Creating a Spouse from Scratch If you were expecting your spouse to change once you were married, like an Instant Husband or Wife, you've probably realized things haven't gone as planned. Here's why. BY MARY LOYER
Putting your spouse together from scratch is a recipe for disaster.
"After we’re married and he’s my husband, he’ll stop watching his sports on Sundays because that will be our family day," my friend Carrie assured me over lunch as she looked forward to her big day in just two months. I smiled as she spoke, remembering some similar plans her fiancé Jeff had shared with me recently. Jeff was thrilled they were getting married. Carrie could focus on being at home, taking care of the house and getting ready for the two kids they both wanted very soon.
Two months later, after their wedding day commenced and their married life began, you can imagine my dismay when Carrie came to me complaining that Jeff was refusing to stop watching his sports on Sundays. She was so disappointed and exclaimed, "I don’t understand? This is what husbands are supposed to do, right? They spend Sundays with their wife and family." She later told me about some of the arguments they were having which included Jeff expecting her to do most of the cleaning around the house.
As Carrie related some of her frustrations about the beginning of their new life together, I couldn’t help but think of the many other couples I know and even myself. We all seemed to have certain expectations about our mate and who they should be. Sure, it could have something to do with what kind of example our parents set for us, but I know for myself I thought that after we got married he’ll be my husband and he’ll know what husbands do, which would be translated in my mind to whatever my dad did, or whatever I saw husbands doing in movies or on TV. In a sense, I expected him to become my "Instant Husband," like instant pudding—add the ring and voila!
From the time of my divorce many years ago, I’ve learned so much and I can see where I was overcome by my expectations of who my husband would just "instantly be." I was visited by disappointment shortly after when I was confronted with the truth that he would not be changing into a different man who would automatically know all the things I expected him to do.
In my research about this, many of the men I talk to seem to have similar expectations. In the case of Jeff and Carrie, Jeff thought Carrie would become his "Instant Wife," and take care of their home the same way his mom did—even though she had a career and had not expressed a desire to be at home full-time before they got married.
Did you have similar thoughts about your mate before you got married? Did you think your husband would stop reading the paper during breakfast every morning, or did you believe your wife would pick up all your socks? If so, by now you’ve probably realized that your recipe for Instant Husband or Wife didn’t turn out the way you expected.
Hopefully, you’ve recognized that loving your mate unconditionally is the one recipe to follow. Accepting your mate as they are, as the person you originally fell in love is the key. Most important, when you find yourself having certain expectations of what role they should play in your marriage, and how they should support you, perhaps you’ll remember that they can’t read your mind. Have a simple conversation with them about your needs and express what that "thing" will "provide" for you. This will help your spouse really understand why you need it.
Carrie later told me that she expressed to Jeff how much she enjoyed the days when they get to do fun things like hiking or riding bikes on the beach together. She explained how important it was to her as these moments gave her a chance to connect with him after a long week of early mornings and overtime at work. She then asked, "When would be a good day to enjoy some fun time together?" He came up with the idea to have Saturdays be their adventure day.
Her voice was filled with excitement when she shared this with me and she was even more excited because now she could visit with me and the other girlfriends on Sundays when Jeff is watching his sports on TV. I call that a recipe for success!
Mary Loyer is the Founder of Red Lipstick Inc. www.redlipstickinc.com. For more than ten years, Mary has passionately led women to find their true feminine power, understand men, and create amazing relationships. Inspired by her career in the beauty industry and her dedication to personal growth, Mary continues to search for ways that women can have harmony with men. Today, Mary speaks, lectures, and writes about many issues that can cause frustration in relationships. She is noted as an inspiring coach who inspires women to be confident, celebrate life, and be as bold as red lipstick.