My husband doesn’t know much about fixing or maintaining cars. In fact, he has no problem driving 10K miles or so before getting an oil change! It drives me loca!
I married him that way though. I didn’t think it would ever bother me. That’s not what makes me “crazy”. What makes me “crazy” is getting angry with him when he doesn’t change the oil on time, when he doesn’t do regular maintenance, when he doesn’t stop to put air in a low tire, when he doesn’t know where the fuse box is!! Me getting angry with him after 5 years of marriage is what makes me crazy. I knew this about him way before I married him. Why do we think something like “knowing about cars” is going to change when you say “I do”?
My dad, grandpa and uncle always took care of my cars before I was married. Thankfully, I paid attention and learned quite a bit. That semester of auto-mechanics might have taught me a thing or two. The point is I expected men to “know about cars”. I thought it was something they inherit. Guess what! They don’t.
What to Expect When You Get Married
Recently, I saw how insane it is for me to keep getting upset with my husband when I have never said, “Honey, let’s have a discussion about cars, their maintenance and how you think this should work.” I have not asked him his opinion about scheduled maintenance or WHO he thinks should handle it. This situation isn’t about the cars. It’s about the expectation I put on my husband. I insanely expected him to know and to want to be the “keeper” of the cars. In reality, he just wants to be the “driver” of the cars.
Here’s the deal: I know what needs to get done. I can mostly figure out what is wrong when a car breaks down. So, I am making a decision not to go crazy and expect my husband to “know about cars”.
Who said that he had to know?
See there, right there. There it is – “Who said he had to know?” Nobody but me. Knowing or not knowing about vehicle repair or maintenance doesn’t change my marriage but removing that unfair expectation does make a difference.
Today I told him how I felt and what I have resolved for myself. Then, I gave him the opportunity to tell me about anything he thought I should be doing or knowing that I don’t do or don’t know. We talked it out; we actually had a great conversation. No arguing; just acknowledging the situation. Easy, facile. After 5 years, we had a simple discussion that I believe will make a huge difference in our future.
What are you expecting others to do or to know, etc. that you have never clearly discussed? In that conversation, consider YOU are the one with the expectation.