When you walked down the aisle, what were your hopes and dreams regarding your husband and your future life together? More than likely, you were optimistic and believed that your marriage would be a happy one. And in the early days of your married life you probably looked at couples with struggling marriages and thought, “We’ll be different. That will never happen to us.”
Well, if the years have brought struggles into your own marriage, take heart. The ups and downs of life can actually strengthen your marriage if you adjust your expectations accordingly. You’ll also want to have realistic expectations about your relationship, that way you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges when they come up.
So shift your thinking and leave your old assumptions about marriage at the altar, and pick up these 8 expectations for a great marriage instead.
1. Expect Conflict.
Conflict will happen, and that’s okay, if you handle conflict in a loving, mature way.
2. Expect Delays.
Planning for your future is a great thing to do as a couple; just understand that things don’t arrive on schedule – not babies, not raises, not the sitter!
3. Expect Disappointments.
File this in the “you’re both only human” category. Your husband will not be the answer to all of your problems. He won’t be a mind reader or anticipate all of your needs. Be prepared to forgive.
4. Expect to be annoyed.
Be ready for that habit of his that you found so adorable while you were dating to become annoying. But remember this: there are things you do that likely annoy him too. If you just can’t overlook what’s bothering you, talk to him about it in a loving, kind way, and focus on some of these 99 things you can be thankful for about your husband.
5. Expect to think you’re doing more.
You might feel like you’re doing more dishes, more laundry, more bedtime reading with the kids — you get the idea. When you start feeling put out and put upon, instead of attacking your husband , sit down and calmly express your desire to do your job well, and ask for his help.
6. Expect to disagree with some of his decisions.
Just because you are “one” in marriage doesn’t mean you will agree on everything. And, guess what? That’s okay. Respect his right to have a different opinion than you. Don’t shoot down his ideas automatically. There is more than one way to get the job done.
7. Expect not to be attracted to him.
You might go through your entire marriage with the hots for your husband. But if at some point you’re just not that into him, pray that you will have a loving heart. Also, look beyond the physical or lack of chemistry and fall in love with what’s good about your husband. Also, try to romance him even if you don’t feel like it.
8. Expect to be with him until the end.
This is a mental safety net. Even when you’re furious at him or extremely disappointed, you will not think of leaving. You can’t, remember? You’re with him until the end. This expectation also helps you realize that you might as well make your marriage as good as it can be because you are in it for the long haul.
Did you have the right kinds of expectations when you got married?