One of my husband’s goals after our wedding was to teach me how to drive. So, we delved into it without wasting much time. But honestly, it was not a good idea. I remember sitting beside a taxi driver and asking him some questions about driving, the man turned to me and asked me who was teaching me to drive. I said to him “my husband”, and he replied with “forget it, it will not work, get someone else to teach you how to drive”. The man was right. It was not that great. My husband eventually had to ask his friend to complete the training. Even when I started to drive, my husband would always find something to correct. At a point, I came up with a plan and said to myself, “whenever my husband is sitting beside me in the car while I am driving, I will try to think as he would, drive as he would, take decisions as he would”. I thought I had studied him so well that I could imitate his reasoning and way of doing things, but I was wrong. The result was worse than ever, so I decided to stick to my own brain.
Some years ago, I also started to teach our daughter how to drive. That was when I began to appreciate my husband. He was far better than me. Maybe, as a mother, I just wanted every dot and comma to be placed appropriately. I suddenly wanted to reproduce a little me in our daughter. I wanted her to drive and make decisions the way I would have done, forgetting that I had been a driver for more than twenty years. Whenever our daughter was behind the steering wheel, my brain got activated, and all my nerves were upstanding, especially during the winter. Unknown to me, I became an obstruction to her instead of helping her develop confidence in her ability and gently grow through it. I had to talk to myself, calm myself down, and put everything in God’s hands, trusting Him for safety as we drive around.
Expecting too much from our partner is the mistake many of us make in our relationship, marriage, family, fellowship, community, institutions, etc. We want perfection in others while setting up our personalities, and perspectives as the standards. We judge situations behind our spectacles, forgetting that different specifications come with each spectacle. Most of the time we are not patient enough to understand our partner and descend from our high tower to their level so we could walk them up the stairs. We expect too much from one another that we become so worried and depressed because our expectations are not often met.
It is not possible to reproduce our perfect self in another. Everybody is unique. Peace comes from understanding the peculiarity of our partner or people around us and seeing them with the eyes of love. The establishment of this foundation will pave the way for a successful relationship, mentorship, training, etc. Knowledge comes before wisdom. We cannot apply wisdom to the matter we have no knowledge or understanding of. That is why the Bible advises in the book of proverbs to get wisdom and understanding: “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” Proverbs 4:7. We must endeavor to understand one another and respect our differences.
My husband once forwarded to me an interview by a couple on marriage. I was sure he wanted me to hear something from the interview, but it was not too long before I also spotted an area he needed to listen to (lol). So I ran back to him with that aspect and we ended up making fun of ourselves. However, there was an aspect of that talk that got me and changed some of my perspectives. The wife said, “sometimes, we are asking our partner to give what they don’t have”. How can someone give what he does not have? And the fact is that no one has it all, no one. That is the reason we must complement each other in our relationship and marriage rather than competing with ourselves or focusing on a weak part of our partner.
We cannot give up on our partners because none of us is perfect or fault-free. If changing some of our perspectives will bring us peace and buy us success, it is wise to do it and let love prevail. Love is patient, kind, and suffers long, says the Bible. Love also covers a multitude of shortcomings. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. 1Corinthins 13:7,8.
If we abide by this Biblical principle of love, patience, wisdom, understanding, etc., it will save many from depressions, frustrations, high blood pressure, addictions, and diseases of all kinds. It will help our mental health and prolong our life much better.