Happily ever after?: A note on expectations

I think that many of us dream of our wedding day and a beautiful future with the one we love.  A lot of us have developed these dreams and ideas of a “perfect life” over many years. But, could it be that all our years of dreaming set us up for unrealistic expectations? In my life it certainly did!

When we first got married, I loved setting up our home, taking care our bills and our housework felt like a dream. Finally, we were building a life together. These were our bills and our housework.

The excitement faded quickly and I remember early on in our marriage feeling like all of the responsibilities were on me. They were still our bills and our housework, but I felt like I was the only one doing the work. Then when our son came along it felt like even more of the responsibilities were on my shoulders. This made me resent my husband because I felt like he did not care or understand that I was under a ton of pressure.


marriage-thoughts comicThe big mistake I made was letting it build up. I felt our lives were a two way street, we both worked outside the home and yet I had all of these extra concerns he did not seem to notice! It came to a point that we had a huge blow out argument. Have you ever experienced this in your relationship?

Once I vented my frustrations (not in the best manner I might add) I realized that he had no idea I was feeling this way! He honestly did not know I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. He didn’t want that for me, and so we came up with a plan to share the household responsibilities.

This is when I learned that it is always better to just come right out and say how you feel! It is so much simpler to discuss a small issue than to let all of the small things build up and explode.

Have you ever done this or experienced a similar situation? Did you learn from your mistakes? I know I did, and I’m so glad…our marriage is stronger because of it!


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Happily ever after?: A note on expectations

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  • Spot on! In our early years of marriage I was always getting angry at my husband for not “helping” me more. Eventually he told me, “If you need my help, ASK! I can’t read your mind.” I realized that I really was the only one who saw the ten thousand things I felt I had to do. He didn’t realize how overwhelmed I felt. So now, if I feel like ten thousand things are on my plate, I try to calmly ask for help instead of silently getting more angry because I think he should just notice on his own and lend a hand. Communication! It can do so much for marriages!

  • Thanks for sharing, Jen! I can totally relate. When my husband and I first got married I had high expectations (that were too idealistic) about what marriage would be like (basically a perpetual honeymoon, I thought). We had many conversations about my expectations, though, and eventually we compromised. I realized in what ways I was being unrealistic, and my husband realized in what ways he could step up and help out more, be more romantic, etc. It did take a lot of patience and many conversations over our first year of marriage before we felt like we had resolved most of that. It was so worth it, though!

  • So true! I remember when my wife and I went to a pre-marriage conference and the speaker told us to look at our boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse and say, “You are NOT my enemy!” The point was that so many times — just as you say — it’s so easy that life happens and frustration builds and instead of talking it out and resolving it with my wife, I hole it up inside and make her about to be the person who needs to change. I’m learning that it’s better to lovingly tell her my frustrations than to let it build.

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