Expectations Versus Reality and The Power of An Apron
Just before our wedding, I went to a salon in my hometown for my final cut and color before the big day. I had been to this stylist a few times before, and he knew I was getting married soon. He just so happened to have been married for a number of years himself. He began reminiscing about his time as a married man – and while not outright negative, he didn’t have anything outright positive to say either.
He noted that marriage was definitely not what he had expected it to be. For one – he had three young kids and life was often far from glamorous. But he also shared that he always imagined that he would come home from work one day and find his wife waiting for him in the kitchen with nothing on but an apron. Unfortunately, that had never happened – and certainly wouldn’t be happening any time soon - as his reality at home was a far cry from that expectation he had carried with him. He didn’t dwell on it, and the conversation shifted to a recent trip he’d taken to New York.
While it may be odd that he shared this story about the lack of his wife in an apron with me in the first place, it’s one that has really stuck with me. Now, I can’t be certain, but I’m preeeeetty sure that he never actually told his own wife that her in an apron welcoming him home at night was something he had envisioned happening. Or that the lack of that ever occurring left him a little… disappointed with the institution of marriage as a whole.
Obviously there is so much more playing into this story and his views about romance than just this little bit about an apron, or lack thereof. However, it challenges me to look at my own expectations that I carry with me about what life between a husband and wife SHOULD be. When Nazari and my relationship fails to pan out in ways that I imagined, I too can be left feeling… disappointed. The problem?
Often it’s my lack of communication about these expectations that actually the biggest problem. I may want Nazari to text me when he is out of town, or to rub my back, or exercise with me, or plan a date night, or help with the dishes … but if I don’t let him know this, he often has no idea. He isn’t being malicious, or unromantic, or heartless. He just has no idea!
We have both found that most of the time, our intentions are good, and we WANT to love each other better, but we don’t always know how the other person wants to be loved. So when we communicate our expectations, it enables them to do just that.
Now, just because we actually do communicate something, it definitely doesn’t mean it will happen. BUT the odds of SOMETHING happening increase exponentially when we do actually communicate that something. So if there are dishes to be done and I’d appreciate Naz’s help, its kind of me to communicate that to him so he is aware, instead of just being disappointed that he didn’t do them. And if you want your wife to greet you at home with nothing on but an apron, let her know. Maybe even buy her that apron. You might just be happily surprised one of these days ;)