Ep. 16 Expectations & Assumptions (part 3 of Communication Killers & their Kryptonite)

Do you struggle with unmet expectations in your marriage? They sure are a funny thing, aren’t they? By now, you’d think we’ve all learned what expectations and assumptions get us—a whole lot of disappointment and frustration, and yet we still tend to have them.

 

On this final episode of the Communication Killers & their Kryptonite we discussed the deeper problems with Expectations and Assumptions, and shared how to navigate your way out of them.

 

The first struggle with expectations and assumptions is when we expect or assume these three things:

 

1. For your spouse to have common sense. Truly, common sense just isn’t a thing. It really feels as if it should be, however we can’t share common sense when we don’t share common experiences, upbringings, pains or traumas.

 

2. For your spouse to know what you need. You must communicate exactly what it is you want if you want a need met. Making vague or even frustrated statements does not express a need and quite often your spouse won’t hear what it is you’re asking for.

 

3. For you and your spouse to share communication styles. People share and receive things differently; your spouse is no different. Learning to understand if your spouse is concrete or non-concrete, or perhaps contemplative or non-contemplative, which help out your communication game greatly.

 

Stay tuned for the next episode where we’ll be talking all about sex! Just in time for Valentines Day!

 

Quotes from the episode:

 

“Common sense isn’t all that common because we didn’t all share common experiences.”

“The trash is full” does not mean “please take out the trash right now.” Ask for wat you need.”

 
 

Verses:

 

1 Peter 3:8 NIV

What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew

What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew

Husbands often get a bad wrap in the communication department, but what if it’s actually not all on them? How about the many times in marriage when husbands actually do share how they feel, but as soon as they do, they get dismissed or perhaps told they’re wrong. Yikes, I know.

 

As marriage counselors, a common theme we see in our practice is that when men get shut down, dismissed or rejected, they are quick to just give up. In other words, when they try and compliment their wife and she refuses to receive it, they stop complimenting them. They don’t want their words to fall on deaf ears. Same goes when they share a reason why they do something and their wife refuses to believe them and instead says, “That is not why you do that, I know why you really do it.” Whelp, they likely won’t be sharing that answer again.

 

Before I get ahead of myself with this, I do want to say that a lot of husbands actually do need to get better at communicating. They do have some ownership in this too, but to give them a bit of a voice today, here are 4 things many husbands wish their wives knew:

When he tells you you’re beautiful, he’s not just saying it. He means it.
Many women struggle to receive compliments, but as a wife, you need to learn how to receive them from your husband. No one wants to share an encouraging, heartfelt word only to have it met with rejection. Just simply say thank you and choose to believe it. You will be better for it.

He loves your naked body and enjoys seeing it. Really.
You may be keenly aware of every flaw and imperfection your body has, but your husband really doesn’t care about those. He is looking past all the imperfections and finding fulfillment in just your willingness to be vulnerably exposed in front of him. He just wants to enjoy you.

Sex with you is much more than a physical release. It is a way he feels more connected and closer to you.

He doesn’t just want you for sex. Being emotionally connected with your husband creates a desire in you to physically be with him. But, being physically intimate with you, helps him feel emotionally connected to you. It truly is a blending of the best of both worlds when you can grasp this.

Things stress him out more often than he lets on. He doesn’t always tell you because he doesn’t want to stress you out too. Here’s where it’s on the husbands, however they want you to know that they do want you to support them under stress but they often hold back as a way to protect you. Your husband’s intentions aren’t to withhold from you, they are to keep you safe.

 

All in all, there’s room for growth on both wives and husbands alike. That’s why it’s always good to leave assumptions aside and allow room for grace and good intentions. Wives truly do want to believe in compliments and husbands really do want to share their struggles. So the next time your husband says “You’re beautiful”, simply smile and say, “Thank you,” and the next time your wife asks how your day was, be honest and just tell her.

If you want to take your communication a little deeper, check out Episode 7 on the Expedition Marriage podcast where we chat about The Masks We Wear in Marriage.

Ep. 8: The 7 Year Itch. Is it a thing?

Whether it’s 7 years, 2 years, 10 years, or 20 years, there are no guarantees that marriage won’t get “itchy” on occasion. While there’s good merit as to why the 5-8 year time period might cause some struggle, it’s not time to render your marriage hopeless. There are some good reasons behind the struggle and ion this case, knowledge truly can be power.

We talked about 4 common reasons for that 7 year, or really any year, itch.

· The hormone cocktail of the newlywed life dissipates

· Marriage starts running like a business instead of a relationship

· Unmet expectations become very clear

· The piling up of undealt with problems

Even amidst these struggles, there’s no need to fret, because we shared 4 ways to get out and prevent those issues form coming up.

· Realize the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever (hormone wise, anyways)

· Clock out and start having fun and play

· Let go of the idea of a perfect marriage

· Don’t be afraid to address the issues

Join us for our next episode on Gratefulness: Walking in an Attitude of Gratitude

 

Quotes from the episode :

“The honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever, but your love can still get deeper and richer.”

“Don’t get stuck in a business partnership. Clock out. Have fun, play—interrupt all the work”

“Let go of the idea of perfect.”

Ep. 6: Keeping Love Alive

Today we’re shooting from the hip, going off the cuff, or whatever else you call it when we just decide to hit record and share some real conversations that take place in our marriage.

 

We’re asking each other a specific question, “What do you think we do that keeps our alive?” Tune in to hear our individual answers, and then keep listening to find out what we both agree are the things that will do the opposite and kill your love.

 

To get the free handout Keeping Love Alive mentioned in the podcast, you can get it at https://www.expeditionmarriage.org/keepinglovealive

 

As always, we would love for you to share this with your spouse and friends. 

Quotes:

“Knowing these things has given us each a better understanding of each other and what is important to each of us.”

 

“Constantly being grateful for all that you do makes loving you so easy.”

 

“Real communication is being able to tell one another everything, how we feel, what we need and what’s hurting us, all while feeling safe and secure.”

Honey, Let Me Tell You Why I Want a Date Night

Honey, Let Me Tell You Why I Want a Date Night

Honey, I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a date night. I’m tired, you’re tired, it’s too expensive, and we don’t have any time. I know all of these things are true, but yet I desperately want a date night anyway. Let me tell you why…

When we go out it gives me an opportunity to remember who you are and appreciate who you’re becoming. Who we are becoming together. These are things we can only know by communicating, actually having uninterrupted time talking together. We’re both always evolving and I don’t want to miss that. I want to know what’s going on in your life. How you think and feel matters to me. 

I also love us after we’ve experienced a date night. It increases the quality of our relationship. I feel loved and valued, and my love and value for you increases too. We’re a better us when we take time away together. Besides, sometimes I just really miss you and I don’t like that. I wan’t another date night with you. 

Spending time, just the two of us, reminds me that I am a priority to you and it helps me keep you a priority to me. I don’t want to just wish we had time together. I want to make that time of investment in you because you matter to me. When we go on dates I am reminded of our commitment and dedication to each other. I am reminded that you will always have my back and I yours. I really want a date night with you.

Honey, I want a date night with you because you make me come alive. Time alone with you makes me desire you in all the ways, physically, emotionally and mentally. It keeps the element of surprise in our marriage. It brings to the surface the fun and playful side of us that I love so much. 

Lastly, dating you makes me remember all the many things I love about you and why I married you in the first place. So, how about it, you up for a date?

Love,

Me 

Honey, I Will Never Bail on You

Honey, I Will Never Bail on You

To the One that I Love,

When I stood across from you as we spoke our vows, it was easy to give you all of my love and my whole heart. You were the perfect one for me, and in those brief moments at the alter, I felt complete. I was completely sure of my decision to vow my life to you, not in a commitment, as long as you make me happy, kind of way, but in that deep, everlasting, sickness and health, covenant kind of way.

I meant every word I said as I declared my love for you.

As the years have flown by, our emotions have flowed in and out like the waves of the ocean. At times, those waters have been serene and calm like a beautiful sheet of glass, but they have also seen days of raging like a violent storm. It is in those raging moments that I promise to you that I will always recall that day on the altar. 

I must. 

I must, because my emotions are fleeting, my desires are ever changing, and the circumstances of life are out of my control. That day at the altar, the words that flowed out of my mouth between you, me, and our God, they became the anchor of our marriage. I will rely on that covenant to always keep us afloat, even in the stormy seasons.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

I won’t bail because I know the quirks that you have, the ones that drive me nuts, are there to make me better. They call out a grace in me that I might not ever tap into without you. The way you leave your clothes on the floor, or leave the gas tank empty, or the countless coffee cups that have left rings on the table from sitting out all day, those things, as crazy as they seem, they make me better.

It is in those things that I am able to recognize that you have a need for me. I can see that I help you with organization, with being on time, with putting things away that never make it on your radar as you step right over them everyday. I see that I can make your life better by staffing your weaknesses and by showing you the deep love that only grace can offer. I know that I have a need for you too. You bring balance to my life that I often forget I even need.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

The arguments we have provide me opportunity for growth. They help mold me and shape me to become more like Christ. They ask me to level up in my faith and maturity. They encourage me to focus on solutions instead of on giving up. I need the challenge of us so I don’t ever become stagnant in my growth. 

Honey, I will never bail on you.

We were once two that have become one. You are a piece of me, tightly woven together by God himself. I have to choose to fight for you, for us, because in that I am also fighting for myself, perhaps in a way that no one else ever had. 

You were a gift to me, even on days when it doesn’t feel like it. You are the key to making me better. You are the one placed in my life to iron out my wrinkles, inspire the great things I am to become, and to simply walk alongside me. You are part of my healing and my celebration journey.

I won’t bail on you because I acknowledge that there is a greater purpose at work amongst us. One that holds us to the fire to burn away all the rough edges, to refine us and to show the world how Christ loves His own bride, the church. How could I ever allow the world to miss that? Bailing on you, would mean bailing on me, and ultimately it would mean bailing on God, and at the very least, He doesn’t deserve that.

Honey, I will never bail on you.

I won’t ever bail on you because I am not happy, because our marriage is hard, because we have a crisis, because you get sick, or because you go through a trial that changes who you are for season. All of those things call me to a greater love, a sacrificial love, just like the love Jesus came to give us all. And just as He once spread out His arms open wide, inviting us all in to receive the forgiveness and grace, I will always choose to open my arms to you, inviting you in, reminding you…that,

Honey, I will never bail on you.

Because, even in our darkest season and deepest pain,  Christ will never bail on us.

2 Simple Things For A Strong Marriage

2 Simple Things For A Strong Marriage

There aren’t really any big secrets about having a strong and satisfying marriage.  It’s not a matter of luck, and it’s most certainly not a matter of being married to the right person. There are however, a couple of things that might help. 

It turns out that the couples who report the greatest satisfaction in their marriage share certain things in common, specifically these two “simple” things. 

1. They spend time together.  Shocking, I know, but you’d be surprised (unless your marriage is one of these) how many couples don’t spend much time together. The successful couples are intentional about making time together, and they protect that time. 

It’s important to know that when we say spending time, we mean quality time, and quite honestly, quality time often comes from quantity time. You can’t just make quality time happen in the 5 minutes you have to spare for each other. Sure, you can be intentional in those few minutes, but overall, it just needs to be more than that. Leftover time to collapse at the end of the day doesn’t really count! 

2. They touch each other… a lot… and often. We’re not talking about big public displays of affection, or even having to hold hands everywhere they go.  We’re talking sweet, affectionate, reassuring touch. The kind of touch that is comforting and connecting. The kind of touching that reminds us that we are safe and connected, even on bad days. This may be the quick squeezing of the shoulders after a long day at work, a hand on the small of her back while out in public or at home, or the running of your fingers briefly through each others hair as you pass by. Those brief tender touches can go a long way.

Now, we realize that these may seem to be two simple things, but they may not be as simple to execute. After all, you’re busy and you’re often disconnected as a couple, trying  to get from one point to the next all day long. At the end of the day, you’re just two tired people who have been running around all day pouring yourselves out. It is for that very reason why these two simple things need to become a priority. 

Left unattended, life will begin to steal from you as a couple. It will keep rushing forward unless you pull back the reins and slow it down. No one intentionally sets out to be too busy, it just happens, unless you don’t allow it to.

Going forward, as you move about your day, take the time to pause and evaluate. If these two things seem impossible, can we suggest that might be a clue that you need to pull back the reins somewhere. It might be time for a schedule change, a child’s activity to be dropped, or hours at the office to be pulled back, if possible. 

Life is hard, busy and often draining, but what makes it even harder, is going through it alone. Take the time and invest the time and the touch in your marriage. Marriage is a journey meant to be enjoyed together!

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