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Attention: The information provided in this forum is intended for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Includes Expert Content
Unfair Expectatios
jtman1999 posted:
How do I stop projecting my personal expectations of myself onto my husband. I am a driven person, always feeling the need to be "doing something" whether work or play. My husband is more relaxed and laid back and does not feel the need to be busy every moment of the day. If he does not do what chore I ask him to do, when I ask, I get frustrated.He has recently retired on physical disability, and I get angry when he just sits around.
He is a wonderful loving husband in every way, and I feel this is my issue - but don't know how to let him just be himself.
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
It's wonderful that you recognize your husband as a 'wonderful loving" person. This by itself can be helpful in keeping positive feelings toward him. You might want to make a conscious effort to think daily about what you appreciate about him. Allow yourself to feel good about these things. This 'exercise' can help increase your sense of appreciation (and lessen the intensity of your frustration).

Many people gain more empathy for their spouses by learning to really listen to them so that they can see the world through their eyes. You might find this helpful, too. It would mean asking more about how he likes to spend his time and what he gets from his way of approaching his day like this. You would need to really listen without interrupting - unless you need clarification on something. Keep listening (without explaining why he's wrong or what he's missing) until you can really 'get' where he is coming from.

As far as your frustration about him not doing a chore when you ask him to, many couples face a similar frustration. Many find it helpful to put a time frame on the request. When you do this, it can help you to loosen up your expectation of having everything done immediately and it will clarify for him when you would like the chore completed.
dfromspencer responded:
First, stop being so driven! Why in the world would you want to be busy doing this or that, instead of seeing this or that? You are letting all the beauty of life pass you by, your hubby is smart enough to see it!!! He see's your little chores as your way of coping with whatever demon it is inside that drives you?!!! He has no such demons, so the chores are something to be done when ever. So, do as the Doctor says, give him time limits, and i'm sure he will get them done for you.

You need to relax, take a chill pill, or whatever, but stop and smell the roses, and take the time to see their beauty, life is so short!!! Life is passing you by, and your hubby is at least watching it go by!

Try a relaxation c.d., or go have a massage. Learn to relax, not every thing needs to be done this instant, right? Right! Enjoy the rest of your life, and enjoy it with the hubby!!!


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