I can find myself looking at my husband and thinking about what he hasn't done in the past day or week and how my needs or wants were left neglected. When I go there emotionally and mentally, I'm on thin ice. I am setting myself and my husband up for disappointment and even an argument when I look at our marriage through the lens of selfish expectations.
My unmet needs are mine. I am responsible for meeting those needs. I do best when I bring those to God in prayer and wait on Him to meet them in His way and time. I can talk to my husband about those needs and ask him to do something to help. What I can't do is complain or grumble -- even in my own heart.
Here are five things I think are doom for a marriage when it comes to the "What Have You Done for Me Lately" mentality:
- Focusing solely on my needs instead of opening my eyes to my husband's needs as well and making the meeting of his needs a part of my daily aim as a wife.
- Keeping a record of wrongs (yeah, that's in the Bible)
- Grumbling (even in my heart) about the lack I feel from whatever my husband is or is not doing.
- Comparing my marriage to other marriages. (We see the inside of our own marriage and the outside of others -- we can't compare insides to outsides).
- Complaining to others about my husband.
- Focusing on our husband's needs as much as we focus on our own. This doesn't mean we become a mamby-pamby selfless mush, but it does mean we need to stop asking "What have you done for me lately?" and turn the table on ourselves: "What have I done for him lately?"
- Keep a record of "rights." Count the things your husband does that bless you and your family. Turn your eyes to what is good in your husband and count it -- keep a journal of these if you will.
- Celebrate (in your heart and out loud) what is right about your husband and your marriage.
- Keep your eyes on you and your husband. Each marriage is different. We need to be the best we can be, not compete or compare with others.
- Pray with others over your husbands. Pray for them, not "about" them and encourage one another to live lives of love which build our husbands up instead of tearing them down.