We’re not talking expectations like always folding the laundry when the dryer beeps or emptying the dishwasher the moment the cycle is over…. We’re talking expectations that bind a marriage together or totally break it apart. The kind of expectations that are heavy to lift solo and noticeably empty when void.
We all come into marriage with high expectations — about ourselves, our partner and about what marriage will be like. We sit in our homes on Monday evenings and watch this reality TV show called The Bachelor and play along with the idea that you can fall in love within 8 weeks and that it’s then a perfect fairytale forevermore. NEWSFLASH. That’s not real life.
Often our expectations are not communicated from the moment we say “I DO!”… and we get all messed up when the bottom falls out and we can’t figure out why.
We are let down.
Our spouse didn’t do what we thought they would.
We were left to feel alone. Disappointed. Angry.
Most times we’re not even aware that we have these expectations or that our expectations need to be communicated to our spouse.
It’s easy to assume our partner’s expectations are the same as your own. That they just GET IT. You know, like they GET that the toilet seat needs to be left down…. And they GET that being home for Christmas with your family is a big deal.
The biggest disappointments in life often are a result of expectations not being met. In any relationship we can see this to be true; Relationships with friends, co-workers, children, spouses, etc.
Example: When our dog thinks it’s dinnertime, she expects to be fed. And if it’s not actually dinnertime, she is totally disappointed and acts like a cray-craaazyyyy until it is actually dinner time. Silly example, but you get the point. When we have expectations in any relationship and when they are not met, it creates a wave of chaos at times.
We’re always telling ourselves to stop expecting anything from anyone, yet we can’t help ourselves. Maybe we try and tell ourselves to stop expecting because we don’t deserve it or because it will make us look totally needy. Realty is, it’s good to have expectations – when they are the right ones. It’s our flesh to expect from one another.
Whether we’ve got the right or wrong expectations we are inclined to believe all our expectations are certainly reasonable – but are they?
When expectations, both good and bad, are not met, the hurt starts to pile up. And boy does it pile up HIGH. Bitterness takes root and quickly we grow far apart from our spouse, all from these expectations we didn’t know we really had and didn’t know we needed to communicate.
When we ditch the need for all our expectations of others to be met, it allows freedom for the things that really matter.
Freedom to experience joy.
Freedom to be ourselves.
Freedom to love without an expectation of return.
Freedom to fall more in love long past the altar.
For the sake of your marriage, it’s time to stop expecting your spouse to….
- Agree with you about everything.
- Know what you’re thinking without communicating it.
- To change because you want them to.
- To gain respect from your spouse when you don’t respect yourself.
- To satisfy your every need.
Have additional expectations you’ve learned the hard way? Comment below.