Try as we might, we can’t get away from our expectations. Whether low or high, they are there. And unfortunately expectations sometimes hide themselves and only make an appearance when they are not being met. Whether they seem reasonable or not, expectations can make a mess of certain situations. Even the word ‘reasonable’ can be deceiving when we’re talking about expectations in general, but especially when referring to expectations within marriage.
Ryan and I have been married almost 11 months. And I honestly thought that I came into marriage with reasonable (there’s that word again) expectations. For the most part my wonderful husband has far exceeded my expectations. The growing list of reasons why I love my husband is just a small expression of all the ways he is great. However, I do recognize that I married a sinner. After all, he married one too. And no matter what your view on religion and sin, I think we all can agree that perfection in a spouse or a human for that matter, doesn’t exist. We all have quirks, flaws and imperfections.
Now if you’re thinking this is going to be a juicy, whiny confession about how my emotional needs aren’t being met then think again. Didn’t I say that the list of reasons Ryan is wonderful keeps growing? And this isn’t about household duties or tasks either. More often then not I find myself trying to convince Ryan that he has already done enough helping out for the day. Maybe we’re still in the honeymoon phase but I’ll take it. Every person/couple has their own set of unmet expectations but for me, my most felt unmet expectations center around the way Ryan and I view and organize our world. These are expectations about time, priorities and organization. It’s amazing how easy these expectations can be put aside when you aren’t permanently living with and trying to do life with someone.
Ryan and I view time, priorities and organization in very different ways. We each have our own systems and they have been engrained into us. And in addition to learning about how we each work, we are still learning how to communicate these views and beliefs. It’s not only about the expectations that are revealed but it’s also about how we communicate our own expectations, understand each others expectations and ultimately come together in what to do and how to move forward.
It’s going to take a lot longer than 11 months for us to figure this out, which is no surprise to anyone who has been married any length of time. It’s unreasonable to think that we can get rid of our expectations. But it is reasonable to keep working, keep talking and keep praying over the expectations that crop up along the way. Despite the frustrations and tears (mine mostly) I’m thankful for a man who not only exceeds my expectations but doesn’t run away when I find myself unexpectedly expecting something else from him.