Couples who are going to be married will always have expectations about the union.They have a glimpse of what it will be like to stay together. But marriage is a whole new level of relationship. It is not wrong to think ideally about it. But you should also keep it real at the same time.
How to set the right expectations for your marriage?
We cannot stop ourselves from developing a set of beliefs about a particular matter. Because of our experiences and learning, we create creeds and ideas of how we will approach things.
Albert Ellis, a popular psychologist, formulated Rational Emotive Therapy or REBT. It was the result of a theory about how people react to situations and express their emotions because of strong belief systems.
By developing the best yet realistic marriage expectations, you will approach your union in the greatest possible way. You will then have sensible anticipations about yourself, your spouse, and the marriage, in general.
Realistic Marriage Expectations
Expectations for Yourself
Maintain a set of values.
Going into your marriage, you must expect yourself to develop a set of values and implement them for yourself, your spouse, and eventually, your kids. As early as now, you must check which values to bring into your marriage and which should not be carried to your relationship.
Evaluate yourself. What values have been hazardous to you and to other people? Has your strictness affected your relationship with other people? Is being too persuasive making other people angry? Carefully assess yourself and prevent any bad values from entering your marriage.
Fear will be present.
Fear is neither good nor bad. It is amoral. It is okay to have a fear of being married. It is how you handle fear that matters. You will encounter fear in marriage because it is a situation that you are not in yet.
But if you choose the right partner, surround yourself with the right people, and do not force a perfect standard or image on your spouse, you will be fine. Exploring the unknown can be quite scary. But if you communicate your fears with your partner and ask help from other people, you will indeed conquer fear and thrive in your marriage.
Share your past with your spouse.
You are getting yourself involved with someone that you truly love. You will pour your heart out to this person. And you will have shared lives with each other.
Do you have to share your past with your spouse? This is the question that is commonly asked to married couples. Does it really matter whether you share your past with your partner?
It is actually your prerogative whether you share some facts about your past or not. If you think that this information will help your relationship, then, by all means, volunteer this to your partner. Will the details make your relationship more mature?
Listening to your spouse is key.
The key to a lasting relationship is an open ear. Listen before you speak. We often forget that we are no longer alone in our lives. The moment that you say “I do” is the same moment that you become not only accountable to yourself.
You will have to consider the opinion and the thoughts of your spouse. This is very important. It can be hard for a husband and wife to take words from the other, especially if it will mean that your original decision was wrong. We tend to be overprotective of ourselves, and not care for our spouses as much as we should. Listening and assessment will greatly help you in your growth in marriage.
Expectations for your Spouse
He or she is not perfect.
Your spouse can be the most handsome or the most beautiful person that you have ever met. But she is not perfect—far from it. Your spouse will make mistakes. He or she will hurt you, knowingly or unknowingly. And he or she will have countless pitfalls that you can’t imagine now.
But your love is not based on your partner’s perfect image. The foundation of your marriage is trust, understanding, and patience.
No matter how many mistakes your spouse makes, it is how much you recover after every fault that matters. It is not how many times you hurt each other, but how you work things out that allows you to grow in your marriage. And it is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.
Your spouse is faithful.
It is not wrong to expect faithfulness from your spouse. It is even stated in our laws that adultery is a viable reason for divorce.
You both know that marriage is a binding contract between the two of you. Your spouse should always be faithful to you no matter what. The love that exists in your marriage should be proven through loyalty and devotion.
Your spouse will be sexually intimate with you.
Sexual intimacy is expected in a marriage. Sex is a way to show your love to one another. As husband and wife, you should expect to have sex in your marriage. Sexual incompatibility and impotence can be grounds for divorce in marriage.
Your spouse is trustworthy.
As a husband or wife, you expect your spouse to be trustworthy in all things. Money is one of the reasons why many people separate. If you are marrying someone, he or she should be trusted in all aspects of your married life. He or she must give as much care to finances, to material possessions, and to properties as you do.
He or she will not lie to you.
Along with being trustworthy, you should expect your spouse to be completely honest with you. If past relationships and experiences may affect your marriage, he or she should share these with you. Even medical conditions should be divulged if it is crucial to the relationship.
When it comes to present decisions, your spouse should also communicate these to you, especially if they are going to be critical in future choices. Future plans and directions that may influence the direction of your family should be shared as well.
Expectations in your Marriage
It will not be a walk in the park.
Marriage takes a lot of effort. You may have heard a lot of couples talk about the complications of marriage. It is true. You will encounter a lot of hardships and trials. You will have shouting matches and seemingly unresolvable arguments. You will have to make hard decisions. Mistakes will be all over the place.
But the difficulty of marriage can be overcome by your love for one another. Love is not just an emotion that you feel for one another. It is a decision that you make toward another person. When you say that you love someone, you are already making a decision to be with that person. No matter what happens, you will stick with that person. This is the true meaning of love.
You will enjoy your marriage.
Life is all about choices. Obstacles and problems are parts of life. What better way to face these difficulties than with the person you love?
Generally, you will enjoy your journey as a married couple. There will be ups and downs in your relationship. But you will endure all of them because you have someone who will lift you up and support you at all times.
Being married is also having a travel buddy, a foodie partner, a best friend, a loving spouse, a cook, a shoulder to cry on, a cheerer, and a fan. Married life is definitely fun!
Challenges in finances will arise.
No matter how much money you have as a couple, you will still have challenges in your finances. It maybe mismanagement, debts, or different purchases. You should expect your marriage to be filled with arguments about money.
You can resolve problems with finances by being extremely open to your spouse about plans, obligations, responsibilities and other funds and investments.
You may or may not have children.
It is normal to expect children after marriage. Most people would love to have their very own children to care for and nurture. But there are also individuals who do not want to have children.
Whether you want children or not, you should mention this particular information with your partner. Being honest with this piece of fact will help you decide on the person that you want to marry.
It is not wrong to set marriage expectations. Having anticipations will make the union more exciting and fun. But you should not put unattainable expectations on your marriage. They will only cause disappointments and frustrations.
At the end of the day, when you decide to marry someone, a lot of adjustments and fine-tuning will be involved to make the relationship work. Expectations are good, but understanding and communication are more important in marriage.