Following on from Marriage Tip #11 - Discuss Expectations, I wanted to mention the importance of having reasonable expectations of each other. Discussing your expectations is one thing but trying to make your husband be just like you is another. Sadly many people cross the fine line between the two and feel that their husband should be exactly as they want him to be. I have heard of some wives expecting their husband to wash the dishes a certain way, just like they do. To be honest, who cares as long as the dishes are clean and packed neatly in the cupboard. Be grateful that he washes the dishes, some husbands don't.
Men and women are totally different and on top of that each person is totally different from the next. In marriage it is easy to be annoyed and frustrated by our differences and many wives attempt to CHANGE their husband to suit them. This is our nature, I am sure we have all done this at some point, perhaps some more than others. A great marriage however, is one where we recognise that our differences can be the strength, not the weakness, of our marriage. Take a good look at your differences and see how they can benefit your relations if harnessed wisely. You will often here Eric and I say, 'OK, you take that are as you are good at that and I will do this.' For example I am good at admin and Eric is good at graphics, if we need to get something done on the church website for example, Eric will design the graphics and I will take care of the admin or the coding. It's not that I am unable to do graphics and it's not that Eric can't do admin, it's just that we work so well together when we harness our differences. Now imagine how drained Eric would be if I kept on nagging him to do admin, when clearly it is not his forte! I would be totally unreasonable too if I expected him to do all the admin.
Perhaps that example is too practical, I am sure many of you don't have the sort of working relationship that we have and might not have to face such practical issues. What about areas such as saying 'no!' I really struggle with saying no to people and Eric has no problem at all as he is very unemotional and I am totally emotional. Rather than me getting myself into all sorts of trouble for saying yes to everything, I choose to lean on him when I am unsure whether to say yes or no. I trust him to make a rational, reasonable decision about something that I feel very emotionally about. Rather than expect him to always agree with my decisions and try and change him, I actually use this difference to benefit our relationship.