I recently had a conversation with my husband about our marriage. During this conversation, he handed me his phone and told me I should read something. It was an article (check it out, it's a MUST READ) about the number one cause of divorce. This gist of it is, that unmet expectations are the leading cause of unhappiness in a marriage. It got me thinking about my marriage and how it applies?
I realized unmet expectations, in my life, are the biggest cause of my sadness. For example, being a mom can be lonely and a lot of the time I need validation for being a good mom or doing a good job and I don't always get that from my husband. This got me thinking why do I need this validation in the first place and how would my husband even know I need this if I don't tell him?
I seem to have these little expectations in my life that no one would even know about because I have never expressed the need for them. I expect my husband to do things when I have never even asked. I expect needed affection from him when I have never expressed something is wrong. Sound familiar to you? Why do we do this and how we can stop this?
The article explains that we should "go with the flow" but I find this to be hard for a lot of us, especially mothers. Our life is a constant routine of naps, cleaning, feedings, baths, and bedtime. It's hard to just go with the flow when our life is so structured. So what can we do to stop these unmet expectations from getting us unhappy in our lives?
Another leading cause of divorce is miscommunication. Most of us know this and it sounds cliche, but it is so important to express our feelings to our spouse. I should not be getting mad at my husband for something if he didn't even know what that something was. I can't be in a bad mood if he doesn't meet my expectations when he doesn't know I even expected something of him.
I need to be talking and communicating with him about my expectations in our marriage and daily life or our relationship will seriously suffer.
That night when I read the article he showed me, he was the one apologizing for putting unnecessary expectations on me. He said things like cleaning, doing laundry, making dinner and taking care of our daughter were things he expected of me when in reality he felt he could be helping more. I turned to him and felt so much love for him that he even realized, let alone thought about this.
I didn't get to apologize to him for the expectations I put on him, especially since I feel like this is a bigger problem for me than it is for him. So Max, I'm sorry for the pressure I put on you and I appreciate everything you do for our family. Just know I love you and will do my best to communicate better about what I expect of you.