Tag Archive | love language

Expectations and Disappointment

Today I want to examine some of my underlying expectations for Husband that always seem to cause me great pain when they end with disappointment.

So for a few weeks now, I have been very clear with Husband that I don’t often feel loved, cherished, special.

We discussed ways I might feel more loved, and ways that I feel slighted in terms of my love language. For example: My mom had a little surprise birthday party on my last birthday, and everyone there had a gift for me except my husband and kids. My kids felt bad they had nothing for me, since he did not tell them either and they’re too young to do it on their own. (These discussions were over the past few weeks, not on Mother’s Day, I will not bring up the past hurts again to him, just put them here to explain why my expectations were high-again)

Last week, he kept talking about Mother’s Day, reminding me he had the day off work, and that we were going to have such a nice day together with our little family. He sounded excited, so I started getting excited and hopeful that he had planned something for me, some gift, surprise, or outing – anything. My expectations were very high and I couldn’t wait to see what he planned. So when we had our usual weekend breakfast (which was lovely but just like every other weekend) and the usual bouquet of flowers from the grocery store (which were also lovely but just a last minute side thought) and when we finished eating I asked what was next, and he said “I don’t know” and shrugged it off – my bubble of expectation turned into devastating disappointment. Sigh. “Oh” I said. He didn’t even think about planning something, other than being home with us. (Should that have been enough for me? He was there and not yelling?)

Now I knew he was lying about the day before, and some silly part of me thought maybe the lie was to cover up some surprise for me. I get so silly and child-like, hoping each time he will finally go out of his way for me, but it never happens. So who is the silly one here? Who is the ungrateful one? Me, right? Why do I do this to myself? If I don’t expect a grand gesture, I won’t be so disappointed that it never comes, and will instead be happy with the sweet little gestures that did happen. Why isn’t that enough for me? Is this healthy to expect more from him? Would it ever be enough? I don’t know, to me he’s never tried. To him, it was a lovely day and he thinks he did enough.

I think I just want him to do the legwork, the research, and plan my day so I don’t have to. That would be the greatest gift. Even if it was all free, like if he said, “First we’re going to the park to walk and look at flowers, then we’re going to fly kites, then we’re going to have a nice lunch. . .” I would have felt like a Queen. Instead, after breakfast, I am left to do the dishes while he takes a very long bath and goes about his business. Then I go shopping for kids school projects. It was a nice day, but just a day like any other day where I call the shots and do chores and run errands.

I explained this to him later, and I’m not sure if he got it or thinks I’m whiny and ungrateful. I then said it would have meant the world to me if my breakfast also had a note from him, even just a few words saying “Thank you for being such a great mom to our kids”. I told him that I feel so insecure about being a good mom, because it is so important to me. That it would have meant so much if he thought about me and planned ahead instead of last minute. I explained that I thought he was hinting about having something planned.

Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring (Photo credit: Lucas_James)

So all these talks of grand gestures and surprising me may be sinking in. I found “ebay” “engagement” in the search window history. I am very worried that he is going to buy me an engagement ring and do some crazy proposal. I told him it bothered me that he never proposed and that I bought my own ring. But what if he does this before I am ready to say Yes to him? I couldn’t honestly re-commit to him right now. And I’m not sure we could make it past me saying “I’m not sure” when he finally does something grand and romantic. I’ve been saying “I love you” to him again, because I do feel love. But it is an unsure, tentative type of love, that I hope will grow. I want to feel it, I want to accept him, I want to trust him. I will always love him, but I’m not sure I will always be married to him. Urgh.

Should I tell him I saw that ebay page and explain my concerns? Or just see what happens?

I don’t know what he is expecting, and I sure don’t want to disappoint him.

Learn Your Love Language

A stencil painted on Valentines day depicting ...

Image via Wikipedia

I had the best, eye-opening discussion with my therapist about learning your personal love language.

I believe that everyone has a way of expressing love, and feeling love, that is completely unique. When a couple feels and shares love in the same language, they feel wonderfully connected. When one or both partners speak a different language, one or both can feel terribly alone.

My husband is terrible at gift giving and receiving. He either does not remember the occasion at all, or gets something completely impersonal. My husband is not wordy. He does not share my love of words and poetry and literature.

But this does not mean he does not love and appreciate me. I understand this now, more than I ever have. When I woke up from my so-called life a year or so ago, I realized so many things were making me unhappy. I realized my husband had stopped even attempting to get me gifts – nothing for birthdays, christmas, anniversary, or valentines. I realized I had stopped too. We never discussed it, it just happened.

I used to write him a poem and draw a picture, make a CD of our special songs, write him a sweet story, frame a special moment, or get a gift from some special memory we shared. But I noticed those gifts would lay on the table where he got them, untouched, uncherished, unused.

Last year, I drew a cute valentine card for him, and when the car needed repairs, he used the card I made to write notes as he spoke to the parts guy on the phone. He didn’t even understand why that was hurtful. All of my gifts through the years were not in his love language, and he didn’t know he was saying “whatever, I don’t care about you” in my love language. It was getting lost in translation. He remembers fixing my car, going out in freezing ice storms in our driveway, after working all day at work to fix my car. That was how he said he loved me.

For him, working hard, being a provider, is how he shows his love. On payday, he presents his paystub to me and waits for the attaboys. He needs me to be grateful to him for his hard work and long hours to feel loved by me.

There is so much more to this story, as I go back through our 18 years together, that I now understand, but can’t put all in one post. But I am grateful to have this lead, this way to his heart that I thought was gone. We can learn each other’s love language, I am sure of it. For the first time in years, I don’t feel so completely alone, and have something I can work towards to have a more loving marriage. This is huge!