Most people agree it isn’t fair to expect someone to read your mind. But how many of us have expected our spouses to accomplish that impossible feat?
Larry and I returned from our honeymoon excited to begin our new life together. I’d never found it hard to live with a roommate. Now I’d be living with the love of my life. What could be easier?
I soon learned marriage was different from sharing an apartment with a friend. With a roommate, my stuff was mine. I decided how it would be treated. But in marriage, my stuff was also his. Sometimes, he didn’t handle my our things like I thought he should. With a roommate, we divided household chores evenly and took turns cooking. In marriage, I felt I should carry those jobs.
Wanting to please my husband, I asked what he wanted for breakfast. Since I’ve never been a big breakfast eater, I guess I assumed he wouldn’t be either. I didn’t even like the smell of food cooking the first thing in the morning.
Larry? The bigger the breakfast the better. “How ‘bout scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, coffee? And would you add a bowl of oatmeal?”
Did I mention I’m not a morning person?
Larry dressed while I cooked. He read his Bible and prayed while I cleaned up breakfast and dressed. When I finished dressing, he was ready to leave for our day. What about my quiet time?
We worked on local high school campuses and lunched at home. “What do you want for lunch?”
Homemade soup, sandwiches, and chips suited him. While I prepared lunch, he read the news and returned calls. Supper fell into the same pattern.
I hated the resentment building inside me. What was wrong with me? Shouldn’t I enjoy serving my husband?
Showing Love by Speaking Truth
After venting my frustration in my journal, I meekly approached Larry. I hated to admit the resentment building within me. “Honey, I need to talk to you about something.”
“Sure.” Larry put down his reading.
“You know I love you very much. But I hate being in the kitchen all the time. I don’t even have time for my morning Bible reading. I need a break. Can we come up with another plan?”
Larry showed genuine surprise. “I thought you liked that.”
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3:7 NASB).
Larry is very considerate, and I knew he cared about my needs and desires. But how could he understand them if I didn’t tell him? He wasn’t a mind-reader. Once I realized I wasn’t Martha Stewart, I needed to take responsibility for the stress I was creating.
Do you feel someone is taking advantage of you? Have you expected them to read your mind? I’ve found reasonable people don’t set out to irritate us. Most of us are caught up in our own agendas and aren’t aware our actions bother someone else.
When someone bothers me, I’ve learned to talk to the Lord about it. I may also need to swallow my fear and pride and talk to the person. We both can grow in the process.
Larry and I found a new rhythm that reflected our individual bents. (Turns out he enjoys grocery shopping and audio books help me push through routine tasks.) Our responsibilities shift with life’s seasons. We aren’t cookie cutters. Trying to emulate an inflexible template only causes stress and fails to reflect the one-flesh model God designed.
Harmonious living requires listening to one another. It also includes listening to ourselves. Then we must speak the truth in love—because only God can read your mind.
Harmonious living requires listening to one another. It also includes listening to ourselves and speaking the truth in love—because only God can read your mind. #communication #relationships Click To Tweet
But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephes. 4:15 NASB).
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Join me this Wednesday January 18th either virtually or in person at the Knowing God Ministries luncheon in Cary. Learn more here. I’ll be taking about How to Live Our Lives On Purpose.