Marriage is just wonderful. You fall in love and enter into a new partnership for a glorious future together. You declare your love for each other in front of everyone. The beginning of every new marriage can be wildly romantic, but marriages that are supposed to end when “death do us part,” are increasingly ending in divorce.
Although you might enter into the marriage contract full of hope for the future conflicts may arise quite quickly. Conflicts arise from unmet expectation, and you might not even realize you have them until they are not met.
Having high expectations of your partner might be a demonstration of your faith in them, but unrealistic expectations can lead to disaster and disappointment. Sometimes your expectations actually blind you to the reality of the situation.
You might want your partner to live up to your expectations and could end up feeling dissatisfied and resentful. Your high or unrealistic expectations can also cause frustration once your partner realizes that they cannot live up to them.
So how does one manage expectations in a new marriage? Here are seven points where expectations play an important role.
This is a completely realistic expectation. Respect for yourself and your partner is at the basis of a solid marriage.
A good marriage comes with good communication. Communicate your expectations. Talk about how you feel about things. Remember you bring your expectations with you from the examples you know, and your partner’s experience is different. Learn how to be honest with each other.
Knowing each other well brings complicity and a solid relationship. Be aware of what you expect from each other sexually. Communication about your sexual needs is fundamental. Unrealistic expectations in this area are the number one marriage breaker.
- Routines and rituals
This is a case of consolidating your expectations. Create rituals and routines like going out for a romantic brunch on Sunday or a date night during the week. Stick to it so you know there is a space in which you can be together. Doing the dishes together, going to the gym together are also routines that can lend a sense of security to your everyday life.
- Conflict resolution
When you use emotions as a measuring rod, you start to wish your partner would do things a certain way or be how you want them to be. When they don’t measure up, this will create a conflict. Conflict resolution is an important part of managing your expectations in a new marriage. Set aside a dinner in a neutral place and talk it out. Honesty is the key, and that also means self-honesty. You both need to be aware of your expectations and the reality of the situation. Be prepared to apologize and compromise.
Everyone has different expectations about money. It is a complex subject, and you may not know how you feel about it deep down. In fact, you may say one thing and mean another. Money is also a large cause of conflict in a relationship. Start simple and decide how you are going to manage money as a couple. Take it step by step but don’t ignore this point. You are going to have to learn to be honest and discuss your expectations or risk your expectations not being met.
Really these should be shared. But each to their own, so decide what needs to be done and how they are going to be done. You might be expecting your husband to mow the lawn because your mother and father did it that way, but on the other hand, your husband might be expecting you to do all the chores while he does all the driving. Make sure that your expectations are clear and negotiate a system that works for both of you.