I expect my husband to mess up sometimes. Not because he’s some loser who always messes up—because that is far from true—but because he’s human. I hope he expects me to mess up too because I will.

When you enter a relationship intended to last a lifetime, there has to be an honest discussion with yourself and your spouse about what’s expected. Many marriages struggled because of unreasonable expectations.

People have to realize that if your expectations are unreasonable, they won’t be met. Furthermore, that list of expectations can leave your spouse feeling bitter and resentful. There is nothing worse than giving a partner your best, only to feel like you still aren’t giving enough because of what your spouse expects. It’s beyond frustrating.

So how do you build a union that lasts if you think your partner is coming up short? Well, you can start by asking yourself if you are expecting too much. If you are, that needs to change so you can save and improve your marriage.

Here are 3 expectations you need to get rid of if you want to build a healthy relationship that lasts.

Expecting your spouse to make you happy.

I know this may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. I know you want to be happy. I get that. I want to be happy, too. But I also know that my happiness is not my husband’s responsibility. That is too much pressure to place on another human being. We are responsible for our own happiness. You really can’t place that responsibility on someone else—not even your spouse. If you learn how to give yourself what you need instead of expecting your husband or wife to do things that will make you happy at every turn, you will reduce how much pressure you place on the person designed to share life with you, not make you happy.

Expecting your spouse to never mess up.

That perfect spouse you were hoping for isn’t here. As a matter of fact, that person will never show up because no one is perfect. You must know that because you certainly aren’t perfect.  Your spouse will mess up. You will mess up. It’s a part of marriage. You both have to accept that and determine what steps you need to take when someone makes a bad choice. Marriages that last a lifetime are marriages that are also committed to the value of forgiveness. This doesn’t mean you should tolerate abuse or crappy treatment but it does mean that you shouldn’t be willing to walk away just because your spouse isn’t as perfect as you want him or her to be.

Expecting your spouse to meet needs you never shared.

Your spouse isn’t a mind reader. If you need or want something but you’ve never shared it with your spouse, don’t get mad when that need isn’t being met. Stop expecting your spouse to just figure out what you want and need from him. It’s not a fair expectation. No matter how long you’ve been together and how much you think your spouse should know what your needs are, you can’t assume. You have to communicate what you want and need if you expect your spouse to meet that need.

Expectations are important and we should all walk into our marriages with a certain set of expectations. But when those expectations aren’t being met because they are unreasonable, you have to reevaluate. You and your spouse deserve to be in a marriage with established reasonable expectations. It can be the difference between a happy marriage and one overshadowed by frustration and bitterness.

What expectation have you given the boot in order to improve your marriage?

 

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