Expectations and Resentments

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Family Life, Marriage, Marriage Prep, Society

“Uncommunicated expectations become premeditated resentments.” ~ Neil Strauss

Do we have expectations in our marriages?  I am never more angry with my husband than when he fails to read my mind. Why can’t he just know what I need and want and do it perfectly? Doesn’t he know me well enough by now to predict my preferences?

I, like many human beings, would much rather someone else read my mind than be vulnerable about my needs. 2 years and just about 2 kids into marriage, I still struggle to share my expectations with my husband. I don’t want to come across as clingy, needy, helpless, struggling, or anything less than the perfect wife. Where does that leave us when I need a break from the norm or for him to go an extra mile for me?

It leaves us in a stalemate of emotions for about 10 minutes until I can be honest. I’m generally upset and even angry for that time because I want him to read between the lines of whatever I’m cryptically saying. Honesty, on the other hand, is followed by an immediate, enthusiastic response from Joshua to fulfill whatever my need is!

Whether we like it or not, our spouse  cannot read our mind. When we need something from them, we have an expectation that they will come to our aid. Failing to communicate with them means the burden of guilt is on us, not them. Resenting our partner for not helping us with whatever situation or emotions we’re dealing with is an understandable reaction. However, it’s unfair and frankly childish to resent them when we never told them our expectations changed!

Married couples will go through so much life together, and our needs sometimes will differ from our norm. Our spouse cannot be expected to jump through hoops to predict what we’ll need when we’ll need it. We are partners, not opponents testing each other. Do not allow uncommunicated expectations to become premeditated resentments.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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