19 August 2011

Just Ask--And Be Specific!

I was recently talking with a very good friend of mine and we were sharing about what works well in our marriages.  I was telling her how the longer I have been married the more I truly believe that men really really really want to please their wives.  They want to make us happy.  They love to see us smile.  And most of all they love to hear us say, "Thank you, honey!"  Very often we expect our spouses to read our minds and just know what to do or how to make us happy.  A lesson I have learned is that for me, it just means I have to take the time to ask very specifically for what I need, instead of "doing it all" (which is never the case but sometimes we feel that way) and feeling overwhelmed we retreat into ourselves and do not communicate with our spouse or we give up because it takes time and effort and work, and who wants more work?

But with John, I have learned that if I take the time to say, "This is really important to me if you would..." He really listens to what I have to say and whatever I usually ask for it is done within minutes.  Sometimes I expect John to think like I do which is ten steps ahead all the time, and that just isn't the way he thinks, and I don't think most men are ten steps ahead, they are diligently working on the one step they are taking.  Moms, or wives, are usually thinking about the ten million other schedules, lists, and things they have to coordinate and do that if we don't think ten steps ahead we will be behind!  But men, and my John, they don't read minds, and they were never meant to.  We as women need to take the time, yes, the time, to communicate our needs better.  We really just need to ask, and be specific about what we want or need, and 9 times out of 10 I know for a fact your spouse will be all ears and willing to help you.

Let's face it!  We are different.  That is how God designed us to be.  But the bottom line is your spouse loves you, and if you love your spouse, which I know you do, it is up to you to take the time and tell them how you feel!  Like last night for instance, John was at work and then headed straight to church to prep for his sermon.  I didn't see him til after 10 pm...meanwhile I took my kids to a pool party, we got eaten alive by mosquitoes and it was a lot of work to watch two kids at a party by myself, and I got lost coming home, but by 9pm we finally made our way home.  It was garbage night, and I just couldn't do it.  I was so tired.  I was spent.  I had a headache.  So instead of bitterly and grudgingly stomping the two large heavy pails down the driveway, what did I do?   I took the 2 minutes it would take to do the garbage and I texted John, "Hey babe, it would really mean a lot for me if you would take out the trash before going to bed tonight."  Now, it's John's job to do the garbage.  But...I knew he was coming in late and I knew he might forget so instead of worrying about it I just texted him, and within seconds, he replied, "No problem my love."  And I know it's only the garbage but it felt so good to have it done and the fact that he did it.

My challenge to you today is whatever you need help with, whenever you are starting to feel overwhelmed, pray about it and then ask your spouse to do something specifically  that would really help to ease the burden off of you.  Trust me, they will be happy that they could serve you and bless you, and you will be blessed that they did!


  1. I think there's a lot of wisdom in what you've shared here Kristi. Asking specifically is great advice; thanks for sharing your insight! xoxo C

  2. My questions is - what do you do when you need help with something, but your idea of completing the task is different than your husbands?

    Case in point: I rarely ever ask for any help with the house cleaning because I know I'll do a much better job of it, but most of the time it's too much for me to handle! Should I ask for help and try to be satisfied with the outcome of my husband doing it, or should I explain to him that he's not doing a good enough job?

    This is a tricky thing for me because I already feel like I'm asking a lot when I do ask for help, but to complain about how it's done on top of that? Maybe it's too much.

  3. Thank you Sarah for commenting and bringing this question up. Here's what I think: not something I would die for but just my opinion, I would tell hubby how much his help is needed, (sweetly) and thank him for the effort he puts in, even though it is not the way you would do it, #1 he did it, #2 he did his best (let's hope) and #3 he loved you enough to do it without complaining

    I think we need to ask for help and then when it is given just be thankful for what we got, because we as moms, are perfectionists and the way we do it is ALWAYS the best (ok, most times) and so we need to be grateful for the effort and not worry about the picky details...what do you think?

    But...if you keep feeling like maybe the "effort" isn't there, then that is something to bring up (sweetly of course).

    Love ya!

  4. "I think we need to ask for help and then when it is given just be thankful for what we got, because we as moms, are perfectionists"

    I think you're right on the money with that. I think I could take a lesson from my husband and learn to be a bit more laid back about things. I'm very blessed in that I do have a husband that will help out and never makes me feel like a nag (most of the time...) ;o) Thanks for answering my question! :o)


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