I was overwhelmed with everything I had to get done. When my husband asked me what was wrong, I shut down and pretended it was nothing, but bitterness festered inside me. I knew he couldn’t read my mind, but I wanted him to be intuitive and just know me well enough to know what was bothering me.
Sure, getting married and having kids forces you to grow up, but it doesn’t automatically teach you how to be mature in a relationship. I was placing unrealistic expectations on my husband and being childish by shutting down. If I could go back in time, I would make these 5 changes and save myself and my husband a lot of headache and heartache.
1. Stop expecting him to see what you see.
I didn’t tell my husband what I needed because I wanted him to see what I needed on his own. What would have made this whole scenario end better? Communication. If I just told him what I needed help with, he gladly would have stepped in! The stress of waiting for him to take initiative just isn’t worth it. Take out the guesswork and just tell your husband what you need.
2. Stop expecting him to want to do what you want to do.
After a long week with the kids, I wanted to decompress by spending time together window shopping or at the park. But he preferred to spend the weekend at home watching TV. I would get frustrated and bored, thinking he was just being lazy and immature. But who actually needed to learn how to be mature in a relationship? Me. I never want to lay down my own preferences, but sometimes his workweeks are tough and require me to compromise.
3. Stop expecting him to parent the same way you do.
Nothing discouraged my husband more than when I butted in as he disciplined our kids. Parenting as a team is one of the hardest things we’ve had to learn, and we are still learning! A mark of maturity is cooperation with and trust in your partner. If you can’t get on the same page, neither of your parenting approaches will work.
4. Stop expecting him to spend money on the things you value.
I wanted a dog, but he didn’t want to spend money on dog food and vet bills. He wanted a new fancy car, but I didn’t think it was practical for our stage of life. Figuring out common goals for how to save, spend, and invest our money was crucial. While we both have had to compromise, creating a budget that allowed us to put money toward what we both value has brought us closer together.
5. Stop expecting him to be in the same season as you.
There have been times when life just seems to be going well for me, but my husband is struggling, and vice versa. I used to get frustrated because I wanted him to celebrate with me. But just because I am going through an easy season doesn’t mean he has to be on the same page. I know that these awkward off-seasons are temporary, and we can still be each other’s greatest cheerleaders.
Have you placed any of these tough expectations on your spouse? What mistakes taught you how to be mature in a relationship?