What Do You Expect: Honest Thoughts on Marriage

Michelle
Michelle

I walked by our wedding photo today hanging in our bedroom and I laughed. We look so well-rested and totally unaware of how crazy life would be ten years in!! 😛

Michelle
Katie

Haha! You mean on your wedding day you weren’t exhausted from being awoken every hour the night before by a sick toddler?! 😴 And when that picture was taken you weren’t having trouble focusing on your spouse because of the noise of four small children running in circles around your living room?! 😜

Yeah, I don’t think my husband and I had any idea what we were getting into when we first got married!

Michelle
Michelle

Haha. Exactly! When we got married, I kinda thought we had marriage figured out since we’d read some good books and had some good counseling (which thinking about it now is truly laughable that I was so naive!).

Michelle
Katie

Us, too! But, really, I don’t think any couple has it all figured out – even after decades of marriage. Maybe marriage isn’t meant to be figured out.🤷‍  Maybe the goal isn’t reaching some kind of “perfect marriage.”

Michelle
Michelle

That’s so true. Maybe instead of attaining perfect, we strive for connectedness? Staying connected and on the same page is a lot harder than I envisioned and certainly doesn’t always match my pre-marriage idealistic expectations.

Like – my hubby is a very hard worker and so sometimes he has trouble getting home in the evenings at the time I think he should. I envisioned sweet family dinners every night where we talked about our highs and lows..oh, and ate our food calmly. HA. 😳  Not so much in our house as of yet.

Michelle
Katie

Those picture-perfect dinners just aren’t a reality at our house every night either! You know, before we got married, I think I kind of assumed my hubby and I would agree on everything. From little things, like what time we’d like to go to bed at night or get up in the morning – to big things, like how to address different situations with the kids … reality is, we just don’t always see eye to eye on those things.

Michelle
Michelle

Glad to hear we aren’t the only ones. 😏

Michelle
Katie

When the day-to-day realities in our marriage don’t match the picture I had in my mind of what marriage should look like, that can start to create a barrier between me and my hubby.

Michelle
Michelle

Amen to that, sister. I admit that resentment starts to grow in my heart oftentimes when I’m disappointed over my unmet expectations. I’m definitely guilty of not giving a warm welcome when my hubby comes home late or adding a passive-aggressive comment when he parents in a different way than I expected. (And ugh, putting this in writing shows me how ugly this is!)  

Michelle
Katie

Ouch – I’m guilty of those passive aggressive comments, too. And I’ve learned that sometimes my expectations aren’t met because I don’t communicate them well to my husband. Can’t expect him to know if I don’t tell him! But, sometimes I need to reevaluate my expectations.

Michelle
Michelle

Reevaluate my expectations. YES. I’ve been realizing recently…or maybe I should say God has been gently saying to me…that yes, my hubby may have some areas to own, but I am totally not blameless in how I act either, and like you said, I think I need to take a hard look at my expectations. 🙈

Michelle
Katie

So when my expectations aren’t met, how can I address my own heart issues before God instead of rushing to blame my husband?

Michelle
Michelle

Such a good question. 🤔

I hate to admit that I think it’s easier to point out the flaws in my hubby and how he’s failing to meet my expectations – rather than examine my own heart. 😬  I’d rather be resentful and mad that he’s home late rather than give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s had a ton going on and trying to get out the door as quickly as he can…

Michelle
Katie

Right. In those moments I do need to give my husband the benefit of the doubt, like I hope he would do for me. Then, I need to take my hurt feelings and unmet expectations to my Father.

Michelle
Michelle

Yes and yes! Have you heard that song “King of My Heart”? There is a line that has really resonated with me recently. It’s talking to God saying, “You’re never gonna let me down.” And I realized that sometimes my hubby is just plain going to let me down because he’s human. And I’m going to let him down. But I feel like God is wanting me to hold tightly to the truth that He will never let me down.💗

Michelle
Katie

Yes! I love when we sing that song at church!😍 And you’re right. My marriage may not look exactly like I thought it would before we got married. My expectations and longings may not all be met through my husband. It’s just not possible for him to meet all my needs (and goodness knows, there is NO way I can meet all his either!). But, God will never let me down. He is always faithful, and He will always provide for my deepest needs.

Michelle
Michelle

For sure. And sometimes I think God allows challenging seasons when we may not totally be connecting with our hubbies to draw us closer to Him and depend completely on Him.

Michelle
Katie

And when I depend completely on Him, I can trust that – whether I can see it in the moment or not – He is always doing a work in me, in my husband, in our kids, and in our family. And He will be faithful to complete it!

Michelle
Michelle

Well, this was a perfectly-timed conversation for me with Valentine’s Day coming up. 💕

So what you’re saying is – I need to be honest about my expectations with my hubby on what I may want for the day and if it’s not met, give him the benefit of the doubt and lots of grace? And how about going to God with my heart’s desires first?

Michelle
Katie

Yes! That! And let God fill any empty spaces in my heart. On Valentine’s Day and on the days that follow!

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:6, ESV)
  • “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, ESV)
  • “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NASB)
  • “God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout; My mountaintop refuge.” (2 Samuel 22:1-3, The Msg)

Music to inspire you:

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • There are so many great ideas in the books we listed above. We have found them helpful in understanding how and why our expectations may be different than our hubbies’ – and how we can best respond to those differences.
  • We’ve learned (the hard way) that when a conflict arises over unmet expectations, it’s best when we take a little time to cool off ourselves and pray before we address the topic with our husbands. But, we’ve also learned to not wait too long to talk it over … or the resentment will start to settle in. Still learning to find that balance in timing!
  • We always include this statement below 👇 about professional help –  and it is perhaps especially true in the realm of marriage relationships. If we are having difficulty communicating with our spouse or reaching an agreement about expectations, we really benefit from some outside counsel and insight. We speak from personal experience that sometimes you need counsel to help you set you on the right path again.

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more. In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

 

About Michelle Warner

The truth about me is that I love spending time with people–whether it be with moms in MOPS, students in writing camps, friends in my supper club, or family on our patio. And if you combine people and words, I am definitely in my happy place. One of my most favorite moments is sitting around a table with the people I love sharing deep conversations about life. Inviting people into our home and pulling out my fancy dishes invigorates me, though tackling the hand-wash pile in my sink does quite the opposite. (Sorry, Hubby. I’ll get to those soon!) I’m learning to enjoy the people in my life without feeling the need to prove myself or always make them happy. God continues to teach me that when I find what I need in Him rather than the perfectly-cooked chicken or the perfectly-timed word, I have a security that can’t be shaken. And that’s a good thing since my hard-working husband and I have two very determined little girls who keep us on our toes!

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