How Expectations of Our Partner Set Us Up for Disappointment

7 Jun 2022

One of the most profound insights I had early in my marriage was that I was expecting my husband to be "perfect" when I wasn't (nor is that even possible!) I expected him to be fully present to me when I wasn't present to him or his feelings. I expected him to apologize first... ha! ... but I was holding him emotionally hostage. I expected him to be loving and affectionate even when tired when I wasn't.

This one realization changed my life and transformed my marriage. We cannot expect something we are unwilling to give. In each aspect, we
I must first give what we want from our partner. Unfortunately, an Olympian competition often happens within a relationship.

Instead, what I learned and acted on that changed the quality of my relationship was:

If I wanted to be heard, I sought to become a great listener.

If I wanted to have acceptance, I released judgment and became more compassionate.

If I wanted to feel like a top priority, it was up to me to make my husband a priority, too.

If I wanted him to support my goals and pursuits, it was a two-way street.

Expectations set us up for disappointment. Of course, in marriage, we've committed to "for better or for worse" but we really don't think that the worse is coming for us. We haven't wrestled with what that "worse" might look like because we have never experienced it before. So how can we know that our partner is until we do?

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