Have you ever been sitting in the car in silence with your spouse with your arms crossed and refusing to talk to each other? yeah, us too!
When we sit back and think about some of the times that we are angry with our spouse it is from an unmet expectation of some kind. In these moments we can sit back and think about whether or not we have healthy or unhealthy expectations.
Check out a previous episode – Unrealistic expectations
Here are some unhealthy expectations:
You depend on your spouse to make you happy OR you blame your spouse for being unhappy
You will hear many people say “Your happiness needs to be found in the Lord” and while that is true it isn’t helpful if you don’t know how to do that! The point is to not place your happiness or your misery in the hands of your spouse. When you pray and work with God to fully understand how much you are loved and cared for you can begin to have confidence in this world and in GOD. His peace that surpasses all understanding helps keep your emotions steadfast.
This was a hard lesson for me to work through for many years of Josh and I’s relationship. I can’t imagine being him for the first 8 years of our life together. He wasn’t allowed to be in a bad mood or mad about anything because it would send me into a tizzy. I had to do some serious internal healing through a lot of prayer, bible reading, books on self growth, and much more for me to become stable enough to not let his mood define mine. NOW, don’t get me wrong… You and your spouse are one and how each other is feeling will affect you but you don’t have to let it define your mood for the entire, day, week, year, etc.. In my eyes, my mood never seemed to effect Josh! Ask him for pointers!
Your spouse will never change OR they will change in a way that you want
Okay – this is self explanatory people! You believing your spouse will never change is not fair to them or to GOD! If you are a Christian you believe that God can do anything. If you are hoping that your spouse will change in a way that you would want them to change – that also is setting you up to be disappointed.
Your way is the only right way
We all know that this is not true! Ever heard the expression that there is more than one way to skin a cat? Well?…….. There is usually more than on way to do something. Like a GPS – there are multiple routes to reach your destination.
In our relationship this was something that we were both bull headed about. I wasn’t listening to him because I knew I was right. He wasn’t listening to me because he knew he was right! It would take us hours or days sometimes to realize that we both were actually right! What we ended up doing is agreeing to try the way that seemed the best for our family at that time and if it worked GREAT! If it didn’t work then we would try the other. This was great compromise.
Check out a previous episode – Ways to manage your Anger
Okay – now on to the Healthy Expectations!
Sharing family and household responsibilities
This is a healthy expectation to have. Even if one spouse works and the other does not, doesn’t mean that when one gets home from work that they just get to put their feet up every day and do nothing. Housework never ends. You can decide that the spouse that works – does the laundry or the dusting or something that will still be contributing to the house.
In a moment of complete transparency – we did this podcast on Tuesday and on Wednesday I sat down after work to work on a few things and Josh asked me to take the dog out because he had already done it 17,000 times that day (slight exaggeration but you get my drift). I told him that I didn’t want to because I had been at work all day and just sat down to work on some stuff myself. What happened?? He ended up getting up and taking her out. That was selfish of me and not what our relationship is about. I AM SORRY BABE!
Showing respect to each other
This is also a healthy expectation – you need to respect each other to feel safe and secure in your marriage. Disrespect is just hurtful and if your relationship has gotten to this point or has always been this way, please sit down right away and pray together and talk this out! This will be a game changer for your marriage! Look up bible verses on respect and marriage. Believe that God can mend this between you too and agree to hold each other accountable to it, lovingly.
Speaking kindly to and about each other
How would you feel if you found out that your spouse was talking negatively about you to others? This would hurt and cause a crack in trust. This is even worse if we are talking bad about our spouses to our families because our families will always side with us and it will give them a tainted view of our spouse. There is a difference if you have a coach or mentor that you are going to for specific advice with how you are feeling.
BONUS! – Honor each other’s dreams and find a common ground! Perception is reality, right?! If you think that this is not possible then it will not be. If you think that this is a fun exercise and you are excited about this, then it will be!
Listen to the episode here:
Remember we love you… God loves you…