When Expectations Collide

Unspoken assumptions may be at the root of conflict and disappointment in your marriage.
When Expectations Collide
Image: ASYA MITRENINA / SHUTTERSTOCK

Not long after my husband and I got married, we started having conflicts about what it meant to be home in time for dinner. After negotiating what seemed like a reasonable compromise, we developed a routine: he’d be late, I’d get angry, he’d apologize, and then we would have a déjà vu moment a few weeks later.

This was just one of many areas of conflict. We disagreed on how much food to prepare when we had guests, how quickly bills should be paid, and how often we needed to visit our extended families. We also fought about who should do the laundry and who should get the oil changed.

The frequency and intensity of our conflicts confused us. We were both communicative and reasonably mature. Why did we clash so much on these seemingly incidental issues? The problem wasn’t simply that we were strong-willed and opinionated. Unbeknownst to us, we entered marriage with a moving van full of expectations.

Expectations, in and of themselves, aren’t evil. In fact, they can often be very good. They help us understand our basic needs and wants. They play a valuable role in marriage: if we can’t expect certain things from our spouse, our marriage is vulnerable to failure.

Every couple will have their own unique expectations, but I would argue that there are three non-negotiables for every marriage: fidelity, honesty, and forgiveness. Some other expectations Christopher and I have are that we’ll work through conflict in a timely fashion, spend reasonable amounts of time together, and equitably share household responsibilities.

Subscriber access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free
Dorothy Littell  Greco

Dorothy Littell Greco is a TCW regular contributor as well as a photographer, writer, speaker and pastor. Follow her on Twitter at @DorothyGreco or at DorothyGreco.com.

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up today for our weekly newsletter: Marriage & Family Newsletter. CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles.

Read These Next


For Further StudyFor Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper

Comments

Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS
Email