Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000082B
00:02 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hand.
00:05 We've been talking about mottos for marriage,
00:08 things that our Facebook friends have shared with us
00:11 on the Mad About Marriage page.
00:13 What makes their marriage work?
00:15 And one of those
00:16 that we've just talked about was
00:18 expectations are premeditated disappointments.
00:22 And yet on the other hand, we also recognized
00:24 that it's okay to have needs and expectations
00:28 but we need to express those to one another.
00:31 So how might you begin to express
00:33 an expectation or a need to your spouse?
00:35 I think the first thing is to identify it for yourself.
00:38 You know, we all come to marriage with expectations.
00:41 We have some kind of a picture in our mind
00:44 of what it's going to be like.
00:45 It may have come from our family of origin,
00:48 may have come from society, just media even.
00:52 We have...
00:53 Or your own personality. Yes.
00:55 We have an expectation.
00:57 And the expectations,
00:59 they come in a range of categories
01:01 of the things that we expect.
01:02 But there is a big picture.
01:04 So I think one of the first things we need to do
01:06 is to examine what are own expectations are
01:10 which is usually based on our needs,
01:12 our emotional needs.
01:14 And so once you understand,
01:15 well, here's what I would really like to see
01:18 in our marriage.
01:19 Here's what would make me feel close to you,
01:22 here's what would make me feel fulfilled
01:24 and begin to understand that for yourself.
01:27 And then to communicate that in a way
01:30 that is helpful to your spouse.
01:32 Most of them are going to suggest one more thing
01:33 and that is that we need to examine
01:35 whether or not the expectation is realistic.
01:38 There are some things that I may expect from you
01:40 that are not realistic.
01:41 Either it's just humanly impossible to provide it
01:44 or it would be something that would be out of character
01:48 or demeaning for you even to provide.
01:50 I need to understand
01:52 what is the realistic expectation of this being met.
01:55 How likely is it that my spouse might be able to do this?
01:59 You know, I talked to one gentleman
02:01 who was really concerned about his marriage
02:03 and his relationship with his wife because he said,
02:06 "She is very needy."
02:09 He said, "Her expectation of my time
02:12 is absolutely unrealistic."
02:14 He said, "I want to spend time with her.
02:16 I love her.
02:18 And yet if I'm not with her 24/7,
02:21 well, she can barely let me out of her sight to go to work
02:24 and then come straight home.
02:26 And then she wants, you know, all evening and every weekend
02:30 and every moment because she feels lonely,
02:33 she feels isolated if she is by herself."
02:37 And he said, "I don't know how to meet that need.
02:40 I just don't know how to do it
02:41 because there physically, it's not enough time in the day
02:44 to do what I need to do and be with her."
02:46 So if indeed we have an unrealistic expectation,
02:48 is this woman...
02:49 We may realize that there is a brokenness in us
02:52 that needs to be fixed.
02:53 That maybe this is a time
02:55 for some professional counseling.
02:56 Maybe this is a time for prayer to work on me
03:00 rather than expecting you to meet all these needs.
03:03 Is this a realistic expectation?
03:04 Is it reasonable?
03:06 Because in that case
03:07 it really is a premeditated disappointment.
03:09 If you have some thing that's unrealistic,
03:11 another human being cannot even meet this need for you.
03:14 So yeah, that's a premeditated disappointment.
03:16 So examine ourselves, what do I really need?
03:19 I what would make my life more complete?
03:22 And is this realistic?
03:23 And then once I've examined this,
03:25 then its time to communicate it.
03:27 But what's a good way to communicate this?
03:29 Well, in words, number one,
03:32 you know, if you can literally sit down and identify something
03:35 or you feel like there is a bit of a hope and say,
03:38 "You know, I really need more time with you, you know.
03:42 And obviously a realistic amount of time
03:44 but I feel like we are not spending any time together
03:47 and I would feel so much closer
03:49 if maybe we could spend Sunday afternoons together."
03:54 Or something. You know, be specific.
03:56 This would help me.
03:57 And especially as woman, we need to be specific
04:00 because as we said earlier,
04:01 we expect that men are just gonna know.
04:03 And they don't.
04:04 And they don't. No.
04:05 But it's helpful for a man if you actually,
04:08 you know, kind of package it.
04:10 This would be helpful if we could do this
04:12 and then together find a way to spend that time.
04:15 You know, carve that time out.
04:18 Men are not naturally intuitive
04:20 especially when it comes to emotional needs.
04:22 They are just not naturally intuitive.
04:24 Now, this is something that men can learn
04:26 and they can learn to watch for things,
04:28 especially practical things.
04:30 If I'm sitting on the couch reading the paper
04:31 and you are working in the kitchen,
04:33 maybe there is something wrong with this picture
04:35 and I need to be aware of that.
04:37 And I need to observe
04:39 that there is a need for my time there
04:41 so that I can help you, right?
04:43 I can learn to do that.
04:44 But when it comes to an emotional need
04:46 that is not quite that obvious,
04:48 I may not be all that intuitive and most men are not.
04:51 And so letting them know,
04:53 "This is something that I may need it on a regular basis,"
04:56 it's realistic to expect.
04:58 It can be a learned behavior.
05:00 "Could you help me with this?"
05:01 Men are task oriented. Yes.
05:03 Okay, I can do that.
05:04 You know, give me that task I can do that.
05:06 And usually they want to
05:08 because they want the closeness as well.
05:10 But let's turn that around. What about for men?
05:14 How can express their needs and their expectations?
05:18 I think that men tend to be as bad
05:20 about this at times as women are.
05:23 And they just assume that you should certain things
05:26 and then when it's not given
05:27 sometimes, they respond
05:29 with either anger or withdrawal.
05:31 That's right.
05:32 Those are the two things, anger and withdrawal.
05:34 Get angry or you just withdraw, all right?
05:36 If you are not gonna do it, then forget it.
05:38 But I think to sit down
05:39 and have the realistic conversation, all right?
05:41 I know there are certain things in the relationship that I need
05:44 and certain things that you need.
05:45 Share with me what you need
05:47 and I'm gonna share with you what would be tops of my list.
05:50 Let's see if this not a meeting of the minds some place.
05:52 And again, just to sit down with the words and say,
05:55 "It would really help me with this."
05:57 And it may not even but you have to have this big conflab.
06:00 You know, you have the event.
06:01 Just as you go.
06:03 You don't know what would be helpful for me in the future
06:04 as if you were to do something like this?
06:06 Could you see it?
06:08 You see it way clear to help me with that.
06:11 I think the first step of what we talked about
06:13 is important for men
06:15 to actually examine what they do need
06:17 because often men don't recognize in themselves.
06:20 They only recognize if something is not right
06:23 but they don't sit down and put the finger on it.
06:26 Men are not as self-contemplative.
06:29 That's right. Most men are not as women are.
06:31 Women will analyze everything.
06:33 Every emotion, every word,
06:34 every new ones to the relationship.
06:36 Most men, now some will do this
06:38 but most men are not as apt to do that.
06:40 They just gonna, "Well, that didn't feel good.
06:42 I don't know why it didn't feel good
06:43 but I didn't feel good but it didn't feel good."
06:44 Or, "That was really good, do you know?
06:46 I kind of like it.
06:47 Don't know why it worked out but I like that."
06:49 Well, one of the things that...
06:50 When I talk about the dumb guy, I go to my Texas accent.
06:53 You do. You noticed that?
06:54 I'm from Texas, it's what I do.
06:56 You shouldn't do that.
06:59 You know, Scott Stanley and much of his work
07:01 talks about one of the things men can do
07:03 is to expand their emotional vocabulary
07:07 because for many men it's good, bad, liked it, didn't like it.
07:14 Angry, happy, you know, sad.
07:15 Yeah. And that's it.
07:17 That's about the end of it.
07:18 But if you can expand the emotional vocabulary,
07:21 it's also helpful.
07:22 Well, what did you really feel about that?
07:24 You know, was there anger?
07:26 Was there a sense of isolation?
07:28 Was there resentment? Was there fear?
07:30 Yeah. Was there rage?
07:31 What was there
07:33 and what would be helpful in the future.
07:36 And the reason to expand that vocabulary
07:39 is that your spouse likely has a broader vocabulary
07:43 and bad doesn't always cover it for her.
07:47 Well, why is it bad? What did that feel like?
07:49 And if you can share a little bit more
07:52 of an extended vocabulary
07:53 with her on the particular area,
07:55 it helps her be more intuitive as to how to fix this
07:58 and how to help with that.
08:00 So I think expanding the vocabulary,
08:01 being aware of what it is that you need.
08:03 And then being able to clearly articulate this
08:05 to share it with her.
08:07 And again, this is not done as a cold demand.
08:09 Oh, no, no. This is a request.
08:12 You know, would it be possible for this to be done?
08:14 What would prevent this from happening?
08:17 This would be something that will be very helpful to me.
08:20 And what can I do for you in return?
08:22 How can we meet each other's needs along these lines?
08:24 It is not wrong to have expectations.
08:28 But it is important that we don't allow our expectations
08:32 to be premeditated disappointments
08:33 simply by lack, by lack of communication.
08:38 When we can communicate,
08:39 then our expectations can be met
08:42 and they don't need to be disappointments.
08:44 I think she is right.
08:45 We need to be realistic and don't just sit back
08:47 and expect things that they are never gonna happen.
08:49 And you really should have known it, you know.
08:52 There is another motto that we like to share today
08:54 and that is, "I'll never attempt to fix or change you.
08:58 I'll never attempt to fix or change you."
09:00 In marriage ceremonies,
09:02 I very often will share this little insight.
09:06 They say that on her wedding day,
09:08 all a woman can think about is the aisle,
09:11 the altar and him.
09:14 When in reality she is thinking I'll alter him."
09:18 That's just wrong.
09:20 Probably true but wrong.
09:21 True but wrong...
09:23 And really, a healthy marriage
09:26 is never based on the fact that you're my project
09:28 and I'm going to fix you up, you know.
09:30 You're a fixer-upper.
09:31 That's not a good plan for a marriage.
09:33 Well, does that mean that we need to think about this
09:36 before we get married?
09:38 Don't marry a fixer-upper.
09:41 I think often we do that, though.
09:43 We think, "Well, you know, I don't like this but,
09:46 you know, he will learn as I teach him."
09:49 You know. As I teach him.
09:50 "Or I will fix her," you know.
09:53 And it's not just women that do this.
09:54 I mean, men do this as well.
09:56 Yeah. Absolutely.
09:57 They really do. You know, I can overlook this.
09:58 You know, "This is not all important.
10:00 I'll fix that later as we move along."
10:02 The truth is, don't marry anyone
10:05 if you cannot be absolutely,
10:07 positively happy for the rest of your life
10:09 if they never changed.
10:11 Because you don't have any guarantees.
10:12 You don't have any guarantees that they will.
10:14 You actually do have a guarantee
10:15 that they will change
10:17 but you don't know which way it will be.
10:18 Whether it will be for the good or the bad or,
10:19 you know, the better or the worse.
10:21 That's right. That's right.
10:22 You know, it reminds me of a couple
10:24 that we knew years ago,
10:25 I mean, way back when we first got married.
10:27 And I remember them having a conversation
10:30 with other people around.
10:32 It was kind of a, you know, we had dinner
10:33 and everybody sitting there talking.
10:35 And she was a person who carried some extra weight.
10:38 So she was, she was kind of chunky.
10:41 And they got to talking about that publicly
10:45 and he was saying, you know, she said, "Well, you know,
10:48 I've always just been heavier."
10:52 And he said, "Well, you know, I never really like that."
10:57 And he said "I always thought that after we got married,
11:00 she would lose weight."
11:03 And she said, "Why did you think that?"
11:05 What would make you think that would be a possibility?
11:08 "That's not who I ever have been.
11:10 That's not who I was when you married me.
11:12 Why did you think
11:14 that I would suddenly get thinner?"
11:16 You know, "Was it just gonna be your presence
11:19 that did that or what?"
11:20 "That's it. I make you lose weight, dear."
11:22 And it was fairly good nature of conversation
11:25 but at the same time, it's a little bit uncomfortable
11:27 for those of us that were sitting there.
11:28 We were, "Where is this coming from?"
11:31 But we do, sometimes even subconsciously,
11:34 but sometimes consciously have an expectation.
11:37 "Well, that thing that I don't like is gonna change
11:40 once they are married to me
11:42 and they realize that I don't really like it."
11:44 Part of that is the characteristic
11:45 for romantic love.
11:46 It tends to have the rose colored glasses.
11:48 We imagine traits they posses to be better than they are.
11:52 And we imagine them having good traits
11:55 that they don't actually posses.
11:56 But it's important to realize that if indeed
11:58 I'm trying to fix you or change you,
12:00 that puts me in a position of superiority over you.
12:04 It's a fairly arrogant position to take
12:06 that I know a better way for you to live.
12:09 "I know better how you should live.
12:11 And so if you just listen to me,
12:13 I can fix you up."
12:15 And because where are they codependent,
12:16 there is an attempt to rescue
12:18 some of who may or may not want to be rescued.
12:20 And that's codependent love.
12:22 It's the rescuing and then being rescued.
12:24 The altering and being altered.
12:26 It is not a healthy thing to do.
12:28 When you think about that,
12:30 it's really kind of hurtful isn't it?
12:33 Because the other person then feels like,
12:34 "Well, I guess I never did really measure up.
12:37 I never was quite what they wanted.
12:40 I thought we had this wonderful thing together,
12:42 you know, we decided to get married
12:43 and spend our lives together
12:45 and yet now I figure out that I never measured up."
12:49 Which makes you feel broken.
12:50 It makes you feel of less value.
12:53 It makes you feel something other than being cherished.
12:56 So it's not a good idea to try to fix.
12:59 It becomes a very, almost...
13:01 And again, I hate to use this word too loosely
13:03 but almost an abusive thing
13:05 because it puts me in a position of power
13:08 to try to control your behavior and to change you.
13:10 That's right.
13:12 You know, I think maybe we need to approach this as well
13:15 just a really good friendship.
13:17 You know, is this person a friend
13:19 that I could live with forever?
13:21 Is this person someone that we can be close?
13:24 You know, the definition of a friend that I just love,
13:28 "A friend is someone who is happy to see you
13:30 and has no immediate plans for your improvement."
13:33 Isn't that great? I love it.
13:34 Happy to see you.
13:36 No immediate plans for your improvement.
13:37 Now when you think about your spouse,
13:40 you know, as we are talking to people at home
13:43 when they think about their spouse
13:44 is that what they think of.
13:46 That's the way we need to be.
13:47 We need to be the friend
13:49 that is not looking for improvement
13:50 in the other person, simply loving them.
13:52 So it means just learning to accept each other as we are.
13:55 Well, that's what we encourage you to do today.
13:57 And the reason for that is because we want you to be
14:00 madly in love forever.