Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When He Just Doesn't Get Me

I ordered Desperate for my daughter who's in the middle of childrearing with six small children but thought I'd read it first. This paragraph on husbands resonated with me.

"One more example of my unhealthy expectations: I expect that my husband should "get" me. Oh this. How many of us just wish our husbands "got" us? We want them to understand us in profound ways, and then accept us with open arms. We want them to admire who we are, how we're made, and who we are becoming. We want to be known and loved.

What happens when they don't "get" us? What happens when they don't understand why we have to leave the dishwasher open all the time, or why we like Taylor Swift, or why we can't enjoy our time away if our feelings are hurt before we leave?

The "I expect" voice is a killer of joy and true contentment. My husband is not going to understand all of the inner workings of my soul. He's not always going to think I'm fabulous, and he is not always going to agree with me (he might even think I'm crazy sometimes). When we let our husbands off the hook and are content to be who we are for the glory of God and not the approval of man, life is greener and more full. I want to please my husband, and I want his unconditional love, but he's a sinner just like I am, and humans can't really give unconditional love; it's hard enough just to love.

We've got to snuff out that voice or it will burn our marriages. Find contentment in the overwhelming fact that you are perfect to God; He gets you because He made you. Live free in that truth."

Whew! That's a tall order. I confess that I've struggled with this issue for longer than I've been married; which is a long time. I'm a people pleaser, to those I truly love, in a big way. For the most part, I've let go of my real and unreal expectations, and life is surely more peaceful. But here's where I still struggle. When my husband DOES "get me" now, it doesn't mean a whole lot. I've hardened myself to not need his praise, but the fact that I've done that, I guess, really means that I truly still want it?

Human interaction is so extremely complicated. Especially when you've been with someone so long. It's impossible to unravel events, emotions, wrongs, rights, and whatever else goes into a marriage to make sense of it. So what to do? More next time and an analysis of the book What Alice Forgot.


M.K. said...

I saw this book advertised this morning on a homeschool website. Sounds like she has some insight! I'm glad that I have a husband who, to some extent, does "get" me, and seems to work mentally every day to understand what makes me tick. I don't know exactly why he does this, but he does (with mixed success). Still, men and women are not designed to "get" each other much -- that's part of the intricate dance of heterosexual relationships. Sometimes I wonder if that's one reason homosexual relationships exist -- because there are some people who simply can't bear to have a partner who doesn't understand every tiny working of their inner self, so they pick someone of their own gender. The sheer difficulty of a male/female relationship is too much work for them. I don't know. It is exhausting, yes. Your last point about how you've "hardened" yourself to needing or responding to his praise -- that's very deep, very interesting stuff. We are complex beings, aren't we? Each of us so different. Thanks for this post.

wayside wanderer said...

No one really gets me, though one thing about having kids is that those that are like me get me better. Would this book make a good homeschool book club read? Does it make you feel guilty about past mothering? I'm looking for something all age/stage of homeschool mommies might like.

Pom Pom said...

I love what Leslie says. Nobody gets me. That's so TRUE!

Cranberry Morning said...

I think this is true especially in the age of the extended family being spread apart geographically. In generations past, women didn't expect their husbands to understand everything about women and their feelings and expectations. They had mothers, grandmothers, sisters, nearby to talk to, work with, discuss their woes, etc. Men are not wired like women, praise God. We need to enjoy the differences and not expect them to be our sounding boards in all things. When we want praise for painting the trim or spending all day cleaning the house, call our moms - or sisters. I'm not saying that we shouldn't communicate with our husbands, but that we just shouldn't expect them to be all things to us.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

My problem is sort of the opposite--for a long time I didn't "get" my husband, at least parts of him. I think I expected him to be just like me in his attitudes and responses, and when he wasn't, I was like, "What's wrong with him?" Now, after years of talking with friends, I've accepted that there are ways in which men are women are profoundly different. You'd think that would be obvious, but I was raised in the 1970s, when the attitude was that we're all alike. We're not.


Cathy said...

My first thoughts are that a husband and wife are to complement each other in the roles God has assigned them...the "getting" thing is going down a craggy road and being stuck in a hard place of self-expectations spelling hurt and/or disaster to any marriage.

debbie bailey said...

Leslie, I think it'd make a good book club read or all ages. MK, you might be right about homosexual relationships. Makes sense to me.

debbie bailey said...

Judy, that's a very valid point. We need women in our lives of all ages to help each other out. That way we won't put pressure on our men to be all things to us.

Maybe wanting to be understood is a selfish goal? It sure would be nice, though!

Bellezza said...

I place much too high expectations on my son; not in the way I would expect a marriage to be, of course, but my husband seems to love me unconditionally whereas my son is always off with his friends. The point is, I constantly have to battle my expectations with reality, and ultimately (as you so clearly pointed out) it's God I need to please first, put first, and then the men in my family. Great post!