Do you ever wish your spouse could read your mind? I sometimes do!

The reality is though, that only God can read our minds. Our spouses cannot. When we really think about it, it’s probably better that way!

Once we accept and embrace this fact, it can be a game-changer in our marriage. Instead of feeling angry and bitter that our spouse doesn’t know we want him/her to help, we can learn to ask for what we need. Assuming he/she already knows isn’t helpful or effective. It holds our spouse to an expectation that is really difficult to meet.

It goes both ways, we may not know something about our spouse that they think we should know. Assumption leaves communication out of the process and can create a lot of confusion and division in any relationship, but particularly a marriage.

Let’s work to be clear with our spouse about what we need or want. Instead of assuming our husband should take out the trash, help us with dishes, you fill in the blank, let’s ask him for the help. Instead of assuming your wife knows you want to spend time together, that she can handle specific chores, or you fill in the blank, check in and ask.

Let’s be honest in asking for what we need and still be kind. We can be direct yet gentle. We can be clear, but with a tone of respect. If we answer or respond harshly or sarcastically, our spouse may not want to ask again, and they’ll go back to assuming!

Start putting it into practice in your marriage this week: when you catch yourself stuffing an issue or getting annoyed at your spouse over something you expect they should do, but aren’t, take a few moments to ask for what you need.

Moving from expectations and assumptions to honesty and clarity will take practice. It may not be easy or comfortable in the short term, but in the long-term, it can bring greater intimacy and friendship to a marriage.