i was reading something the other day and this phrase jumped out at me: I cannot expect what I do not express.


how often in our relationships – be them personal or work or family or ministry – do we have an expectation that is unfulfilled, which can then lead to frustration, discouragement, disappointment or worse!

but often the problem isn’t that the other person isn’t a mind reader but rather that we have not expressed our expectation.  If someone cannot read your mind, that means that when you have a feeling, a concern, or a need, you need to express it so that they know where you are at. You cannot assume that the other person will know it simply because he or she loves you.

in other words, communication is critical to maintain love and understanding throughout the relationship or marriage!


have you told your husband that when you are feeling X Y Z that you would like him to be more supportive, to text encouraging things, to take the kids for half an hour…?

have you told your wife that when this happens you need her to do X Y Z?

do you wish you came home to a nice quiet clean home at the end of a working day instead of a rowdy messy chaos?  or that you feel loved when she gives you some undivided time?

is it important to you that your husband more verbally encourages you? or holds you hand in public?  or helps with the dishes?

or that you feel smothered when they do X Y Z or insecure when they ignore you?


most of us have hopes and expectations about how our friends and loved ones will behave and how we’ll be treated at work. but how often do you actually communicate these wants and needs to those who might be happy to meet them?

we need to express our expectation. 

have you talked about the expectations you have and how you can see the other person responding?  sometimes unless we express our expectation the other person has no idea of what our needs and feelings are, and thus they don’t know how to respond to them.

we also get in a flow of how we, as responders, with our personality type, with our giftings, with our perceptions, with our backgrounds etc react and respond to people and situations.   we have different love languages and primary ways of communicating with others. 

different personalities express love in different ways.  they have different expectations.

by nature i’m a people person, so when i am happy i want to be with people, when i am sad i want to be with people, when i am stressed i want to be with people.  but by nature my husband is an introvert and so needs space.  when he is stressed he would rather things be quiet and calm at home.   but until we expressed those expectations we were bumping into each others boundaries and stepping on toes and building walls.  because i would invite people around and my husband would retreat.  we learned to communicate and find the balance and make it work.

males and females express love in different ways.  they have different expectations.

in different seasons we have different expectations and needs.  it is an ever changing process.

which is why communication is the key.


expressing your expectation is not a bad thing – it is a good thing.  communicating our needs and wants and what will make the relationship work is a good thing.  speak the truth in love.  speak and listen.  hear each other.

if you’re dating or married talk about your expectations, and then get the other person to reply to you about what they think that looks like in real life with their behaviour.  express your expectation – but then remember, you cannot control or dictate the other persons response.  you can express your expectation but their reaction and response to that is their own choice.  give permission and freedom for that other person to express their responding expectation and to discuss how to meet each others needs. 


express your expectation.