Verbalize Expectations: He’s Not Always Thinking about Flowers and She’s Not Always Thinking About Sex

Your spouse can’t read your mind and silent desires are hard to meet.

Unrealistic expectations can plague our hearts on Valentine’s Day and choke out sweet love throughout the whole year too.

Do you have secret hopes that your husband will show up with a dozen long stem roses, luscious hand-dipped strawberries in silky chocolate, and a handwritten card that expresses his sincerest appreciation and deepest attraction for you?

Movies, ads, and that one guy on Facebook (who actually does this kind of stuff for his wife) have set the bar so high that we end up disappointed when life doesn’t deliver a candy-coated fairy tale.

When I got married, I brought starry eyes and sky-high ideals into our relationship. I expected that my husband would do X, Y, and Z because isn’t that what marital bliss is all about (having my needs and wants met by a dashing man for the rest of my life)?

As you can see, I needed a reality check.

I was baffled that my husband couldn’t read my mind, especially when it came to the gift giving department. We were in sync about many things, so I was surprised when he didn’t automatically know my hopes surrounding Valentine’s Day, birthdays, date nights, etc.

Over the past fifteen years, we have learned how to communicate better, rather than assuming what the other person is thinking, needing, or wanting.

It might see unromantic, but instead of silently hoping my husband brings me flowers, I might suggest, “Hey Honey, I’d love flowers sometime this week.” My husband appreciates this, because although he loves me, he isn’t always thinking about flowers. When he knows the expectation, a lot of times he can easily meet it.

It goes both ways. If my man is in the mood for some lovin’, I appreciate it when he lets me know, because although I love him, I’m not always thinking about sex.

It is difficult to meet an expectation that has not been expressed. In the same breath, it is hard to express expectations when you aren’t sure how they will be perceived or received.

Here are 3 reality checks to help produce reasonable expectations in your marriage:

  1. Your spouse is not your Savior. They are not able to meet all your needs and wants.
  2. Don’t assume your spouse knows what you expect. Verbalize your expectation and discuss whether or not if it’s reasonable for it to be met (and when). Listen to your spouse’s expectations as well.
  3. Be patient when an expectations isn’t met. Believe the best about one another.

Marriage is hard work, but as we grow in the area of communication and reasonable expectations, we improve the well-being of our relationship.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll start thinking about sex more and he’ll show up at the door with flowers.

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Originally published at www.katiemreid.com on February 14, 2017.