This is Part Two of a series of five “resolutions” we’re taking between now and Valentine’s Day, to reinvigorate our marriages.  Yesterday’s post was the first one, “Nix the Tit for Tat“.  Will you join us?

Today’s resolution is…

Don’t Expect Him to Read Your Mind

Sometimes I seem to get mad at my husband for no reason.  I’m annoyed with him, and he can tell, so he asks me what’s wrong.  And I don’t have a good answer, so I say “nothing” or “I don’t know, I’m just tired I guess”.  But when I really think about it, it’s because I was hoping he would read my mind, and he hasn’t.  I was really hoping he would get up in the morning with the kids so I could sleep in.  I wanted him to compliment my new outfit.  I had a rough day and I wish he would just give me a nice, long, reassuring hug. He would have happily done any of these, if he’d known that’s what I wanted. I just didn’t tell him.

I’m starting to realize why I expect him to be able to read my mind; it’s because sometimes it seems like he can!  He knows me better than anyone else does, so it’s not a surprise when he suggests I need a bath when he observes that I’m tired and stressed out, or makes a dinner dish that just happens to exactly what I was craving. As grateful as I am for these occasions, I’ve realized that I just keep setting the bar higher and higher.  In the meantime, our household seems to just be getting crazier and crazier, so I’m not surprised he isn’t as tuned into my needs – he’s got two other family members he’s trying to tune into.  So I should actually be cutting him some slack.

Are you expecting something specific for Valentine’s Day?  Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, try letting your spouse in on your hopes.  This could be anything from, “Do you remember the last time you bought me flowers?  It absolutely made my day” to “I’d love it if you would buy me this necklace”, sending him* the link to the exact one you’d like on the Tiffany website, to “Hey, I arranged for a sitter on Tuesday night. How about you surprise me with a fun date plan?”, to “We’ve gone out for dinner the last few Valentines, how about this year we just stay home, watch a movie, and go to bed early (wink, wink)?”

We have this idea that half the gift is the surprise — and therefore not having to ask for it.  Think of it this way: your gift to your partner is letting him know exactly what you need from him, and letting them fill that need, without guessing, stressing out, or getting it wrong. Everyone loves to feel needed.

If the surprise aspect is still important to you, say just that: “I would love it if you would surprise me with ____ (a dinner reservation, a special gift, a fun and exciting activity) for Valentine’s Day”.

Share your thoughts in the comments – I can’t be the only one who often expects my partner to read my mind… am I?

Stay tuned for Resolution #3 tomorrow…


* I’m using “him” in this article because I’m married to a man, and that’s what I can most relate to.  These suggestions are just as useful if you’re married to a woman. 

5 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Marriage by Valentine’s Day (Part 2)