Everyone has expectations in life and love. We all have our own ideas about how things should be and how we want our life to turn out. Yet, it’s when we don’t know how to address our expectations—especially in marriage—that we can easily end up feeling frustrated and disheartened.

Expectations are a very personal thing. When two people enter into marriage, each spouse brings their own set of expectations—things that are expected to happen or to be experienced. There are certain things a husband will expect from his wife, and there are certain things a wife will expect from her husband. More so, there are other things that each spouse will expect to come out of the marriage (things like financial stability, parenthood, shared interests.etc.)

The first step to managing marital expectations in a healthy and productive way is for a husband and wife to openly communicate about what they are looking for in their marriage. Understanding mutual expectations will help avoid the diversions and disappointments that can distract from the harmony that married couples seek.

When you and your spouse are identifying and discussing your expectations with one another, it’s important to remember that unless you make your expectations clear, you cannot expect your spouse to reach a full understanding of your needs and desires. For example, if one spouse is judging the marriage by standards that are unknown to the other spouse—frustration and conflict can arise.

When you are aware of your own expectations and those of your spouse, you create an opportunity for both of your expectations to be understood, respected, and, if necessary, modified.

Understanding mutual expectations will help avoid the diversions and disappointments that can distract from the harmony that married couples seek.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.