a conceptual, creative thinker. I’m a literal, bottom-line thinker. So, I’ve learned not to expect her to think like me. We’ve had to learn each other’s “language” and learn to repeat things back to each other to ensure we clearly understand what the other is thinking. Have we done it perfectly? Of course not. But we’ve made great strides in 24 years of marriage.
What are some unreasonable or high expectations you’ve set for your spouse? I’d really like to hear your thoughts below.