George has just discovered that his fiancé Susan has gone to the movies with his friends Jerry and Elaine (yes, I’m talking about a Seinfeld episode). In a frantic effort to connect with them and keep his ‘worlds from colliding’ he picks up the phone and dials Moviephone. Little does he know that his friend, Kramer, is on the other end of the line attempting to help those individuals that dial the wrong number – like George. The conversation goes something like this… “Hello and welcome to Moviephone. If you know the name of the movie you want to see press 1” says Kramer in a somewhat disguised voice. George presses 1. “Using your keypad please enter the first three letters of the movie you’d like to see now.” Beep Beep Beep – George enters the numbers. “If you’ve selected Agent Zero press 1” George responds with a confused ‘What?’ “If you’ve selected Brown Eyed Girl Press 1” – no response. And then Kramer responds with “Why don’t you just tell me the movie you want to see!”
Early in our relationship it felt like Kristen and I were living out this same call to Moviephone. My dirty clothes usually ended up on the floor – where I had always put them growing up – but Kristen wanted them in the laundry basket. When she tucked the kids into bed, she would do a quick cleanup of the toys as she exited the room – I just stepped over the toys. She expected me to do things like her, or to see things as she saw them, and as much as I tried, I just couldn’t. As she became more and more frustrated with me over time, she began to leave hints and clues as to what she wanted. But like most men, I do not get subtle hints, regular hints or giant clues. If you want me to do something a certain way and in a certain time, just tell me. I’m simple, I’m easy, just say what’s on your mind – communicate the expectation – and I will do it every time.
Marriage can be a lot harder than it needs to be if we do not clearly communicate our expectations. Both individuals are coming from different backgrounds, have different ways of doing things and enter marriage with different expectations. And the last thing we want to do is communicate with beeps and buttons in hopes that our spouse will somehow understand what we want, all while deciphering some secret code.
We learned a lot about each other and our expectations of marriage over the years via trial and error. If we would have discussed these topics sooner we would have saved a lot of headache and frustration. What expectations do you need to discuss with your spouse? How and where is the best time to communicate it? Is it concerning household chores? Parenting? Family and friends? The bedroom? Time on social media? Hobbies? Spending Habits? Etc.… Whatever it is, take the time to sit down and talk about it – it will make all the difference in the world if you’re on the same page rather than pushing each other’s ‘Moviephone’ buttons.
Ephesians 4:2 ~ Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.