Yesterday afternoon Lea and I had our second session of pre-marital counseling with Pastor Dan Houck who will officiating our marriage. In this session we talked a lot about expectations and where they come from. The word “expectation” can be a challenging word to define, you find expectations all around you. Lea and I were challenged to think upon where our expectations come from, and what expectations we have on our married life together. I am thankful and encouraged that Lea and I have had little trouble communicating, even from our first date (just look at our monthly cell phone minutes)!
Over the last few months Lea and I spent time communicating on who will be expected to take out the trash, pay the bills, mow the lawn, cook dinner, and do the dishes. This is important because I believe that communication is about setting expectations. We each grew up under different roofs where our families handled things differently. If Lea and I are going to have a committed and healthy relationship we must be open to sharing our expectations for each other, for our future, and for our relationship. I find it challenging sometimes to do this because it is quite easy to ignore. To be honest, it can be difficult to share my expectations of Lea, a lot of that comes out of the fact that as soon as I speak, I realize how selfish I am. The important thing I see is that Lea and I must continue to strive towards communicating our expectations because anger and frustration are rooted in our unmet expectations. If I don’t communicate my expectations for Lea how will she ever know what they are?
Occasionally I have internally and externally gotten frustrated at Lea because she has not met my expectations in one way or another…the problem is I never spent the time to tell her what my expectation was. What I have learned is that sharing expectations requires honesty. We must be transparent with our spouse and others when communicating our expectations, it’s essential to having a healthy marriage.
How about all of our friends…how has expectations played a role in your dating, engaged, and married relationships?