Friday, July 10, 2009

Confusion of Goals and Desires

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This is a repost from September of 2007...I'm on a little vacation of sorts and sharing some of my earlier posts with you all.

Having Rick gone this weekend and having a little time to myself had me thinking about a few things in our marriage.

It is so easy for me to be quick to jump on every little thing that I think he should change about himself, our relationship, life with our kids...when the problem might not be him...but me (gasp!). I'm realizing that there are too many instances where I am expecting so much from him, showing him little appreciation for all he does do, and taking him for granted. I need to appreciate more and expect nothing...but how?

Larry Crabb has a quote from his book "The Marriage Builder" that I really liked. You can click here for a little more in depth read on it. He says:
"Problems in communication generally involve a
confusion of goals and desires. What we desire from
our spouses becomes our goal. We insist that our
partners treat us a certain way, and when they don't,
we express our negative emotions to them either
as revenge or to change them."

The answer is there. A goal is something that I can set for myself. If I want to read a book a month, that is a goal. If I want to get in better shape, I can exercise every day (haha) - that's a goal. Read a chapter a day in my Bible, try a new recipe a week, go to bed at 10pm...they all are things that I can control.

Desires. Hmmm....desires are things that I want for or from others. I want my husband to rub my feet each day, play with the kids every night, cook a meal a week, cuddle on the couch with me before bed...the list can go on.

The thing is - I can't control those things. I can't control how my husband lives his life. When I try to make my desires into my goals...problems start cropping up. I'm setting expectations that are not going to necessarily be met. And in the process that begins to affect my relationship with my husband.

I start thinking he should be doing (fill in the blank) and when he doesn't, I get upset. I pout internally. I get frustrated. I treat him badly. And he doesn't know what I'm upset about, but he gets frustrated too. And the problem doesn't lie with him - but with my desires.


So, how do I stop? Maybe I can set some different goals for myself. Like quit nagging my husband to do (blank). Say "I love you" first thing when he walks in the door (instead of shoving a child in his arms immediately).

Laugh more. Let it go. Ask nicely. Be a little more patient. My list could be endless. :)

But are you catching my drift?....


  1. Great post. I try daily not to nag or get upset when he doesn't do ____. I pray for things I need to change about myself first. I need to work on me and let God work on him, if needed. I try and show him more love and less nag!

  2. RIGHT ON!!!!

    Definitely catching your drift!!:-)

  3. I have given up expecting him to be a mind reader. For some reason, after 14 years, he still hasn't mastered that ability. So I simply tell him what I would like, and leave it up to him.

    The most important thing I can do, it to acknowledge every little thing he does do even if it's something I didn't ask for. I have found when people praise you for things you do unknowingly, that will do it more but add new things as well.

    Who doesn't like to hear appreciation and compliments as long as they are sincere and genuine.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  4. Great post - glad I came over from Company Girl Coffee!!! That's a great observation - the difference between goals and desires - and I need to keep that in mind. Setting goals for myself is far removed from desiring anything from anyone else. Great way to move into the weekend with my family! Thanks!

  5. You're absolutely right. Since the first time you've posted this, how have things been?

  6. This is great. I think a lot of us need to hear this.

  7. Hmm...important distinction and something good to be aware of. I think sometimes I don't even know why I am frustrated, but that may be the reason sometimes.


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