I've heard over and over that unmet expectations are the killer of every relationship. As scary as that sounds, there's some truth to that statement. When your partner isn't meeting your basic needs, it's hard to love and appreciate them. Sometimes, you start to resent them for not meeting those expectations.
To avoid that issue, some people rid themselves of all expectations because it's just easier. If you don't have any expectations, you'll never be disappointed right? While this is an interesting point, it's not necessarily true (or healthy).
In order to stay in a happy relationship, you need to have expectations. And your partner should meet those expectations. But this only works if you know what you should expect and when to draw the line.
Here are six expectations you should have in your marriage, and a few you should let go:
1. Keep: Expect your spouse to listen
Let go: Don't expect them to agree all the time
You deserve to have a listening ear, no matter what. If your sweetheart is busy with something, wait to talk about the big things until you have their full attention. This will help you have better communication in your marriage and have insight into each other's lives.
While your spouse should always listen to you, don't expect them to agree all the time. You're two totally different people, so learn to accept your differences in opinion (and love them anyways).
2. Keep: Expect attention and intimacy
Let go: Don't expect it whenever you demand it
Healthy marriages involve undivided attention and intimacy. These are crucial needs you both have in the relationship, and you should expect each other to fulfill them.
However, you can't just demand intimacy whenever you want, especially if your spouse is busy, stressed, tired or just not in the mood. There's a right time and place, so be patient.
3. Keep: Expect mutual trust
Let go: Don't expect them to ignore the opposite sex
Trust is absolutely crucial in a healthy marriage. You should trust your spouse, and they should trust you. This expectation will keep both of you honest and happy.
That being said, your spouse probably has friends of the opposite sex, and that's totally fine. Of course they shouldn't text them and talk to them constantly, but having those professional relationships won't hurt yours unless you let it.
You should feel safe and accepted in your relationship. You should never feel like you're in danger of abuse, and you certainly shouldn't feel like your spouse doesn't accept parts of you. It's perfectly healthy to expect protection, safety and acceptance in a marriage.
However, your spouse physically can't protect you all the time. It's completely unrealistic to expect your spouse to be your side constantly. There will be times when you have to protect yourself - your spouse won't be there. Gain a sense of independence and know that why they might not be there physically, they are there to support you emotionally.
5. Keep: Expect your spouse to be responsible
Let go: Don't expect them to make millions for you
You're both adults with responsibilities, and you shouldn't have to stay on top of everything your spouse is doing. Expecting the person you married to be responsible in everything they do (whether it's a job, parenting, volunteer work or school) isn't unrealistic.
Yet, your spouse could be the most responsible person in the world, but that doesn't mean they're going to make millions of dollars. Don't put that kind of pressure on them. Know they're doing the best they can and work together to create realistic financial goals.
Everyone has flaws, and it's OK to expect your spouse to love yours. And you should love theirs too! Expect your spouse to love every single part of you.
Contrary to popular belief, unconditional love shouldn't exist in a relationship. Unconditional love doesn't have any boundaries or rules, and you and your spouse deserve better than that. You can't abuse your spouse or cheat on them multiple times and expect them to keep coming around.
Now that you know a few things to expect in your relationship, share this with your spouse and start working on the pieces that need your attention. You'll be so much happier when you work to fulfill each other's needs.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.