Unmet Expectations & Selfishness

So my commute is a little over 30 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to listen to podcasts. I feel like I'm already in my mid-thirties when I type that. haha. But the older I get, I feel the need to listen, and I mean really listen and soak it all up, to sermons, advice from my elders, read more devotionals, and etc.

As a 23 year old wife, whose been married for a little over 3 years,  I feel like I've gone through more than I ever thought would happen to me. Between the long distance, deployments, moving 5 times, changing jobs 5 times, and just life in general, it's been quite the ride. This period of time in particular has been the hardest for our marriage; Jaime getting out of the Marines, starting a job in the civilian world, moving, being together more, and just trying to navigate this life together. We're getting close to our first whole year of being together with no interruptions-no deployments, no training, etc. So it's kind of like our first year of marriage in some aspects and we've fought more than we ever have. But, we've also loved harder than we ever have. I don't want you to think I'm airing out my dirty laundry. I just want to encourage anyone who's going through it in their marriage. You're not alone. Everyone goes through these seasons.

My cousin has shown me several great series of podcasts for me to listen to. While our situations have been different in our marriages, God has always remained faithful to us. We need to hear certain things at different times.

So recently she introduced this series to me. I loved it so much, I just have to share with you guys. He goes through the book of Solomon and applies it your marriage and relationships. If you don't know what the book of Solomon is all about, you will be shocked and amazed that this is in the Bible! But I promise you won't blush. He's just very open about it and I love it.

Craig Groeschel-Love Song

Faithful Attraction

Perfect Seasoning

God-Honoring Sex

Reconcilable Differences

Love In Action

My favorite were probably the last two. Jaime and I listened to the third and fourth ones together this past Sunday on our way home from Kentucky. 

The fourth one talks about about what the two main reasons fights start: unmet expectations and selfishness. BAM! It hit me like a brick. Definitely unmet expectations is why I start fights but never thought about it like that. 

So Craig Groeschel says (in my own words), you need to tell your spouse why something upset you, maybe start the conversation off with I expected you to..._____, and that's why I'm ticked. I thought that was genius. 
If we could divide the number of arguments in half by explaining these things through, we both would be so much happier. Jaime and I discussed that it would significantly help us. 

Not even 5 minutes after our long 6 and half hour drive, we're carrying in the luggage. I'm working fervently to get all this stuff put away (its 9:30 and my bedtime), and Jaime is NO WHERE to be found. I'm thinking, 'I could use a little help down here and he's upstairs probably ironing his clothes and clipping his toe nails...grrr.' I carried some bags upstairs and find him ironing. Ah! I think I have him now! I can pounce.

"I expected you to help me carry some of these bags upstairs. I'm tired and need to get ready for bed too."

"I did carry bags up. I carried the luggage and put away all our clothes and just now started to get ready."

"Oh. Thank you." I smiled and turned around.

It could have gotten heated. I could have raised my voice. Jaime could have got mad and not told me all those things he did for us. But we didn't. The argument ended. I wasn't mad. I told him what I expected and he told me what he did. Is it really that simple? Yes! He can't tell what I'm thinking and I can't tell what he's thinking. Communication is KEY. Now all arguments won't be that simple but those stupid ones can go away when both people know what the other is expecting.

Craig Groeshel made a comment that really stuck with me because it's so true.

"If you want what everybody else has, do what everybody else does. If you want what few people have, do what few people do."

I think the way the world glorifies putting down your husband, talking bad about him with your girlfriends, trying to control him, and so forth makes me want the opposite even more. 

I want my marriage to be wonderful and last until death do us part. I want to work on my marriage and take care of it. So bring on all the sermons, devotionals and advice! Listen to those messages I've linked for you when you have some time together or alone. It's good to fill our marriage tanks up with positive and helpful information.

Hope you feel inspired to protect and honor your marriage today.

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