The impact of expectations on any relationship cannot be understated. This is doubly true of a marriage. So many marriages go south because one or both spouses are unable to adequately express what we truly expect out of the relationship and one another.
Men are incredibly simple creatures – almost to a fault. It’s probably the thing that most women get frustrated most with regarding their spouse – he’s just so ridiculously simple. And this simple man is supposed to be your protector, provider, counselor, confidant, lover, and father to your children. That simple playstation playing, Transformers watching, sports arguing, Beyoncé ogling, man is all yours.
But in spite of his predictable simplicity, the both of you seemingly still cannot get on the same page for whatever reason. 9 times out of 10 [statistics were arbitrarily made up by myself] a couple’s disagreements come down to unclear and unfulfilled expectations.
Before my wife and I were ever married, I tried to make my expectations clear for the house we would build together.
1. The House Must Be My Sanctuary
The world is crazy. From traffic, to bosses, to coworkers, to unemployment, to gas prices, to errands, to sickness, and all the issues petty and serious – every time we walk out of our doors we battle the world for another day with the hopes of coming home to rest our heads peacefully to get ready for another day of battle.
I expect to be able to come home and not find more chaos under my own roof than the world at large.
I more than any other individual have this responsibility, but I need to make it be known to my spouse that this is priority number one in my list of selfish desires. I promise I can take care of all of our family’s needs and most of our wants, but in exchange I need to be able to come to my home and truly rest for battles which face us both in the morning.
I understand that life isn’t the Huxtables, and life will undoubtedly slap us in the face from time to time, but she has to help us build a peaceful house. A place we’re both happy to come home to.
2. Acceptance and Accessibility
You married a man. At the end of the day, he’s a man. He has to be a man – his own man – his own identity. He, like yourself, needs to be accepted for the person that he is – not the man you hope him to be or the image you believe you can mold him in to.
I expect in my house for my wife to accept me with all the flaws that come with my DNA.
We’re not all great people. We have wounds and trauma to the extent that we have yet to truly understand about human nature. And funny enough, in spite of our damaged spirits we wish above all else to be loved and accepted fully by at least one of the almost 7 Billion people on the planet. I would expect to share the daily routine of life’s triumphs and failures with the one person who truly accepted me. Or I would honestly rather be alone.
3. Effort at Understanding
“That’s just the way it is” or “that’s just the way its always been” or “that’s just how I’ve been taught” are not good reasons for anything or any arguments. It shows not one sliver at the attempt of understanding, but rather an empty admission of laziness for the power of the status quo.
The conversation and the relation cannot move forward from this point without a lot of help.
I expect my spouse to make an effort to honestly consider my perspective.
I promise to reciprocate the consideration. Both spouses need to make it habit to attempt to see themselves through their spouse’s eyes. Many times a simple change of perspective can shine a ton of clarity on an other obscure situation.