Most of us have a manual for our spouse. An unwritten list of do’s and don’ts that affect the way you feel? Your emotions tied up in someone else’s behavior leaves you powerless and at the mercy of someone else. Do you really want to tie your emotions to someone else’s behavior? I don’t think so! It’s time to take your power back!
Most of us have a rule handbook for our husbands. It’s in our heads about how our husbands should operate. Things they should and shouldn’t do. We created this handbook over time with things we observed in our world and the relationships we observed around us. Our parents were probably a huge inspiration for this handbook. We look and see what we think they did right and what they did wrong, and write our own handbook about it. But we can get inspiration for our handbook from others too. Friends, family, people from our neighborhood, community, and church. Even from books and movies! We developed this handbook subconsciously over time and we probably never even talked to our husbands about it! So how are they supposed to follow it if they don’t know what’s in it or even that it exists?
When we got married, we were so in love and when we pictured our life, everything was going to work out exactly as we thought it would. Sure there could be tough things ahead, but we had each other, so we could get through any of them. But what happens when your spouse IS the problem? Or at least he is in your eyes. What if its its not the universe throwing a curve into your life…. what if it’s your husband not following the husband handbook???
The problem with having this handbook is that we tie our happiness to someone else’s behavior. We’ve in essence given away our power and our agency. We are letting someone else’s actions and feelings take away ours! (Now who does that sound like????)
Now, I know a lot of people will balk at this…. I hear “Wait…so I’m just not supposed to have ANY expectations of my husband?” and my answer is NO! You can certainly make requests of another person, but don’t tie YOUR happiness to them doing it or not. That’s how YOU get your power back!
Here are some examples of things I find women have a lot in their handbooks
- He should do certain chores around the house
- He should watch the kids so I can have a break when he gets home from work
- He should buy me presents on my birthday (and know exactly what I want without me telling him!)
- He should only play video games when there is NOTHING else to do (which is pretty much never!)
- He should make me feel loved and attractive, sexy, wanted
- He is responsible for MY feelings…
They will ALWAYS fall short. Because you are the only one who can provide your happiness…. Because your happiness comes from your beliefs about yourself. Not from him…
What if the ONLY expectation you had of your husband was that he was there for you to love? If you can do that, do you understand what that will do to your relationship? What if you could love him no matter what? With no expectations except that he is there (and he doesn’t even need to physically be there) but he is there for you to love? How would that feel to you? That’s how you have a good marriage. You drop ALL expectations of your mate, except they be there for you to love them. That’s it!
Now imagine a relationship where both of you feel that way. When the only expectation of both of you is that you are there to love each other. That is a GREAT relationship!
Imagine if you had someone who loved you like that. That all their energy was just spent loving you. Unconditionally. Don’t you want that? If you do, then you need to do it first. That’s how you need to act and feel towards them first. It doesn’t matter if they do it back. It only takes one. And you get to feel this genuine love all the time. And it feels incredible. And our best self comes from living from love!