Being friends with your spouse is great, but he isn't one of your gal pals.
Being friends with your spouse is a big plus for creating a strong and healthy marriage.
Romantic love ebbs and flows over time, and being friends helps you stay connected during the lulls.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking this friendship is the same as the ones you have with your gal pals.
Several years ago, I was giving a talk and, after it was over, a woman approached me with, “Can you explain my husband to me?”
He had been working on the bathroom faucet and kept walking back and forth through the kitchen to the garage. She got upset because he never took out the empty pizza box that was sitting in plain sight on the counter. All her friends agreed with her that he was inconsiderate.
I explained that, no, he was just hyper-focused on his task and he never even saw the box until she threw it on the floor in his path.
Whether or not you want to acknowledge it, men and women think differently.
Expecting your husband to see the world the way you and your girlfriends do is setting you both up for disappointment.
You and your best girlfriend may spend hours talking about who said what and what they really meant. You may want to recount the same details of your day in the same way as a means of connecting to your husband. He may even be willing to listen — but don’t expect him to interact with you in the same way she does.
Most men don’t want to rehash their day, especially if it hasn’t been a great one. For them, it’s over and they can’t change anything, so what’s the point in reliving it.
Men and women also pay attention to different aspects of the same experience, and, in many cases, women remember more specific details. Because you and your girlfriends are women, those memories may be more alike than not.
Just because your guy doesn’t remember that the conversation took place at your mother’s, or that it was your friend Jane who picked you up from the airport, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t paying attention. More than likely he was listening, but different things made it into his memory.
Unlike your girlfriends, your man may miss your subtle suggestions.
Women get the real message behind the questions you ask right before your birthday, such as, “Have you heard about this new restaurant?” or “Wouldn’t it be fun to check out this show?” Men are generally more direct, so they get confused as to why you didn’t just tell them you wanted to go.
I remember when my mother told me, in all seriousness, that she didn’t think women should have to ask for what they want, and I often hear women say something similar — if I have to ask for it, then my partner really doesn’t mean it.
No matter how good a relationship you have, your partner will never be able to anticipate your desires without some guidance.
In reality, this is true of your friends too. You just might not be aware of it because you and your friends speak the same language.
Your relationship with your husband developed in a different way than the ones with your girlfriends, even if your marriage started as a friendship.
And being able to appreciate the unique qualities he brings to your life is a reason to celebrate.
Lesli Doares is a therapist, coach and the founder of foundationscoachingnc.com a practical alternative for couple's worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy. Call Lesli at 1-919-924-0463 to schedule a free 1-hour consultation today or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a private discussion about how to make your marriage thrive!