When my kids were little, long before they could read, on Mother’s Day I would take them to the store, stand them in the card aisle and let them pick out whatever card they wanted their mom to receive.
Needless to say, they picked out what looked good to them. My son would pick out something with trucks, or balloons usually saying “Happy 7th Birthday Son!” My daughter (slightly younger than my son) would pick out anything brightly colored, or something with lots of flowers. My wife received more than one sympathy and condolence card as a Mother’s Day gift from our little girl.
As they grew up and learned to read, the cards switched from a card "they" wanted mom to have, to one they thought "she" would like to receive.
I’m seeing this same scenario play out in my marriage counseling office weekly.
The man will say, “I’m out there busting my butt six days a week so we can live in a nice home and drive nice cars, but it’s never enough. She still doesn’t show gratitude and she keeps saying she doesn’t feel loved or important.” Meanwhile The Wife is saying “I’m there for him to tell his problems to so I can help and support him, but all he seems to want is to be alone in the garage.”
In each case, they are offering what "they" want the other to receive, and not listening (or refusing to acknowledge) what the other would really like from them.
Is there anything like that going on in your marriage? Could your communication improve?
Give us a call.