Friday, March 14, 2014

Lower your expectations.

Last night my sweet husband got home late after a very long day at work.  I was excited to see him, and excited to tell him about the steak steak dinner I saved had in the refrigerator from my trip to Denny's earlier with our three kids.  After he changed out of his clothes, he climbed into bed to warm up his cold feet.

Typically he'll go back downstairs and heat up his own dinner, but tonight, he seemed extra tired, so I offered to get it heated up for him so he could stay in bed.  One of my favorite hobbies is watching my husband eat something he likes, and steak, in any form, is one of his favorites.  With all the kids to bed, and both of us ready for down time, we attempted to very briefly discuss our day.  When he asked me about a text I didn't get, he was mildly irritated that I didn't read it and that I had read a text after it.  I quickly became irritated that he was mad I missed a text message, and protested saying that this is why mobile phones are such a trap. More unkind words were exchanged between both of us, and I stormed downstairs.
After completing busy work at my desk, an hour had passed and I went upstairs to go to bed. I briefly folded laundry after some initial attempts at conversation showed we were both still irritated about the same issue.  Tired, I decided to turn in to bed.  Typically, my husband will also go to bed which historically irritates me because I tend to have trouble sleeping when there is unresolved tension likely due to stress hormones and he typically quickly falls asleep.  This time was different. I pulled my blankets way up over my head as if it have them hold me, and repeated to myself over and over again "lower your expectations" in the hopes that I could keep my stress hormones at bay and fall asleep. 

After several minutes....many more than I would have normally waited, my husband rolled over and embraced me with a big hug.  He expressed sorrow that I was upset, and said he was sorry for any insensitivity he had towards me....even complimenting me for usually being so on the ball with responding to questions or comments he had for me throughout the day via text message.  In that moment, I realized, that it was wrong of me to repeat those words "lower your expectations" because my husband did exactly what I'd always dreamed he would do, but I'd never been patient enough to give him the space to have a response.    In twenty years of marriage, how many dozens of times would he have lovingly cared for my emotional needs if I had just waited, and repeated to myself over and over again "trust your husband loves you".  To truly believe this that he loves me even if he didn't say sorry last night.  To trust that we're on the same team....that even when we've both had a long day, or done something insensitive to the other person, that I can trust that he loves me.  This will be my new thought when we have another disagreement.  Instead of aiming not to disagree, perhaps the aim should be to trust that he loves me even when we disagree.

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