Have you ever walked away from an unexpected fight with your spouse wondering why nobody ever couched you about marriage? Same here, Thursday evening did not involve romance and cuddle time like I had planned. We were too tired from entering the boxing ring over our marriage homework from small group. The assignment was on expectations entering into marriage and rating our experiences, then sharing with our spouses.
All couples enter into marriage with preconceived notions of how their needs will be met, included things like:
- We will cuddle on the couch every night.
- My wife will keep the house clean.
- My husband will take me on romantic vacations.
- My spouse will give me the “glad to see you look.”
- My spouse will provide enough so that I can stay home with the kids
When we got married, I was seven months pregnant, barely eighteen, and Chris was in love with a fireball cheerleader. Our expectations were something like this:
- We will do things our own way, together.
- My spouse will always be my best friend.
- Our parents wont boss us around.
- We will have our own family traditions.
- Neither one of us will ever change.
See the problem yet? Neither one of us had any REAL expectations, nor did we realize there were expectations. Thankfully, we have survived twelve years and two more kids! God intended marriage as a union in which we would meet each other’s needs, shoulder the burdens and share the joys.
Now that we are both aware of the expectations we each have, we can strive to love our spouse in more fulfilling ways in meeting these needs. No matter the expectation or experience in a marriage, I’m learning something new each day about my husband. As much as I want my needs to be met all the time, I’m learning the nature of humility, kindness, compassion, and supporting my husband in his everyday life and dreams.
Experiences and expectations are the building blocks for a good marriage. In order to have a great marriage, support your husband, brag about him when you can, press in to find out what his needs are from you, and rely on God to hold you two together.