Can I get an amen? Let’s talk about how I can be bursting with love for my husband one minute and then, just like that, he’s done something that has made me furious. Come along and see if you can relate.
I’m a stay at home mom and some days while my husband is at work, I start reminiscing to when we were dating. I remember the constant texts just to say I Love You or I Miss You. Whenever I can stop and rest for a minute, I think about how much I love him and how different that love looks and feels now compared to when we got married.
It’s deeper and more significant. We’ve been through some stuff now. We’ve laughed a lot and cried a lot. We’ve learned how to argue and how to communicate better than before. We’ve prayed together about big decisions and held hands knowing that we’re in it together if it blows up in our faces. He’s also seen 3 people exit my body and there’s really no coming back from that one.
On those days when I get nostalgic, I feel so much gratitude for him and our life together. I focus on all the stuff that he does right and glance past all the stuff I think he’s doing wrong.
Before he gets home from work I pick up the toys and somehow manage to get a nice meal on the table. I envision a real Leave it to Beaver type moment. He’ll burst through the door and wrap his arms around me. We’ll enjoy a beautiful meal as a family, the kids will behave and we’ll cuddle on the couch after everyone is tucked in. It’s going to be perfect.
Finally, his car pulls in the driveway and I can’t wait to hug him, tell him he’s appreciated and that our life together is just everything I always hoped and prayed for.
He walks in. There’s no embrace. The kids are jumping on him at the door. He dumps his stuff on the kitchen table, tracks dirt all over the floor I just swept and starts eating handfuls of chips while dinner is warm and ready on the stove.
To top it off, he leaves the bathroom door open, doesn’t replace the toilet paper and drops his dirty pants on the floor.
Gah! What happened?! Why didn’t he read my mind and anticipate my expectations? Why didn’t he know that today was supposed to be different? Every other night the house is a disaster and I barely greet him when he comes in the door but why didn’t he know that today I was feeling emotional and extra lovey?
Here are just a few things I’ve managed to learn in our 5 short years living together. I can’t set expectations on him without discussing them and then get upset when they’re not met. I need to remember that he’s just as exhausted as I am at the end of the day. He needs a few minutes to turn off his work brain and turn on his family brain. I also can’t let my emotions be so extreme that his lack of affection in one circumstance would cause my whole day (and attitude) to go down the tubes. The biggest one, though? Peeing with the door open and leaving his pants on the floor is really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
The stuff that is important in the grand scheme of things? He loves God, me and our children. He works really hard at a stressful job to provide for us. He also empties the drain in the sink when it gets clogged with food so that I don’t have to do it and gag.
So here’s what I try to do on the days that my expectations aren’t met. I pray extra for him, extend the same amount of grace that I’d like extended to me and then pray some more. Our marriage is not glamorous but it is worth it and I wouldn’t want it any other way.