What expectations do you have for your spouse in your marriage? Take some time and really think about this. For me, my model of what a wife should be was my mother and she was a really good model. She and my dad had a great marriage and are really where my passion for awesome marriages came from. Yet, this is what I learned. Nancy was not my mom and me trying to squeeze her into that mold was never going to work. Why? I had to let God show me that Nancy had to be the wife He created her to be. I needed my mother to be my mother and my wife to be my wife. I had to learn to embrace who Nancy was as my wife. I had so many expectations of her that were unfair for a number of reasons. First, I never shared these expectations with her. I never gave her the chance to say, “Yes, I can do that” or “No, I can’t do that.” We never talked about whether these expectations were realistic or not. Then, I would get upset at her when she did not meet my unspoken, unrealistic expectations! Talk about insanity!
So back to you. Write down all the expectations you have for your spouse. Pray about this. Ask God to help you see all the expectations you have - even those you are not aware of. Now take your list and mark an “S” by each one that you have shared with your spouse. Next, mark an “U” by the ones you have not shared. Now look at your list and put a star by each expectation that you think is realistic and cross off those that you think are unrealistic.
Finally, sit down with your spouse at a time that is good for both of you. Share your list. Get your spouse’s input. What do they think is realistic? What is not? Then take the refined list that you have both agreed on and you have a shared, agreed-upon list of realistic expectations. You and your spouse are on the same page. I think over the next few weeks that you will see some real improvements. Taking the time to do this exercise (hopefully you both do it) can truly be a game changer for your marriage!
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