iMOM, our Family First program for mothers, recently posted these 8 expectations for a great marriage on iMOM.com. I like it so much that I want to share it with you. I’ve adapted it to apply to both husbands and wives.
In marriage, knowing what to expect is half the battle! So, here are some things you should expect in marriage. Now some of them may sound negative, but they aren’t meant to be. We just need to be prepared that challenges will likely arise. When they do, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world or your marriage.
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 always arrive on schedule – not babies, not raises, not health problems, not the sitter!
3. Expect Disappointments
File this in the, “you’re both only human” category. Your spouse will not be the answer to all of your problems. Your spouse won’t be a mind reader or anticipate all of your needs. Be prepared to forgive.
4. Expect to be annoyed
What was once appealing is now annoying. Be ready for that habit of his or hers you found so adorable while you were dating, to become annoying. But remember this, there are things you’re doing that are likely annoying your spouse too. Cut them some slack and continually focus on their good qualities. If you just can’t overlook what’s bothering you, talk about it in a loving, kind way.
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, more yard work, more taking the garbage out. You get the idea. When you start feeling put out and put upon, take some time to assess the situation. Then, instead of attacking your spouse and demanding more help, sit down and calmly express your desire to do your jobs well, and ask for help. iMOM’s Home and Property Department worksheet can also help figure out who’s best at doing what.
6. Expect to disagree with some of your spouse’s decisions.
Just because you are “one” in marriage, doesn’t mean you will agree on everything. And, guess what? That’s okay. Respect your spouse’s right to have a different opinion than you. Don’t shoot down ideas automatically. There is more than one way to get the job done.
7. Expect not to be attracted to your spouse
This may never happen to you. You might go through your entire marriage with the hots for your mate. But if, at some point, you’re just not that into your spouse, 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 spouse.
8. Expect to be with your spouse until the end.
This is a mental safety net. Even when you’re furious or extremely disappointed with your spouse, you will not think of leaving. You can’t, remember? You’re with your spouse 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.