My husband and I were coming up on our first year wedding anniversary. This was a big deal for both of us because for once in our lives, we still loved the person we were with after nearly 365 days, AND we still liked each other too! I was really looking forward to this celebration, and wondered with anticipation what my wonderful husband had planned for us to do. As the time grew closer, I started talking about how great it would be if we could get away for the weekend, and I mentioned nice restaurants where I had previously enjoyed great meals. I dropped hints every few days, hoping to not only give him ideas, but to also perhaps catch a glimpse of what grand thing he had planned for our celebration.
Our anniversary was on a Sunday. We woke up and got ready to go to brunch. I wondered what deliciousness was in store for me! He drove, and a little way down the road, he pulled the car into the IHOP parking lot. I thought he was joking so I laughed. He wasn’t joking. We ate brunch at IHOP. I justified that choice of place with thoughts of what other wonderful things we would do that day. After brunch, he drove us home and turned on the TV to watch a movie. I kind of waited around to see if there was some other surprise in store for me. Perhaps flowers? A special dinner? A card? Nothing. By evening, I was BEYOND FUMING when he changed clothes and headed off to the gym for an evening workout.
That was the first AND LAST time I left it up to him to plan something without communicating to him what I wanted. You see, as much as you may be furious about that story right now, the point is that I was just as much to blame (if not more) for us not doing something more elaborate. I had cryptic conversations and dropped hints, but I never just TOLD him what I wanted. Had I said, “I would like to go to (wherever) and do (whatever) for our anniversary,” he would have very gladly done whatever I wanted to do. Instead, where I saw his efforts as falling short and inadequate, he had made significant effort to have gotten up early on a Sunday morning, thought of a place for us to go, and took me there without a clue as to what I really wanted to do. Where I saw thoughtlessness, he had been very thoughtful to set aside a whole day for us to spend time together. Would I have wanted things to go differently? You betcha! So I learned that it was important to discuss what we wanted future anniversaries to look like. This took a lot of patience and time as we worked through this conversation. Because it wasn’t just anniversaries. It was birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day . . . you name it, we had different ideas of how we should celebrate. How had I left those things off the “things to talk about before we get married” list?!
So, what great wisdom did I learn that I can share with you? Ladies, you HAVE to tell your man what you want. No offense to anyone, but guys are simple. You just tell them what you’re thinking or what you want and they’ll appreciate you more than you know. Quit trying to make them guess and quit disappointing yourself when they don’t guess correctly. That’s it. Bottom line. You’ll both be happier, I promise.
We’ve only been married three and a half years, so I don’t know if it will always have to be this way. Will I always have to tell him what I want? Will I always have to tell him where I want to go or what I want to do? Only time will tell. In the mean time, those of you who have been married longer, please comment and let us know what we can expect in the future!