A weekend away with your husband of 6th months – a drive up the California coast, Del Taco and giggles like we were back in high school – seems like the start to a great getaway, right? Until….
We arrive at our destination, Solvang: a place I had wanted to visit for years. When talking of our weekend away, Steven had suggested to visit Solvang. I was excited that he brought that up, “Solvang, really?” So with eagerness I began looking up things to do and see in the area after we together booked a hotel. Fast forward through a busy work week and full evenings, we finally were in Solvang. We finally find parking and I asked Steven, “So what do you want to do?” He replies, “I don’t know, this is a place you wanted to visit.” With that comment, I lost my composure. All I could think about was the “YOU.” I wanted this weekend to be about US. Tears rolled down my face.
I had expected us to plan what we were doing together beforehand or when we arrived. The beforehand never worked out due to life-circumstances, but I assumed we would do that when we arrived since I had no idea what to expect in this new place. Overall, I had expected this be a weekend where we together spent time doing things we each wanted to do. I did not want this to be a weekend of doing things only I wanted to do simply because we were in a place I had wanted to visit. Those expectations, combined with the newness and eagerness of being a big “anniversary” (6 months, come on?!) added to my sensitivity in that moment.
Steven had expected that I had some idea of things I wanted to do in my mind. He had expected that I would take the lead in planning things to see and do. To him, this would mean for a restful weekend where he could let down his guard and just enjoy himself – not having to think of things to do or plan.
Sounds simple? We admit, from the outside in and even after the fact we laugh about this event. But, expectations unspoken are a silent killer to connection and joy. Yet, they many times are fairly simple to fix once you identify them. And if you’re like me, you need time to talk out your feelings to realize what’s bothering you and what your expectations are. If you’re on the other end married to someone that is like me, be quick to be patient and listen affirming the other person and allowing them time to feel and think aloud. It will mean the world to them and help them get to the bottom of things.
So? How did the weekend turn out? We had about a half-hour talk where we realized what had just happened. I cried. He cried. We laughed. I shared some ideas for the weekend and we made our plan together. It was a marvelous weekend of new experiences, rest, and spontaneity.
Over the last four years together, and our now six months of marriage, the beauty of these incidents where we fight has been in that we know we are growing. Over the years, and exponentially since marriage, we resolve the fight quicker. We are learning to identify the real issues, be humble, and be quick to forgive.