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Thursday, June 14, 2012


They had been married for three years. When she married him, she expected that he would be like her dad, and their marriage would be similar to her parents. Wow, was she wrong. He was nothing like her dad, and their marriage had never been like her parents.

She was very unhappy in her marriage, but it was her secret. She was constantly frustrated with him. Anger was expressed often in their conversations, followed by days of silence. Their marriage was spiraling downward. She felt helpless and hopeless.

After many attempts, she finally talked her husband into seeking help for their marriage through counseling. The first session with the counselor was primarily ventilation of angry emotions and blaming each other for their conflict.
In a subsequent session, the counselor helped them to see that they had missed the core problem in their relationship. It was not directly related to the things that caused their arguments, but it was the underlying cause.

They had never talked about their expectations in marriage. The counselor guided them in a discussion of sharing what they really expected and needed from each other. As the needs and expectations surfaced, there was a breakthrough in understanding each other.

From that day forward, their marriage slowly but surely became a more transparent and intimate relationship. They learned how to talk with each other about personal needs, instead of talking about each other with sharp criticism.

Tommy Nelson wrote a book Better Love Now (B&H Publishing Group, 2008). The book is about making your marriage a life-long love affair. He puts major focus on expectations of both the husband and wife. He identifies four areas of expectation in marriage. They include priorities, communication, life together and family life. All of these areas have expectations in the mind of your spouse. They need to be discussed openly and transparently.
Understanding comes through communication. That communication includes listening as much as speaking. Misunderstanding is a major source of marital conflict. Expectations should be identified and clarified.

A wise couple spends much time during their engagement communicating expectations. Into the marriage, those expectations need to be revisited in ongoing conversations. It's so important for a wife to be understood by her husband. Likewise, a husband needs to be clear with his wife about expectations in their marriage and family life.

The stakes are too high and the peril is too costly simply to assume what your mate thinks and feels. How many marriages could be spared divorce and made more intimate through honest communication and understanding? Your spouse has expectations. You have expectations. It's time to discuss them.

Lesson by Dr.Richard Trader.

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