How do you love someone who doesn’t love you back?

One of the major causes of problems in marriage is the fact that many wives respect and honour other men (especially their pastors and bosses) more than their husbands. And many husbands express affection and tenderness to other women more than they do to their wives.

Most husbands and wives would not readily admit this but it is clearly evident in their actions, attitudes and dispositions. Now, this is even a small issue. The bigger problem is that instead of accepting full responsibility for my own behaviour and making up my mind to diligently play my part and work to build a winning team, I assume the role of an umpire.

Every time I blame someone else for my actions and dispositions, I have failed the test of personal leadership. I must always accept full responsibility for my behaviour. (Now, say that out loud and think about it. 😊) Click To Tweet

And from this mental posture, I try to regulate my spouse’s actions and behaviour, enforcing compliance to my own understanding of what her role should be. The outcome of this process then becomes the basis for my actions and behaviour. So it becomes a situation of “If I am not fulfilling your desires and expectations, it is because you are not fulfilling mine.”

Think about that and see if you can relate. What has been your experience in this regard? Has this approach ever resolved the issue? In my experience, it could bring some respite but whatever gains that appear to come from it are lopsided and eventually reversed. So we end up increasing the tension, aggravating the problem and perpetuating the cycle. Tiring! Isn’t it?

I have found that I can achieve much more when I concentrate my energies on removing the log in my eye instead of getting worked up over the speck in the other person’s eye.

How about considering an alternative? What if we forget about our own expectations and choose to always do the right thing regardless of what the other person does or doesn’t do? What if we choose to be proactive instead of being reactive? What if we discard entitlement mentality and choose a mindset of service and sacrifice? What if we choose to adopt this mindset not only in marriage but in all our relationships?

I have found that I can achieve much more when I concentrate my energies on removing the log in my eye instead of getting worked up over the speck in the other person’s eye. Both of us may have issues with our perspectives but the bigger issue is with me, not with the other person. If I take care of my bit the way I ought to, the situation will take care of itself. And this has nothing to do with changing the other person; it has everything to do with taking charge of my life.

Question: In your own experience, what have you discovered about managing expectations in relationships? Share with us in the comments.

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