Election night included high tension in our home. But it had nothing to do with the actual election. We had news playing as background noise awaiting to hear the ballots casted and the President- Elect announced.
After dinner, my husband and I spent time with our kids before nestling them into bed. Then I jumped on the computer to get some work in, even though it was pretty late. I felt anxious to do a little catch up before our 3rd baby makes his debut.
In the midst of working, and my husband tuned intently into the news, something was said. One thing led to another and we found ourselves fighting to defend our perspectives. We wanted so desperately for the other person to understand where the other was coming from. I wanted a white flag of surrender, a simple apology, a truce…from him.
My pride kept me from being an initiator.
We argued about who does what around the house and how sometimes our days get out of sync. Sometimes we get caught up doing each other’s tasks. I shared my frustration with my husband about how I feel like he gets to pick and choose what he does, what is convenient for him in the moment, regardless of what actually needs to be done. In turn, he felt undervalued and under-appreciated for the things he does do.
It was a classic case of selfish perspective, most likely skewed, mixed with some intense emotions.
He said. She said.
I had expectations of my husband doing things that needed to get done exactly as I do them. I wanted him to do this, and I wanted him to want to do this. I wanted everything to be taken care of exactly how I would do it.
Then, as I fought to explain my expectations, my husband said something that flipped my view of him up into the air, hitting the floor with a clank…like a coin spinning wildly before landing on the other side.
We are on the same team, Babe. Please don’t get mad that I play the game differently than you.”
His reassurance reminded me that we are a team. We are a husband and wife team. We look out for each other and we work together in this life. We both have good-wills and heartfelt intentions. We both desire a healthy family that takes care of responsibilities. We both help each other out in times of need.
But in the game of life, even though we are on the same team, we do play a little differently…and this needs to be okay!
The way I play, work, operate is efficient for the responsibilities I have on a regular basis. I can multitask because I have established an order and routine. I know what is needed of me and I know what I want done, and I execute it, almost as if it is habitual. I have spent time building up my ways.
The same can be said about my husband. He also plays, works, operates to be efficient, but with the responsibilities he has on a regular basis. He has built his routines.
We are both willing to be flexible. However, when priorities shift and we find ourselves taking over responsibilities the other person usually handles, this is where it is important to remember that we play differently. We won’t execute a task the same way, and this needs to be okay.
I shouldn’t let unmet expectations I have of my husband get in the way of loving him. I definitely shouldn’t let those unmet expectations turn into frustration or bitterness toward him. And I should never allow any of it to convince me that his character is flawed or that his intentions are selfish or that he doesn’t love me….all of which I wrestle with when confronted with my expectations for him.
What I do need to do is acknowledge that he plays the game of life differently than me, that he is a good-willed man who loves me and our family very much, and that he does help constantly and in many ways.
Just this last month he has made it a point to do a sweep through the house every evening, to pick it up and clean the kitchen. I can’t explain in words how much this has blessed me. Being in my third trimester, I am physically limited on how much I do. He took notice of my inabilities to maintain what I normally do and on his own committed to doing this for me. It is an absolute blessing and makes for great mornings starting out fresh.
I can get so off course with my husband and my feelings toward him when I only focus narrowly on the things that frustrate me. I need to remember…
We are on the same team…we just play a little differently…and this needs to be okay.