Marriage isn’t what you see in the movies. Or on television. Marriage isn’t what you hear about in the songs. It doesn’t look like the marriages of the rich and famous. It isn’t what you dreamed of before you were…married.
Shouldn’t I feel different in my marriage? Shouldn’t we be different together? No one told me about the less than glamorous intimate times after a long day with the kids, covered in food and smelling like spit-up. No one told me I was signing up for running a restaurant and a hotel without staff. No one told me that playing a wife in real life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Most of us come into marriage with a skewed sense of what it will look like. We live in a world that fills us with unrealistic expectations. And often times, the conclusion of our confusion and frustration is disappointment. Disappointment because we thought it would look different or be different than it is.
What can you do when you find yourself feeling disappointed with your marriage?
- Recognize that your expectations are likely unrealistic expectations.
We live in a world that flashes every best case scenario into social media and leaves the raw, difficult times behind closed doors. We are flooded with images of date nights, smiling faces, and unexpected flowers that other wives get. We are told that our husbands are supposed to fill us up – that they are supposed to continuously and consistently verbalize their overflowing love for us. That they will clean. Or cook. Or offer to help. Isn’t that what husbands do?
We also bring expectations into our marriage that we’ve learned from our parents. Who does the housework? How will we spend family time? Alone time? What will our roles look like?
Ask yourself where your expectations are rooted, and challenge yourself to rethink them in a way that is respectful to your husband. Open up a healthy conversation with your husband about the expectations you’ve brought into your marriage and what your husband’s might be.
- Embrace and accept that your husband was designed entirely different than you.
We can’t expect our husbands to be like us when God designed them to see the world different than we do. Just like we can’t expect to use a gas card to pay for our items at Target, we can’t expect our husbands to know what we need, when we need it, and take the initiative to do it. Our husbands don’t work the same as we do. We didn’t marry ourselves (thank the Lord for that).
- Be assured that God has divinely orchestrated you to be married to your spouse, for a reason.
It is by no mistake that you are married to your husband. God knew the plans He had for you long before you were created, and your marriage is part of His perfect plan. Both you and your husband were intricately designed for the benefit of each other to grow, challenge, and spur one another on. Do not let the enemy fool you into thinking that your marriage is anything other than God’s perfect plan. In John 13:7 ESV Jesus answered, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Be confident and faithful in the place God has you and where He is bringing you.
Not only must we renew our thinking in regards to the expectations we place on our husbands, we must also be mindful of how we will help others who are struggling in their marriage. Help others to understand that unrealistic expectations bring disappointment. And disappointment opens the door for the enemy to bring destruction.
By Amanda Davison
Amanda is wife to a farmer and mother of three who when isn’t caring for her tribe, spends her time teaching psychology, coaching wives, writing, and speaking. She sometimes painfully shown the areas where God needs her to adjust so that she can obediently share with others. Visit her website at www.amandadavison.com for more.