It turns out that unmet expectations are one of the greatest sources of conflict and resentment in a marriage. What are his expectations? What are hers? And were these expectations discussed and agreed on at some point in the relationship? From various Christian couples I have had the opportunity to observe and interact with, here are some of the expectations of the husband and wife that I have gleaned. Are they true for you?
1. I expect my wife to respect me all the time.
2. I expect her to be kind to me all the time (even if I am unkind to her).
3. I expect her to be loyal and side with me in public, even if we are not on good terms.
4. I expect her to take care of me, my cuts, bumps, bruises etc. and to ‘pat and powder’ me like a baby sometimes.
5. I expect her to satisfy me in bed even if we are not on good terms.
6. I expect her to be able to cook a tasty meal.
7. I expect her to keep herself attractive.
1. I expect my husband to be my best friend.
2. I expect him to believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself.
3. I expect him to protect me from harm, even if it harms him.
4. I expect him to take care of me.
5. I expect him to care about me.
6. I expect him to talk to me and to like doing so. Men use far fewer words than women but so what, we are married now and he should bare his soul.
7. I expect him to pursue me for lovemaking because that’s how it’s supposed to be. I will approach him sometimes, but as the man he should do most of the approaching.
8. I expect him to be faithful to me. Cheating is not an option.
9. I expect him to confess to me if he cheated; to weep uncontrollably for several months, devise a thorough strategy to win me back and to be eternally thankful that I forgave him.
10. I expect him to provide for me. I will work, I have ambition, but he must be able to take care of the finances.
11. I expect him to pray for me regularly.
12. I expect him to know God.
13. I expect him to have advice or a comforting arm for me when I have challenges.
14. I expect him to be gentle with me even when he is upset.
15. But if he gets aggressive I expect him to apologize and to promise to do better.
16. I expect him to defend me as best as he can.
17. I expect him to choose me over all others.
18. I expect him to choose me as his solace and refuge, outside of God.
19. I expect him to confide in me.
20. I expect him to fete me.
21. I expect him to have a plan for our lives.
Yes, it appears that wives have far more expectations than husbands or perhaps wives simply talk about their needs more! Every relationship is different but reflecting on what the Word of God says about marriage and God’s expectations can be a good starting point and help to bridge the gap. I will summarize the core teachings on marriage expectations in Ephesians 5 with only 2 points:
- Husbands help your wife to grow in God and love her enough to lay down your life for her. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
- Wives submit to and respect, admire and revere your husband. (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Are these biblical expectations being met in your marriage? Are you experiencing disappointment? If you are experiencing disappointment, how are you overcoming them as a couple?