Lets talk about expectations.
We all have them right? We have goals, a state of mind, or a really specific picture in our head when we think of different situations.
In health, in families, in marriage, in work, in social lives, in the mirror, and life in general. It is perfectly normal and can be good.
But more importantly, we all also have unrealistic, and unrealized, expectations.
What are unrealistic expectations? Basically, it’s this picture in our minds that everything we have going for us should be a certain way. A certain way that is perfect. Though, not always realistic.
But, sometimes we don’t realize we even have these expectations until the picture in our head is not what we originally planned to be; our reality isn’t perfect.
I learned this the hard way after Brendan and I got married.
There were SO many expectations that were not met, unrealistic, and unrealized. Seriously. The first week back after our honeymoon, I thought to myself, “Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life? Is it really this bad?”
Yep. I thought that 10 days after we got married. 10 DAYS.
So what happened? What happened to feeling happily ever after just a few days ago? Can it change that quickly?
Yep, it can. Because no one really realizes how hard it’s going to be after the vows are said.
I wish someone would have sat me down and had a serious conversation about how hard it was going to be once the “wedding bliss” was over. And I’m not talking just someone saying, “Erin it’s going to be hard, but your love will make it through!”. Because, if I’m being honest, that’s a bunch of crap.
The unrealistic expectations I had, now that I think back, were a little funny.
I thought we would have sex every night. (HA!)
I thought we would go to bed at the same time every night.
I thought we would be all lovey-dovey for a long time.
I thought we would have a lot of date nights.
I thought we would talk more.
I thought we wouldn’t argue much.
I thought we would do all the grocery shopping and cooking together.
I thought it was going to be a lot easier.
Oh boy was I wrong.
The day after we got back from our honeymoon, we went back to our normal lives. The only thing that was different was I now lived with Brendan… and 3 other dudes (I don’t recommend doing that). I wish we would have talked about how we wanted to function our lives together. Instead we functioned individually but still tried to act like we were married and didn’t talk about it.
This then ended in the biggest fight I think we have ever gotten in. But the calm conversation after the fight we realized what the problem was and actually talked it through. And things eventually got better.
I learned the hard way about the picture in my head. The expectations that were unrealistic were also somewhat unrealized too.
Brendan and I are still learning about this as we go through our journey (at least I am). We are so much better than we used to be and love being married to each other, just the first few months were tough for us.
As you read this I don’t want you to think, “wow, she really didn’t realize at all how hard it would be? What did she expect?” I knew at some point it was going to be hard but I was in a bubble of wedding bliss. This was my slap in the face at how much work it was going to take and how much growing up I had to do. But I needed it.
So if you’re dating or engaged (or even married), I want to encourage you to think about the picture in your head and what it looks like. Is it realistic? Do you have an idea of what you really want and need in your marriage/relationship? Then, maybe, talk to your spouse about both of your expectations.
And just a thought for everyone. Don’t let the “pictured” expectations in your mind keep you from doing what you really want to do and be; Life is not perfect. Go get what you want!
Thanks for reading.
Isaiah 43:18 (NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”