Marriage

5 Unfair Expectations I Have of My Husband

May 23, 2017

Before we got married, Mark and I went to premarital counseling.  At the first appointment the counselor gave us a test. At the second appointment we reviewed our results.  Before he started the review the counselor asked us, “So, do you two have a date?” We answered, “Yes, on March 4th.” We were 6 months away.  He then said something that should have alarmed me more than it did. He said, “Would you consider changing it?” 

The counselor then explained that Mark and I were very different in our personalities and in our expectations for our relationship. Unfair expectations in marriage are not uncommon, which was a relief to me at the time. But we must take the warning seriously.  If you have unfair expectations, they can lead to discontent.

I still have to fight unfair expectations about Mark and marriage. Here are 5 that are at the top of my list.

I expect that he should get me.

My friends got me, so Mark should too, right? Mark really didnt get me. He is still not my go-to when I need someone to get me. He is a concrete, factual processor. I am intuitive and broad and so our brains operate in different spheres. Its okay if your husband doesnt get you. Nowhere does it say that love hinges on someone gettingyou.

If youre feeling like youre unfulfilled because your husband doesnt understand you, have a plan B. I have a sister and friends who get me, who I can turn to. I have accepted that if I need quick empathy, it will take Mark a bit longer to understand where Im coming from and so I need to adjust my expectations. He loves me, but he doesnt always get me, and thats okay.

(How different are Mark and me? Take a look!

I expect that he will never be tempted by other women.  

You must expect that he will be tempted. That sounds unromantic, but men are wired visually. All men are tempted. On the other hand, it is fair for you to expect that he will resist that temptation. Its important for a wife to understand this reality and for her to support her husband in the fight against temptation. If you feel like hes disengaging from you, talk about it with him sooner rather than later so that you can get on the same path. Encourage him instead of taking it so personally that you get emotional and attack him.

I expect that he will always make me happy.  

This expectation often starts in the early years of marriage, when you think you and your handsome prince will live happily ever after because he will always make you happy. But then, the passage of time reveals the gritty truth that a husband will disappoint his wife at some point. So if you rely completely on your husband to bring you ultimate happiness, marriage problems are bound to occur.

I expect that he can read my mind.  

You may think your husband should know you well enough to predict what youll like or not like, or what you want him to do or say. Hints and subtle comments do not help your husband as much as a straightforward explanation. The more you are willing to share what youre really thinking, the more he will be able to anticipate and understand what youre thinking down the road. But hell never be able to get it right every time.

I expect him to have the same daily priorities as I do.

Many Saturday mornings Ive started the day thinking that Mark and I were on the same page, only to discover that the plans we had were different. The key to avoiding my mistake is to talk about your expectations ahead of time. Dont just assume that he will be available or open to your needs and your familys needs ask him about it first.

Expectations must be managed. I say that knowing that I have a lot of work to do in this area! Once we get away from letting our expectations rule us, our marriages will be a lot happier.

Much of this post was taken from the books Lists to Love by for Busy Wives and Lists to Love by for Busy Husbands.

Mark and I discuss more on this topic in the podcast below:

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  • Jazmin

    Great article to help me not get stuck on the fairytale image of what marriage will be…. As a single 23 year old who hopes to get married one day, reading this prepares me before I’ve even met the “one”. All the books we read today portray this totally unrealistic relationship and the perfect man with no faults. It becomes easy to compare real people to characters and to misinterpret infatuation for pure love.