Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I need a marriage answer!

So, my husband and I come home from our anniversary date last night and he tosses me a printout of a recent BreakPoint (Chuck Colson's daily "devo") titled, "Inflated Expectations." It begins, "In a 1999 film titled 'Music of the Heart,' a character named Roberta begins a relationship with a man named Brian. At one point, Roberta--whose husband had left her--asked Brian a question: If you ever meet a woman who fulfills your needs better than I can, would you leave me for her?' Brian's answer: 'Theoretically, yes'."

The article goes on to say that couples today often have too many expectations of their new spouse, wanting them to fill every void in their lives and then leaving at the first sign that this is not occurring, or at least when they meet someone who seems to fill a few more voids. The conclusion is that no one person can fulfill all our needs, only God can do that.

I finished reading and said something like, "Well, you KNOW that isn't my problem. I had NO delusions coming in to our marriage." (Probably the partial result of watching so many divorce around me.)

"Oh, I know," said Mike a little sadly, "but sometimes I think you had no expectations at all."

I snorted, taken aback, but when I opened my mouth to speak, nothing came out. Doggone it...he was right, or at least mostly so. The only real expectation I had was that I wouldn't have to work, and oddly enough, that is the one thing I have had to do. See what expectations get ya??

"I think I had a lot more expectations than you did," he said, and again, he was right.

Of course, we all have blind spots, and in my self-righteous self, I'd like to think that's it's better not to have any expectations at all, then there's no disappointment . But not having expectations can lead to apathy; not the best thing in a marriage.

So I'm curious: What about you? Did you come into your marriage expecting too much? Did you divorce and try again, only to have the same disappointments? How have you dealt with these issues?


  1. I had expectations, but those expectations were more about my feelings than about roles we would play or our lifestyle. Luckily, my feelings about things are the one thing I have control over. There have certainly been surprises along the way, but luckily I'm a pretty flexible, "roll with it" type of person, so we are doing better than alright 11 years in - we're doing great!

  2. I have been married twice, My first husband died after 34 years of marriage. I had big expectations of staying home and having babies. That partially came true. I stayed home when our first child was born. I did not get to have any more children and I worked most of the remaining years.
    My expectations with my second husband have been more down to earth and not as dramatic. Both marriages are ones I would do again, since being with my husband was the main desire, no matter what the circumstances were.