As I perused my daily dose of blogs I found Sarah’s post to be my must-read of the day! It seems those bath crayons given to the kids have found their way to her shower. She and her husband use them to leave notes of information and affection. What a sweet and creative way to keep in touch!
Figuring out how to communicate is such a challenge in any relationship. I don’t know if this is true with all men, but the Y-chromosome members of my household are not very receptive to subtle or even not-so-subtle hints. One of the older boys came home from a youth group meeting and said, “I think this girl was flirting with me. She programmed her phone number into my cell phone.” You think so?! Another time a high school son was perplexed when he got off the school bus. “This girl just keeps talking to me. I answer her questions, but she just keeps talking.” That’s right. She doesn’t care what your answers are. She just wants your attention. Reading the subtext is not one of their strong points.
Of course expecting the subtext to be read is a hindrance to communication as well. Have you ever set up a secret test for someone and then been hurt when they didn’t pass? For example, if he really misses me when he is out of town he should call every night. Now I never explicitly communicate this expectation to him. But if he doesn’t call, I am hurt. How reasonable is that?
I think about this as St. Valentine’s Day approaches. Early in our relationship I had certain expectations. My husband did not. We had what I termed our annual St. Valentine’s Day massacre. I wanted roses, chocolates, and champagne. He thought all the fuss over a day in February was silly. After twenty-three years we have evolved into a comfortable routine. On February 14 we exchange cards and I may make a special meal or dessert. He surprises me with flowers all year long. We remember to say “I love you” many times every day. I’ve learned to tell him what I am hoping for. He’s learned that even if my expectations appear inefficient and redundant to his engineering psyche, it doesn’t hurt to indulge me a little.