The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Love Your Husband

When I was first married, I heaped on my husband all the expectations I had ever had about marriage. From a young age, girls are taught to have expectations regarding the wedding, the engagement ring, the honeymoon, and even subconsciously the husband and how he should act and things he should do for them. Romantic comedies only add to the expectations. One of my friends thinks that every relationship should feel like a romantic comedy, and if it doesn’t, then something is wrong. Girls in their early twenties think of every potential guy as their possible future husband, which puts a lot of pressure on guys. But no one helps women to think about managing their expectations, which is the most important thing you can do to love your husband.

Recently, I was having a conversation with two of the girls I mentor. Both in their early twenties, they were asking me why guys were so weird, why no one ever asked them out. I explained that most likely guys were intimidated, because when they asked a girl out on a date, they knew she was immediately sizing him up and asking the unspoken question “Is he the one?” He felt the weight of all their expectations. The girls listened thoughtfully, and immediately, said, “Wow, I never thought of it that way. You’re so right.” They realized that only minutes earlier when they had been telling me about the guys they liked, the ones they wished would pursue them, they had been talking to me about them as potential husbands. But real relationships took time to establish, and the leap between first date and engagement was a huge one, that required friendship, mutual respect, and building a strong foundation of really knowing one another. To do this, it was necessary to manage their expectations.

This same principle applies after the proposal and especially after the wedding. In my own marriage, I quickly learned that it was necessary to manage my expectations. Just because my husband didn’t do the things I wished he would do (which most of the time meant I wanted him to express his love in a certain way rather than the way that came most natural to him), this didn’t mean our relationship was suffering. When I learned to manage my expectations, I learned to see him for who he really was—and the gifts and strengths he brought to our relationship. And when I learned to accept his weaknesses, realizing that I had my own weaknesses he has to deal with, we became much more content in our relationship. Managing expectations is a choice. I get to choose if I’m going to make a big deal out of something or not. Feelings might not follow right away, but they will follow eventually.

If you’re looking for practical ways to express love to your husband, here are eight ways. And here are some ways to romance him.

Once, in a moment where I was frustrated with him because he had made some mistake in planning logistics, and I was self-righteous about my own abilities (surely I wouldn’t have made that mistake), my husband once said something to me that I’ll always remember. “Sure, you might not have made this mistake, but you will make different mistakes, and you’ll one day want me to give you the same grace I’m asking for now.” {Tweet This}  He was so right.

We are learning to manage our expectations, and when they aren’t met, to give grace, because one day we will want that same grace extended to us. Reader, what are some ways you’ve had to manage expectations?

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