What are you waiting for from your spouse?
Are you waiting for more appreciation? More picking up after himself? More self-reliance when it comes to getting the computer and other electronics to work?
Are you waiting for more foreplay? Less modesty in bed? Better meals? Some landscaping? Maybe weight loss? Or perhaps vacation planning?
What would you do if you learned today for certain you will never get it? What if you could tell right now, without a doubt, you cannot and will not get it, not by nagging nor by being extra nice nor even by promising money or sex?
Can you picture yourself finding a way to accept you won’t be getting what you’re waiting for and love your spouse anyway?
If so, no matter how justified you might be for wanting what you’ve been waiting for, while you wait, you miss out on being fully in love with each other.
What Are You Waiting For?
What are you waiting for from your spouse?
In your final statement, are you implying that we won’t be fully in love with each other as long as we hold on to this “want,” or that we won’t be fully in love as long as we keep each other waiting for that thing we want?
Great question, TB! It’s the first. As long as we are nursing a grudge because we’re not getting something expected, we are holding back from the relationship. We keep our minds focused on what’s missing. The resentment we hold keeps us looking for danger, unable to see all of what we’re offered, unable to express our gratitude without reservation.
More importantly, it leaves us unable to do a thing about the quality of our relationship. During the last two years of my first husband’s life, I kept waiting for him to give me the things I wanted. With his sudden death and the awful realization I would now need to find these things for myself, the curtains flew open, letting me see in an instant all the things he did for me that never counted while I was nursing my grudge.
I don’t want anyone else to make the discovery too late. Expect Love, let go of as many of your other expectations as you can, and you open the curtains before it’s too late.
I think nearly everyone struggles with this. Sometimes it is fairly easy to say, my spouse doesn’t do xyz, but that doesn’t really matter, especially because he does abc. But sometimes, we want what we want, and we want it so intensely that it is very hard to give it up, very hard to believe that we will be truly fulfilled without it. And yet, if we require some very specific thing from another person in order to find fulfillment in life, we are in big trouble.
Of course it matters that you’re not getting what you need. The mistake is in letting this get between you and the one you love. With very few exceptions, there are other ways to get what you need. Your spouse can be an ally in getting it, instead of an opponent.
For example, I waited for my first husband to do the things I could not do while I had a long commute. After his death, I shortened the commute. I waited for him to take dance lessons with me, instead of taking them by myself. As a widow, I learned a married woman could easily dance with others at our local country western dance clubs and ballroom dance studios without risking her marriage.
I have watched people pursue wild dreams their spouses would not enjoy, once they let go of making those spouses join them. Once they let go of come with me or I’m leaving, they built Third Alternative solutions that worked for both of them. Their spouses benefited from their growth and their great pleasure in doing what they loved.
Waiting for your spouse to get perfect is like waiting for wax to melt on a freezing day. We need to understand that we are all flawed and that we need to extend grace and patience to our spouse. Love inspite of the weaknesses. Here’s a thought: It’s ok to expect perfection as long as you are perfect. If not, then accept the imperfections and work at growing closer based on what it right about your spouse.
One of my hearts greatest desires is to have a child one day. My husband is the only one that can give this to me. But he never wants to have any children.. at all.. ever! I have been waiting 7 years for him to change his mind.. with absolutely no change and no sign of hope for the future. If I have to give this up.. If I had to accept that it will never happen.. It will be the most difficult thing ever. I dont know if I could do it. I think that holding on to this hope of change is really what keeps me going..
Nellie, this is a great topic for a blog post. I will answer your question in today’s post. Thank you for asking!