Marriage is something we enter into with certain expectations. Expectations of ourselves to continually love the other person, expectations of the other person to provide for us and expectations of future dreams. But reality has a funny way of taking those expectations and smashing them into our faces before we sink down into responsibility and actualities.
I once had a conversation with a friend about the expectations we place on our spouses, and one of hers was that he should kill all bugs that make their way into the house. While this seems mundane and silly, he proudly steps up to the task of professional bug killer with the seriousness that love commands. It's adorable. This is a prime example of an expectation she had going into a relationship, but what if she had never told her spouse this expectation? And one day as she's screaming around the house, he tells her to stop being childish and destroy the bug herself. She then gets angry that he's not understanding her needs and he becomes stubborn that she needs to stand up for her own issues. Cue an epic fight over some silly little thing that can compound and wear down a marriage.
My husband and I spent our pre-marriage counseling detailing out our expectations for our marriage. From as little as, what do we expect in the way of chores, to as large as where do you see us living in ten years. This has been so pivotal in keeping our marriage free of many fights that I'd love to share an exercise with you to go over with your significant other that pin points all of these expectations. And while we still have fights over chores, you can understand how this exercise might mitigate some of the bigger spats with each other.
I created a worksheet for you and your soon-to-be spouse to fill out. Take some time to fill out the sheets, and then come together for a discussion on what your dreams for your marriage are. Think about your answers and be truthful with yourself. What do you actually expect? Sometime it can even be a subconscious assumption you might have.
When you've had your discussion, leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page about how it went! Sign up below to get the print out.