Expectations are an important part of your day to day life. You expect your child’s school to start on the same time each morning, you expect the store to have eggs and milk, and your boss expects you to follow your jobs duties each day. These are all reasonable expectations that make sense. However sometimes we strive too far for perfection and we develop expectations that are unrealistic.
These start to create problems, especially when it comes to marriage. We have this imaginary version of our perfect husband in our heads – someone that never messes up, a prince charming. But that man will never exist.
Yet we continue to dreaming about having the perfect marriage, which will only make our expectations more unrealistic. We might believe that the perfect spouse should respond to certain situations or react in a specific way. If he really loved you, he would already know how to respond to your every need because that is what a “real” husband would do.
Your heart gets filled with falsehoods because you fall in love with idealized character. It will slowly and inadvertently destroy your home’s foundation. The belief that your marriage should be perfect will rob you of true joy and happiness in your marriage, and potentially cause you to lose it. Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” This is incredibly true.
It’s time to stop putting unnecessary and unrealistic expectations on your husband.
He is Going to Fail
When you think that your spouse will clean after every meal, or always have the kids ready on time each morning, or never hurt your feelings, you are setting them up to fail. Your husband is a human who makes mistakes and forgets things, and high expectations don’t allow for the variability of life. Whenever we set an expectation that our partners don't meet, we feel let down. We've set them up to disappoint us and set ourselves up to be hurt. This is only going to cause anger and resentment in your marriage.
Do you want to live in a home where your husband feels anxious and insecure about living up to your high standards? Of course not. You want your husband to feel loved, safe, comfortable and at ease. Only when we feel that way with our partner we can be authentic, vulnerable, and intimate.
Take a Look in the Mirror
Take a look in the mirror yourself – what did your husband expect of you that you didn’t achieve? There is probably a long list of things you haven’t lived up to, as well. Why would you expect him to live up to yours 100 percent of the time? A marriage is a partnership, not a negotiation or an excuse to do nothing. You don't take turns giving it your all in a marriage. In order for your marriage to survive, you both need to put in the effort and make it work. Really reevaluate how your expectations might be unfair for him.
Men Can’t Read Minds
You shouldn’t expect your husband to know what you need without telling them. How could they know otherwise? We might think that a “perfect” husband knows their every wife’s needs at any given moment, but that is only in fairy tales. Your husband doesn’t know that your boss got angry at you today, or that you forgot your lunch on the counter. Real men can’t read your mind, and a lack of communication can really break down your marriage. If something is wrong, then say something. Be clear about your needs, desires, and feelings so they can give you the help you want.
Expectations Lower Self-Esteem
Have you ever let someone down? You probably felt miserable when they told you “I expected more from you”. You beat yourself up and went over all the things you could have done differently. It caused you to lower your self-esteem, get frustrated and upset. When you put unrealistic expectations on your husband, you set him up to go through those negative emotions that tear him down in the long-run.
You shouldn’t expect your spouse to act a certain way if that isn’t who they are, and you shouldn’t expect them to follow fake gender roles. Instead, you show him love. You ask him for what you need. You trust him without expectation. Only then will you have a marriage that can grow and succeed.