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I Could Do It Better

Ever agree to let your spouse handle a purchase or take care of problem? And did you find yourself backseat driving? I am a huge backseat driver. I have a lot of trouble trusting my husband will get the job done, especially if his approach is not the one I would take. And it almost never is.

We send such an awful message when we drop hints and ask for progress reports. We convey, "I don't trust you or your approach." We reveal, "This is an assignment, not a favor, not a chance to be my hero, not a chance to reduce my load of responsibilities, just something you can screw up if you don't do an adequate job."

His approach is not my approach because we have different strengths. His schedule is not my schedule because mine is imaginary and his is real. If it all goes horribly wrong, he will find a way to make it right. I am sure I will help if it does go wrong, but not because I am required to, just because I love him.

So once again, I am reminded to Expect Love. To expect he will screw up won't bring me any love. To expect he will complete the task on my schedule and to my satisfaction is to premeditate resenting him. I will expect he will love me. And because he loves me, he will do the best he is capable of doing in the time available and with the resources available.

His best won't look a lot like my best. It will be wonderful in different ways from my best. If I focus on what I do well instead of what he does well, I will deny myself the joy of being cared for. I will expect love, rather than any particular outcome. I will contribute whatever I contribute out of love, not duty and certainly not self-righteousness.

I will do it because I have seen the joy of expecting love and the soul-numbing deadliness of marriage as a barter bank.

I will do it because a man respected and trusted works ten times harder. I will do it because I want to end my days with hugs and kisses, not anger or dismay. I will do it because resentment tastes awful and love tastes so fine. If I want to do something better than my husband, receiving love is a much, much better choice than any household project.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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