Your spouse gets to have dreams and desires that you may not share.
The very nature of marital gridlock is that your dream and your spouses appear to be in opposition. You want different things. And because those things are symbolic of the dream (security, freedom, influence, ect), they matter a lot to you.
Dreams are simply your hopes and desires. They reflect what you value.
Sometimes you may be entrenched in gridlock and not even recognize the dream you are batting for. You think you are fighting about television, when really maybe you are fighting for an intentional life and quietness. (He may be fighting for a place and time to “just be”).
When you see your husband as the source of your marital problem (he is a slob, he is irresponsible, he is demanding) that is a sign of a hidden dream. Because it is hidden from view, you don’t see your part in creating the conflict.
Some common dreams that my client’s discover are: adventure, peace, building something important, travel, a sense of order…. The list is endless.
Women who are happily married often incorporate their husband’s goals into their concept of what their marriage is about. They don’t do this from a place of obligation or sacrifice which breeds resentment, but rather from a place of appreciation and love. They understand that they each get to keep their dreams and the goal is to honor them both.
Wives who are happy in their relationship don’t force expectations on their husband (we call these Relationship Manuals). Relationship Manuals dictate how HE should behave so that she can feel loved.
Manuals imply that someone else is responsible for our happiness. They also imply a right way to desire, think and act. When we imply our way is right and his way is wrong, we set ourselves up for gridlock.
Remember Martha from the book of Luke? Hard working, dedicated, intentional Martha. She was great at taking care of everyone and getting things done. It was when she criticized her sister Mary that the Lord reprimanded her. I don’t think Jesus was saying Martha was wrong for cooking and planning a meal. He was correcting her for judging and managing Mary as Mary pursued her heart.
Marriage is not about forcing your
expectations on another person, rather supporting the dreams of your partner
by allowing him to have desires that are
different than your own.