The relationship with a spouse is something that, like all relationships, needs to be worked on every day, and often re-evaluated and re-assessed by both parties, both individually, and together. One of the most common occurrences in a marriage that has survived for a long time, is that the spouses expect each other to react or behave as they do. This is actually quite ironic, really, when you think back to when you first met. Not always, but often, your now-spouse, then new-love, was very different from you, and you liked that. In fact, that may be a good part of the reason that you ended up getting married in the first place. But as married life settles in, the relationship with spouse evolves, and the day to day routine replaces a more impromtu lifestyle, you start to act like your spouse should be an extension of yourself in some way.
This can start out small, and eventually snowball so that it infiltrates your whole relationship. When you first fell in love, you were genuinely happy to make sacrifices to please your new partner. So, you would gladly stay in when you wanted to go out dancing, or you would be happy to get up early to go jogging, even if you had had a late night the night before. But as time wears on, you start doing instead what you want to do, regardless if that is what your husband or wife would like. And, you start to expect that he or she does what you want to do, or even worse, expect that he or she likes doing it.
While spouses may continue to be giving, what they may actually do is start giving what they would like to receive, rather than what their spouse really wants. So, you have the receiver who is upset because he or she is getting something that is completely unwanted, and the giver is equally upset and offended because the seemingly precious gift is being rejected.
There are some relatively easy ways to get over this behavior of expecting your spouse to be like you. First of all, you need to admit or recognize that you are doing it. It may have crept up on you so slowly and silently over the years, that you didn’t even realize it. The next step is to make sure you are communicating. Are you asking your spouse what he or she wants? Is he or she asking what you want? Or are you just assuming the answers based on your own desires and needs.
The relationship with spouse is definitely a valuable relationship that has its own dynamics can trials. Reminding yourself that your spouse is not just an extension of you is a good thing. It allows you to enjoy the experience of loving another unique person, who can teach you a great deal if you just pay attention.