I remember the first time we celebrated my birthday as a married couple. It was one of the most disappointing days. Growing up, my mom had always made my birthday all about me. I would wake up to gifts and a special breakfast. We usually went out for a lovely lunch. I got to pick what I wanted for dinner and we all celebrated with a cake.
So naturally, Matt should have known all of that. He should have thought ahead and planned ahead and baked me a big cake and planned the whole day around me because hello…it was my birthday.
I believe the day went something like this: I did not wake up to presents or a special breakfast. Lunch? Well that would depend on what I chose to make. There was no cake. Matt didn’t even mention my birthday until late afternoon when he said something like, “I have to go out for a little while because I haven’t had a chance to shop for your present yet. What do you want for your birthday?”
What do I want? What do I WANT? I WANT you to know what I want! I want you to spend hours thinking about how to make my day special and about what would be a wonderful and romantic gift for me. And what do you mean you “haven’t had time to shop yet”? You had 364 days to shop!
Mature, wasn’t I? Expecting a little too much from my new husband? Um, yeah. Especially since I hadn’t expressed one bit of my desires to him in the first place. I didn’t want to have to tell him what I wanted. That wouldn’t have been romantic at all. I wanted him to just KNOW what I wanted. I expected him to create a magical day for me when he had no idea what I had expected. His birthdays growing up had been much more “low key” than mine had been. He didn’t know that the world had to stop and that everything had to revolve around me on my birthday.
That’s just a silly little example of how not sharing our needs or desires with our husbands can cause unnecessary frustration. But the big point is this: Our husbands can NOT read our minds. Your husband probably has no idea what you want until you tell him.
Hey, you can’t read his mind either. This marriage thing takes communication.
If you want your husband to help you more around the house, you need to tell him. And you need to be specific. You can’t just say, “I need you to help me more around the house.” He’s likely to look around the house, feel completely overwhelmed and not help at all. Remember, he can’t read your mind. He probably wants to help you, he just doesn’t know what it is that you need help with. While YOU see the pile of laundry that needs to be folded, don’t assume that he KNOWS that you want him to fold it. Instead of, “I need you to help me” say something along the lines of, “Hey, would you be able to get those clothes folded for me sometime this afternoon?” (And then you give him a flirty look, a smile and a wink – but that’s another post for another day.)
Don’t just sit around waiting for him to figure out what you need or desire. He doesn’t know. He’s probably not insensitive and uncaring. He just doesn’t know. Because your husband can not read your mind.
If you expect your husband to read your mind and instinctively know what you want…you are going to be constantly disappointed. Disappointment can lead to resentment. Which can lead to bitterness. Which can lead to a big sinful mess. The kind of sinful mess that rests in your heart, not in his.
Gently and lovingly share your needs with your husband. Be specific. Think about what you are going to say before you say it. Decide if it truly is a need (or just a selfish desire). Express yourself calmly. DON’T NAG.
Which leads me to this: Even if you share your needs with your husband in all the right ways…he still may not be able to (or willing to) meet all of them. You may be able to try talking through it with him again another time. You may be able to express yourself differently to help him understand what you need. Or, this may just be a time to shut-up and pray.
And through prayer, you will learn that there’s only One who can truly meet all of your needs sufficiently. And joy of joys…He can indeed read your mind. :)