Are Your Marriage Expectations Realistic?
Satisfaction is what happens when reality meets expectations. When you think about it that way, then you can see how it’s possible that we usually stand in our own way of feeling satisfied. Marriage is certainly something for which we can have inflated expectations. And how can we not? Considering how much money, time, emotional and mental bandwidth is spent on planning a wedding, it’s only logical that you should expect some major change after the big day. But the inflation of expectations starts long before you’re even engaged. Starting in your pre-teens you were fed the idea that a romantic partner can make everything right in your life. You probably had authority figures and role models who emphasized the importance of a romantic partner. We’re really set up to expect too much out of marriage, and that’s one of the reasons many marriages fail. So, are your expectations for married life realistic?
You will feel bonded every day
Nobody can feel bonded every day. Do you feel bonded to your mother every day? Certainly not. And you lived inside of her for nine months. You’ll have times when life is demanding your attention in areas outside your relationship and you’re not at all in tune to your partner’s moods or needs. Don’t freak out and think your marriage is doomed when this happens. Your bond will ebb and flow. You just need to have faith that it’s there even when you don’t feel it as strongly.
There will be no more surprises
No matter how long you were together before getting married, there will always be surprises. You can’t possibly have covered every topic that might cause tension before getting married. You won’t even cover all of those topics in your lifetime. Don’t think this man suddenly isn’t your soul mate just because you disagree on a political issue, a financial issue, or some other issue of some significance. That disagreement doesn’t make your history null and void.
Your relationship is stronger because of it
Your relationship’s strength has nothing to do with being married. If your relationship was strong going into marriage, then it can be a strong marriage. If your relationship was weak going into marriage, marriage will not strengthen it. In fact, marriage will highlight your weaknesses.
Sex will always feel emotional and connected
Ha. That’s funny. Do you always feel emotional about and connected to your partner? Is life one long ethereal trip through love and emotions? No. Life is full of tons of stress, responsibilities and unexpected challenges that can make you transfer more into your practical mind than your emotional one. Sometimes you barely have enough time to do the physical act of sex; and you certainly don’t always have the time to get into an emotional state before it.
Spending time together will be easy
A marriage certificate does not make your calendar open up. You’ll still be just as busy as you ever were. Don’t think the world is going to gift you quality time with your partner just because you got married. You still need to fight for it.
Life will feel more stable
Ideally, you and your partner should have always had one another’s back, long before getting married. Through one another’s support, you should have started making life feel more stable a long time before tying the knot. If your life didn’t feel stable before getting married, it won’t miraculously start to feel stable after.
Insecurity is behind you
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you’ll never again worry that your partner isn’t attracted to you one day, or that he’s attracted to somebody else, or that he feels less bonded to you. When you care deeply about somebody, you’re bound to have moments in which you fear losing them and those moments cause insecurity.
You’ll never feel attracted to anyone else
Don’t believe the ridiculous idea that if you’re attracted to somebody else, then that must mean you and your husband weren’t meant to be together. You may be very connected to your partner, but you’re still an animal. And while your partner is (hopefully) the best person for you, there are still tiny pockets of your personality he doesn’t quite appeal to, but other men do.
Your partner will consider you in all decisions
If he didn’t before he’s not going to start to now. Make sure you’re content with how much your partner includes you in major decisions before getting married. The wedding may give him a little burst of motivation to consider you more in his decisions, but he’ll eventually slide back into his old ways. Make sure you’re okay with those ways.
Your home will be lovely and clean
And why is that? Do you think marriage comes with a house cleaning team? It does not. You can still be total slobs if you’re married. Your instinct to be tidy isn’t going to kick in once you wear a wedding band. If that instinct was never there, it’s not going to pop up over night.
You’ll never question your marriage
Sure you will. And you should. Questioning it makes it stronger. Putting it to the test of your doubts and fears, facing and overcoming those doubts and fears, make your marriage stronger. Ignoring any little doubt you have about your marriage only gives that doubt strength.
Your partner will be your perfect caretaker
If you’re sick, depressed, unemployed, grieving…your partner will be your perfect caretaker, right? Nah. He’ll be a pretty good one, but he’s only human. Sometimes he’ll feel selfish and want to go out with his friends rather than stay home and nurse you. Sometimes he’ll make you that pot of soup, but he’ll do it with a little attitude. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It just means he isn’t some robot who can sacrifice his own happiness, 100 percent, to take care of somebody else. And neither can you.
You’ll both be more mature
Marriage doesn’t give you patience, wisdom, and humility. Making a relationship work can cultivate those traits slowly over time. But getting married doesn’t suddenly mean you just have those traits. If you were immature before you got married you’ll still be immature in marriage unless you do the work to change that.
You’ll get your finances in order
If anything your finances will be more of a mess. You knew how to handle finances as individuals, but now that you’re married, there are different rules. Hey, literally! There are decisions you cannot make with your partner—legally. Your taxes are different. Spending mistakes on your part can affect your partner’s financial future.
I’ll always be happy now
There is no thing in life that will make you always happy. And to think marriage is that thing is to put so much pressure on your marriage that you almost doom it to failure. You are still responsible for your happiness. You still need to pursue your goals, nurture your friendships, seek therapy if you’re struggling with depression and anxiety, keep up spiritual religious practices that are important to you and do all the things you’ve always done to feel happy.