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Marriage Mondays: Does Your Spouse Meet Your Needs?

Expectations in marriage can be known and unknown. Most of us have an unwritten thought of what we expect our marriages and relationships to look like based on many things like values, family history, past relationships, and visions for what we desire.

The problems come when we never voice these expectations. For example, what if one of your expectations was that you want your husband to help with the daily care of the children? If you have never voiced this, how would he know this? Ask yourself why is this so important to you? Most things that you expect are based on what you value, so where does this value come from? Does it come from what you saw growing up or what you didn’t? Unmet expectations can corrode your relationship because we have one vision of what the relationship should look like and if the reality doesn’t measure up, you can end up feeling like something is missing.

Take some time today to write down what your expectations are for your marriage, then ask yourself, are they being met? If your expectations aren’t being met, take the time to speak with your spouse about them and give them a chance to share if they are even capable of meeting them. What if one expectation is that your wife will have sex with you five times a week? That’s great in theory, but what have you done to voice this expectation? Have you spoken with your spouse about the difference between what you thought or expected would happen and what really is happening? This difference between expectation and reality goes for everything in your marriage from date nights, to the number of children you would have, to the amount of money that is earned in your home. You have to reconcile what you thought would happen and what really is happening.

Expectations in a marriage are like a job description. What’s your job description for what a husband or wife looks like? How does your spouse measure up? If you asked your spouse, how do you think you would measure up? When discussing expectations, needs, values, job descriptions, you have to be willing to assess your job performance as well. If your spouse were to give you a job performance evaluation today, would you have a job at the end of the day? Choose to meet one of your spouse’s expectations today, even if they don’t reciprocate. Eventually they will reciprocate –and it will be a tit for tat situation — but in a good way, that’s the sweet spot.

Try it and tell us what happens. We would love to hear from you.

Ben and Alisha Walker, “The Marriage Coaches,” are passionate about repairing, restoring and revitalizing relationships and are co-authors of I Love Being Married: A Guide to Divorceproof Your Marriage.

 

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