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When Marriage Expectations Let You Down

Wow this is a huge one for me! I have spent much of my married life mired down in the weight of expectations that left me frustrated and bitter. I never realized I had so many expectations when I got married. I wrongly assumed that Johnny would know, understand, care, and do what I wanted. Johnny did not know; he did not understand and at times I am pretty certain he did not care. Well, that was my perspective. I was lost in the fog of misplaced expectations.


I will share a few of the things that just initially unsettled me. I knew that I married

someone totally different from my dad. Now, that was not intentional or because there was a problem with my dad. It was just that Johnny truly did not have one thing that was similar to my dad. In dating Johnny this was just fine. Johnny was fun, he was spontaneous. He enjoyed the journey, the stop and smell the roses kind of guy. This kind of guy is great fun to date.

My dad was a take-charge dad, totally responsible for everything and everybody. He was proactive, always had a back-up plan, safety plan and another safety plan to cover the first safety plan. When I was growing up, we had drills to make certain that if the house ever caught on fire, we knew where and how to escape and which tree was the meeting place. At least once a year, when we went on a road trip to visit my grandparents, we had to cross over a bridge with a river below it. We always reviewed the safety plan for getting out of the car in case we crashed over the bridge and how to help each other and swim to safety.


"The problem is when we look at our husband and expect them to be more than God designed them to be, or be different than God designed them." 


I am not kidding about those things (and there were many more). All of that to try and

explain what happened when I married the fun-loving guy. He was fun, but he could not remember to take out the trash (I mean never!). The trash picked up the same night every week, but he could not get it. He could also not remember to consistently pay the bills. He would just forget. One time he paid the electricity bill out of a closed account (that was when you paid with checks). They shut off the electricity. I was horrified that we had our power turned off. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I realized pretty quickly “I am not in Kansas anymore.” This is a different world, and I don’t have a husband who is doing what my dad did for me.


I had expectations that I wanted Johnny to meet. I honestly wanted him to be different. I

wanted him to change to be what I “expected”, even though he was exactly like what he was when we dated. I was the one who decided, “I don’t like this.” I wanted and expected him to be different. Each of us will have expectations that we bring into our marriage that we may not even beware of. We expect certain things. Now, it is fine and right to expect our husband to remain faithful to their vows and to be part of how God intends to meet our needs. The problem is when we look at our husband and expect them to be more than God designed them to be, or be different than God designed them.  


I spent a lot of years not understanding this, I kept trying to get Johnny to be someone

other than who he was. I was expecting him to change to be what I wanted. But God, as always, was working to show me this truth. The truth set me free, because expectations can blind us so we don’t see what we do have!



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