Don’t we all have expectations?
Realistic, imaginary, necessary, basic or deep…expectations are indeed one of the pivotal parts of a marriage. Many couples go into a marriage with certain ideas of what it is and expect only what they imagine it to be. Nothing can truly prepare you for a marriage and all that comes with it. Living with your partner has a way of unraveling their habits and mannerisms which are in most cases shocking, irritating and downright annoying.
It can be from the simplest of things such as untidiness, preferences in certain product brands to complex issues such as morals on which the children will be raised and spending habits.
The risk of divorce is highest earlier on in the marriage because this is the time when two people who have grown up accustomed to certain ways now start to realize how indifferent they are to each other’s customs and values. Premarital counseling is vital for couples planning to tie the knot. This process helps to partly prepare you for marriage and teaches you on communicating and compromise. Though you cannot be fully prepared for marriage, one main thing that can help immensely is communicating and discussing in depth the most vital issues, before getting into the lifelong commitment after which, a common ground is arrived at. These issues include:
- Beliefs and values-which common values do you wish to accustom your family to?
- Roles in marriage- bills, household chores and family duties.
- Sex-intimacy and allocation of quality time.
- Children and parenting-religion, rules and disciplining.
- Family relationships-allocation of time and finances to both sides of the family and conflict resolution.
- Decision making-checking with your partner before making any big decisions.
- Conflict resolution-ways to go about disagreements and arguments and how to resolve them.
- Time management-how much time will you put aside exclusively for your wife or husband and children?
- Money-discuss investments, big purchase, savings etc
Discussing what either of you expect before and after the wedding enables you and your partner to better understand and support each other in the marriage. This process helps couples to develop realistic expectations, better communication and is important for establishing a positive attitude towards marriage.
How can we level our expectations?
Openly talk about your expectations to your spouse and encourage them to do the same to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
2. Be realistic
Don’t have outrageous expectations that are likely not to be met by your spouse. It is normal to expect, but don’t be vulnerable to disappointment because of unrealistic expectations.
3. Remember, you fail too
Your partner has expectations too, some of which you may not be willing or able to fulfill. So cut them some slack simply because you are only human too.
There is no manual for a marriage. You will learn as you go. Just keep an open mind and a calm spirit.