3 Expectations You Should Get Rid of to Improve Your Marriage

BY: - 8 Dec '16 | Marriage

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I expect my husband to mess up sometimes. Not because he’s some loser who always messes up—because that is far from true—but because he’s human. I hope he expects me to mess up too, because I will.

When you enter a relationship intended to last a lifetime, there has to be an honest discussion with yourself and your spouse about what’s expected. Many marriages struggled because of unreasonable expectations.

People have to realize that if your expectations are unreasonable, they won’t be met. Furthermore, that list of expectations can leave your spouse feeling bitter and resentful. There is nothing worse than giving a partner your best, only to feel like you still aren’t giving enough because of what your spouse expects. It’s beyond frustrating.

So how do you build a union that lasts if you think your partner is coming up short? Well, you can start by asking yourself if you are expecting too much. If you are, that needs to change, so you can save and improve your marriage.

Here are three expectations you need to get rid of if you want to build a healthy relationship that lasts.

Expecting your spouse to make you happy

I know this may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. I know you want to be happy. I get that. I want to be happy, too. But I also know that my happiness is not my husband’s responsibility. That is too much pressure to place on another human being.

We are responsible for our own happiness. You really can’t place that responsibility on someone else—not even your spouse. If you learn how to give yourself what you need instead of expecting your husband or wife to do things that will make you happy at every turn, you will reduce how much pressure you place on the person designed to share life with you, not make you happy.

Expecting your spouse to never mess up

That perfect spouse you were hoping for isn’t here. As a matter of fact, that person will never show up because no one is perfect. You must know that because you certainly aren’t perfect. Your spouse will mess up. You will mess up. It’s a part of marriage. You both have to accept that and determine what steps you need to take when someone makes a bad choice. Marriages that last a lifetime are marriages that are also committed to the value of forgiveness. This doesn’t mean you should tolerate abuse or crappy treatment, but it does mean you shouldn’t be willing to walk away just because your spouse isn’t as perfect as you want him or her to be.

Expecting your spouse to meet needs you never shared

Your spouse isn’t a mind reader. If you need or want something but you’ve never shared it with your spouse, don’t get mad when that need isn’t being met. Stop expecting your spouse to just figure out what you want and need from him. It’s not a fair expectation. No matter how long you’ve been together and how much you think your spouse should know what your needs are, you can’t assume. You have to communicate what you want and need if you expect your spouse to meet that need.

Expectations are important and we should all walk into our marriages with a certain set of expectations. But when those expectations aren’t being met because they are unreasonable, you have to reevaluate. You and your spouse deserve to be in a marriage with established reasonable expectations. It can be the difference between a happy marriage and one overshadowed by frustration and bitterness.

BMWK family, what expectations can you get rid of to improve your marriage?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 494 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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Are Our Relationships and Marriages Doomed in the New American Era?

BY: - 9 Dec '16 | Marriage

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This year, Oxford Dictionary declared “post-truth” their official Word of the Year. But how did the word, which was already around for a nearly a decade, come to prominence in 2016? Well, there’s one person to thank for that:

Donald Trump

We all know politicians distort the truth. But prior to the post-truth Trump era, getting caught up in a lie, usually meant a big career blow to that politician. We’ve seen Trump tell several bold-faced, callous lies with no regard for true evidence or even shame. For example, he’s said President Obama founded ISIS, Obama wasn’t an American citizen, global warming was a myth created by the Chinese…(the list goes on, no really it does).

So why does this matter and what exactly is a post-truth?

According Oxford Dictionaries, Post-Truth is when “facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

So, despite Trump’s well-established history of mistruths, complicated deceptions and downright lies, none of it seemed to matter to half of the country who elected him president. Their emotions, whatever they were (I’d say they were feelings of hidden hatred, malaise, xenophobia, sexism, racism, etc.), were strong enough to overruled his outright lies.

In the age of post-truth, facts just don’t matter anymore like they used to. But now that we’ve established that, what does this have to do with your relationship?

Likely everything.

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The Post-Truth Single

We’ve all had this friend (unless it was you), who chose to ignore every hint, red flag and warning sign—even if it came knocking on her door with its hazard lights on. Instead of operating on the facts presented to her, she chose to move forward on a feeling that a man was still interested in her. We, as her friends, objectively saw the facts such as:

  1. he doesn’t call her; she only calls him
  2. he doesn’t treat her right
  3. he’s openly said he isn’t interested in a serious relationship
  4. she’s never a priority to him
  5. he doesn’t initiate dates/quality time (or he only wants to see her at night)

The facts say, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” But in the post-truth era, she’s compelled to ignore those details and continue to deal with this man because her “feelings” speak stronger to her.

The Self-Induced Relationship Drama

Sometimes, we create the drama ourselves. Let’s use the whole “good man” argument that sparked tons of social media debate surrounding Issa Rae’s hit HBO drama InsecureIssa was feeling increasingly frustrated with her boyfriend’s character, Lawrence, because he was still unemployed. But many others saw the Lawrence character as a good man. For instance, the facts portrayed to us were:

  1. he cooked for her
  2. he cleaned their apartment
  3. he was always contributing some money (whether through unemployment checks or his Best Buy job)
  4. he was committed and loyal (when they were together)
  5. he was supportive of her
  6. they still had chemistry despite a lull in their romantic life

But her increasing “feelings” of displeasure from his inability to get a job and/or take charge of his life seemed to invalidate all those facts. And her perspective changed how she operated in that relationship—and we see how that played out.

Facts > Feelings

Don’t get me wrong, there is something to say about feelings. Sometimes, it’s cool to take a leap of faith. But I’m more of a realist than a romantic, so I strongly believe the facts should matter. The facts set a pattern. They show you the history of what’s been established and what’s likely to happen in the future.

When people present you with the “truth” of who they really are—whether it’s a boyfriend or the president-elect, you have to believe the “truth” of what you’ve seen from them. If the facts say: you’ve got a great, loving husband, boyfriend, wife or girlfriend, then you need to acknowledge that. If the facts say: you’re being misused, abused, lied to, neglected, wronged, then you should acknowledge that. Once that’s been established, you can then move forward, knowing you’ve considered the truth and the evidence of what’s likely to happen in the future based on those truths.

If you choose to ignore the evidence in front of you, you’re only lying to yourself.  And if that’s the reality you choose to operate in, then you’ll fit in quite nicely in this post-truth era!

BMWK, do you think your feelings should take precedent over facts? Should there a balance or should one matter more than the other?

About the author

Nina Hemphill Reeder wrote 71 articles on this blog.

Nina Reeder is the assistant editor at BMWK. Reeder is a professional journalist, who has contributed for publications and outlets, such as Ebony magazine, AOL.com, Marriott Hotels and more. She has also worked as the senior editor at Upscale magazine, a national lifestyle/entertainment magazine.

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