Saturday, January 12, 2013

Man Flu and expectation gaps

I had a nasty bug yesterday that left me with a high fever, shivers and an achy body, so I came home from work early and spent the afternoon in bed. C did what she often does when I am sick, and took the children out for the afternoon, leaving me at home alone.

When she is sick, all she wants is to be left alone to sleep it off, so in her mind, taking the children out for the afternoon is a loving act of service, as she is giving me what she would want, a quiet house and no interruptions to rest and recover.

For me though, that just leaves me feeling lonely and abandoned in my time of need (Man Flu is a terrible thing!). When I am sick, I am generally too uncomfortable to sleep, and I want someone to snuggle, and to talk to, and to nurse me and bring me things like soup and tea and cookies!

At the same time, when C is sick, my natural reaction is to do all of the above, no doubt irritating her when she just wants to be left alone to sleep.

The point is that we all have different expectations and reactions, so don't assume that what you would want in a given situation is what your spouse will want.

As always, the key to a succesful marriage lies in open and honest communication. Let your spouse know what you do and don't like, and ask them what they would like and how they want you to behave in response to life's various little curveballs.