Husband: “When I grew-up the bathroom floor was so clean you could eat off it.”
Wife: “I’m not planning on eating off our bathroom floor.”
Husband: “My mom irons everything, including sheets and underwear.”
Wife: “I do the bake and shake version- Dry. Shake. Go.”
As a new bride, I thought it best to quickly lower my groom’s expectations.
He wasn’t the only one who had big ideas of what should be. I expected my husband to clear the driveway the moment snow began to accumulate, just like my dad did. I mean really, didn’t all men do that? But Tom was good with putting the car in four-wheel-drive.
Tracks on driveway, no problem for him. A few wrinkles in the clothes, no worries for me.
And life still goes on.
We all come into marriage, into families with preconceived ideas. Those standards are often not for ourselves but for our spouse. (I’ve noticed the bar I set for Tom is quite high. Yet, I generously give myself more room to move… Yep- works for me!)
Talking and adjusting.
Let’s begin by picking out what is important and what is just a preference. These seemingly small notions can morph into unresolved resentments and bigger issues if we don’t verbalize our vision of what should be. Then the discussion of what can be can take place. Marriage is a union that brings together two people raised in two different homes. Of course there will be differences.
Husbands and wives need to find a way to tailor their life together so the fit is right for both individuals.
So…the next time you begin a sentence to your mate starting with the words, should or ought–S.T.A.L.L.
Talk about what you were hoping, expecting, thinking.
Ask, “Would you be able to…”
Listen to the answer.
Learn together how to tailor the best solution for your unique marriage.
It’s possible some nips and tucks might need to be made in the expectation. When two become one, both need to make room for the other. Then…don’t sweat the small stuff.
What have been some of your expectations due to your family of origin?
A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
By Lori Wildenberg, licensed parent and family educator, author speaker, and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
Lori’s 4th and 1st solo book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishing) will be released May 2017. Lori is the lead mentor mom for Moms Together (a Facebook Community Page) and a contributor to a number of online magazines: Crosswalk.com, The Mom Initiative, Life Notes Cafe, ChristianParenting.org, and Her View from Home. Lori also writes the monthly Family Matters column for Red Rocks Views magazine. Catch Lori’s practical and warm-hearted faith and family blog Eternal Moments every Monday. She is available for speaking, parenting workshops, and parent consulting and coaching. Contact Lori at LoriWildenberg.com.
Click on the links to head over to Amazon to get Raising Little Kids with BIG Love and/or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love by Wildenberg & Danielson.