What are you Looking for in Your Relationship?

Sometimes you may look at your marriage and think “This is not what I signed up for.” I was expecting: She would cook dinner every night.  He would take long walks with me. We would go out more.  We would stay at home more. We would have people over every weekend.  We would take mini vacations every weekend.  He would help me around the house. She wouldn’t mind my friends coming over every game night. We would spend holidays with my family.  We would make our own traditions.  I was expecting that he would ……… (fill in the blank).  I was expecting she would……. (fill in the blank).  And the list could go on and on.

Expectations are things you are looking for, things you are hoping will happen, things you are anticipating will come to pass or looking for something to happen a certain way and if it doesn’t, you are disappointed. Everyone has expectations and they probably vary from person to person because all of us are different and have had different life experiences. There is nothing wrong with expectations.  They give us something to look forward to.

Not having your expectation met can cause frustration. If you are irritated because an expectation has not been met, you may need to evaluate the situation. Here are four things to ask yourself:

First, have you talked to your spouse about the expectation? Are you expecting them to do something that you have not verbalized and they don’t even know that is a need or want in your life? Expectations should be discussed with your spouse.  Their opinion does matter, especially when the expectation involves them.

Second, is your expectation realistic? Your expectation may seem perfectly doable and valid to you but another person could see it from a totally different perspective. When your expectations are unrealistic it gets you into trouble because it makes you start questioning your decisions, yourself and whether your spouse cares for you.  I am not talking about a long grocery list of things because you are not trying to get your spouse to comply to your every wish and command.

One of my expectations was simple, I thought. I’m so glad my husband thought so too.  My expectation was when went on vacation that we would clean the house before we left. This was something simple I thought, I’m so glad my husband thought so to. I didn’t want to come home to a dirty house, a pile of laundry, a pile of dishes, or vacuuming.  Who wants to start working right when they step in the door after being on vacation? Not me. Even when I have gone on vacations with girlfriends, my husband has the house spit-shined when I come home and I love it! He knows that is important to me and I really appreciate it.

Third, why is the expectation important?  Understanding brings clarity to a situation. Mindreading is never good because most of the time we are wrong.  We may think we know something but if it involves the other person, ask them because they definitely know why they need something.  Asking them may cause you to look at the situation from another perspective. Listen to understand. 

Fourth, has the expectation changed? If a person can no longer do the expectation, they need to talk to their partner and tell them why it is not feasible anymore. If you used to cook every day but now your work hours have changed and now you don’t get home until much later, the expectations may need to be readjusted. You now have to figure out another plan for meals. There are lots of options. You could order take out, go to a restaurant, pick something up on the way home, throw something in the crockpot before you leave, or prep meals weekly. Also, if you no longer want something done that you have previously asked, you should let your partner know. These four things are a good place to start in evaluating your expectations.

Negotiate your expectations.  Make expectations a win/win in your relationship. Some may be doable, some may be unrealistic.  Make it were both parties are getting something.  It is unrealistic that one person gets everything they want and the other person gets nothing. Be open to meeting some of the important wants and needs of your partner.

What you are getting in your relationship now may not be what you signed up for, however, did you ever think that your spouse is thinking the same thing?  Make sure you are communicating with one another openly and honestly about what your likes, dislikes, wants, and needs are.

You shouldn’t just have expectations for your spouse. What are your expectations for yourself when it comes to your conduct and behavior in the relationship? When thinking about what you signed up for, how about having expectations of you loving your mate, respecting your mate, caring for your mate, and always giving your best in the relationship.  That’s sounds like something you should be looking for.

BECOME A STUDENT OF YOUR SPOUSE

Why do people go to school whether it be college, trade school or on-line.  People go to school so that hopeful they can better themselves so that they can live the life they want.

When you are attending school, other things have to be put on the back burner and during that time you are focused on how much time you are reading your lessons, how much time you are studying the subject at hand.  You put the time in because you want to get a good grade.  Most people want an “A” in class.  An “A” says I know the material and hopeful not just know the material but also understand the material.

If someone gave you a test on your husband or wife, how would you score? Would you get an A? B? C? D? or would you flunk the test?   I know what you think you should receive, however, what would your spouse give you? 

My challenge to you is to become a STUDENT of your SPOUSE.

One definition I looked up said a student is a person formally engaged in learning, a pupil; a person who studies, investigates or examines thoughtfully.

Do you study your spouse, do you know their likes, their dislikes, their goals, their dreams, their fears, and their aspirations? In order to know these things about your spouse, you have to study them, you must seek to understand them, and learn to communicate with them.  No one should know more about your mate than you do.

In order for your marriage to be fulfilling, you must become a student of your spouse to find out what makes them tick and what ticks them off.  Studying your spouse will cause you to have a more intimate relationship with them.  So get to studying!

What Makes a Healthy Marriage? Pt 1

Think about how your body needs certain vitamins, minerals and exercise for it to function at its optimum potential.  A healthy marriage doesn’t just happen, it doesn’t happen by osmosis.  If you want your marriage to grow, thrive and be healthy, certain ingredients should be present. 

If you ask different people what it takes to have a healthy marriage, you may get several different answers.  Here are 4 ingredients which will help you get on the path to a healthy marriage:

 

Commitment

When you said “I do” you made a commitment (a promise, a vow, a pledge) to be with your spouse through the thick and thin, good and bad, and sickness and health.  This means you are in it for the long haul; you are not looking for a way out. Instead you are looking for ways to enhance the relationship, ways to work with your spouse not against your spouse.  So recommit to the marriage, yourself, and your spouse that whatever comes, whatever goes it will not shake the foundation of your marriage.

 

Responsibility

When you are responsible you are accountable to yourself and to your spouse.  You are saying that you will be man or woman enough to take responsibility and be accountable for your actions/words/thoughts/feelings.  Playing the blame game gets you nowhere.  You are the one who CHOOSES how you will act and respond to others.  When you are wrong, admit it and choose to make better choices in the future.

 

Forgiveness

To forgive someone doesn't mean they were right or you condone their behaviors or actions.  Forgiveness is about you, you not holding on to the hurt that was caused and moving forward.  When you are married it is certain you will have some disagreements, you are going to do or say something that your spouse does not like.  Your spouse is likely to do something or say something that may hurt your feelings.  No one is perfect.  So if you can forgive your spouse quickly and not harbor bad feelings or thoughts toward them you will keep yourself from some heartache.  Forgive your spouse and learn to forgive yourself also.

 

Love   

When I say “love” I am not referring to those warm and fuzzy feelings you feel when you see your spouse because those come and go.  I am referring to “love” as a verb.  Love is an action word.  You can tell your mate all day long you love them but if your actions are not aligning with those words, your words will not carry much weight.  Here is a good definition of love:  Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. It doesn't sing its own praises. It isn't arrogant.  It isn't rude. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs.  It isn't happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.  Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.  Love never comes to an end. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (GW)

 

It’s never too late to make adjustments, tweaks and changes.  If these ingredients are missing in your marriage, why not start today by implementing them so that your marriage can begin to thrive.  There is nothing like a healthy marriage. 

Marriage is a Team Sport

When you look up the word team, this definition may pop up: persons associated in some joint action.

We can learn some lessons and gain insight in ways a marriage should function by watching sports such as football or basketball.  First, when the team wins, everyone associated wins and if they lose, everyone on the team loses.  Second, when things are not going well, the team calls a timeout to regroup.  Third, the team follows the plays outlined in the playbook. 

So you may be asking “What does this have to do with marriage and what insights can be learned?”  

 When it comes to marriage, playing like a team looks something like this:

~When you said “I do” you embarked on a joint adventure for a lifetime.

~You have to learn to work together in order to get things accomplished, you work as a unit.

~You are not in competition with one another, when one wins the other wins.  If there is a loser, you both lose.

~You learn to negotiate and do what’s best for the marriage, laying down any selfishness for the greater good of the marriage.

~You set boundaries in the marriage; you both know and agree what is allowed and what is not allowed.

~You know what it means to be committed and have pledged to work out and work on things that may cause dissension.

When it comes to marriage, the only way to make it work is to become a team player.  You must learn to work together, love together, plan together, interact together, think together, live together and play together. 

Remember: Marriage is a Team Sport and it works when you work it.

(To "Like" or "Comment", click on title)