We continue our countdown to the 5 year anniversary of this club and the unveiling of our new site by counting down our top 20 posts of all time.
Coming in at #15 is a post originally written as a part of our popular 12 Weeks to a Happier Marriage series.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to just meet my husband’s expectations, I strive to exceed them.
From the moment we said ‘I do’ (really, from our very first date), he’s put me on a pedestal and refuses to take me down. I am, after all, the woman he pledged to be with until the very end of time.
So in deciding on the 5th installment to our 12 Weeks to a Happier Marriage series, I looked to him for inspiration. How does he manage to -so consistently- exceed my expectations?
And even in those rare moments when he falls short of meeting them, how does he redeem that so quickly?
Thank the awesome Mr. Keith Weaver, for these tips. Because I’m the recipient of all six on a very regular basis, I can attest that they do indeed work:
1. Know what they are. You’d be amazed at how many people are disappointed by their spouses each and every day. The sad part is most of these disappointments could be avoided if only their spouse knew their expectations –and preferably, before they failed to meet them. You cannot exceed your spouse’s expectations if you don’t know what they are on the most basic level. The wisest people ask the most questions. Be as inquisitive as a child when it comes to your spouse. Just keep asking questions until you fully know their expectation of you, and once you know that, you can knock that ball out of the park.
2. Know your spouse’s love language. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you know my husband and I didn’t know our love languages (as defined in the best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages) until we’d been married nine years. And that seems to be okay because we always spoke to one another in the greatest amount of respect and reverence. But I must say, learning each other’s love language helped clarify so much. I was pretty shocked to find out Physical Touch is my love language and Keith’s is Words of Affirmation. I would have thought the opposite. But learning this one little truth has helped me exceed his expectations far more often than I did in the past.
3. Do the unexpected. Little things. Tiny things really. It’s those small things that add up to the largest equation in marriage. Find one additional thing a day you can do to bring a smile to your spouse’s face. For Keith, I know if I make him a cup of coffee in the morning before he gets out of bed, the aroma of a freshly brewed cup will bring a smile to his face even before he’s opened his eyes. Maybe for your spouse, it’s testing out some new lingerie or picking up some freshly cut flowers from your local farmers market (or florist). Remember, this isn’t something big…it’s something really small, yet thoughtful.
4. Don’t expect anything in return. The greatest key to exceeding your spouse’s expectations is whenever you do something -no matter how big or small- do not expect anything in return. I know that can be hard to do but it’s paramount. Don’t keep score of all the wonderful things you do because that will eventually lead to comparisons. And you and I both know comparisons are dangerous in every area of life, especially, marriage. The goal here is to give with your whole heart without expectation of reciprocation. The interesting thing is when you give with your entire being, expecting nothing in return, what you give always comes back to you ten-fold. It’s one of those beautiful mysteries of life that continues to be proven true.
5. Don’t make assumptions. As best-selling author Miguel Angel Ruiz so wonderfully put it, “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. One of the greatest skills in marriage is to assume less and learn more. Nothing pushes us to grow quite like marriage. When you look at it as an endless opportunity to learn about the person you love most, yourself, and the world around you. Assume as little as possible…discover as much as possible.
6. Strive for WOW…but don’t forget about the now. I don’t know if you’re guilty of this but sometimes when I’m working on surprising my husband with a “Wow,” I forget the little things I should be doing now just to meet his expectations. Remember it’s consistency in the little things that will always matter most. The ABC’s of Marriage: Always Be Consistent.
YOUR TURN: What would you add to this list? What do you do to exceed your spouse’s expectation?
THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book. I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way. It’s a marriage book like none other. Guaranteed.
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