Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Expecting

Famous last words.

I'm expecting.

As in I'm expecting you to meet all of my physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual and psychological needs after we get married.  And I'm expecting you to meet them without me having to tell you what they are. 

Half the time we don't even know what we expect until we don't get it.  

I actually have an SIL who, before she got married, told me that she thought her hub was going to be the prophet of the LDS church one day.

True story, (even though she denies it now).  

Expectations are a killer to a relationship.  

That's why I really liked Southern Sage's post about making a marriage contract. READ IT, if you haven't already. 

Communication is not very romantic if you think about.  In fact, it can be a bit of a buzz kill.   

But think how much faster you could deal with the disillusionments of marriage if you were actually forced to think through and share your expectations of it with your partner.  And then sign your name on the dotted line.  In blood.  Before you tied the knot. 

It would be like ripping a band-aid as opposed to the slow and painful process of pulling it off little by little. 

My hub has a hard time expressing his needs.  And he doesn't like to tell me what ticks him off either.  When we first got married he would give me the silent treatment a lot and I would rack my brain trying to figure out what the helk was wrong.  My imagination went in all directions, but I felt like I was a disappointment to him.

After A LOT of coaxing he told me that he thought it was rude when I would get myself a drink or something without offering him one.  And it really bothered him that I was always late.

Sheesh!  Why didn't you just say so???  

For most of us it's too late to sign a pre-nup contract saying we will always be on time, but I think it would be cool to sit down with my hub and discuss (just for fun)--20 years later--what we WOULD have signed our name in blood to in our pre-nup marriage contract.  

I would love to know in what ways I did and didn't meet his expectations.  There would have to be certain NO CRYING/NO LYING ground rules, of course, but think how much I could learn about myself.  And about him.   

I bet he expected for more massages.  

Do you think your expectations were too high when you got married?  Have they changed?  


IWA (e - va) said...

Expectation Before marriage: I would have a Happily Ever After Type Marriage.... As I'm writing it, It seems so dumb and immature, but quite frankly, I think I really expected just to be happy and really never thought about how that happiness would be brought about!

I still expect happiness from my marriage and a few things others now. I think now Im just a little more realistic about my expectations and more fully understand the idea of False hope!

T said...

I'm laughing here because my hub was raised to offer a girl a drink any time he wanted one... so it would drive him crazy if we were out and he'd ask "hey, d'ya want to stop for a drink?" and I'd say no... We'd been married awhile before I realized that he was probably dying of dehydration because he never just said "well, I'm going to grab something real quick, let me know if you change your mind"

Homer and Queen said...

Great post! I am so lucky my Hubby is so easy going, I am more the one with the expectations in the beginning, but after 27 years, I'm just glad we are both alive!

H.K. said...

My expectations were very high. I also thought my husband should be able to read my mind too. Stupid, i know. For example our first Valentines as a married couple, I told him that I really didn't need anything, but I didn't mean it. So of course, he took it literally & I got angry because he should have known that I didn't mean it.

Now, I say what I mean, I don't play coy & I learned to be straight forward. And my husband always thought he should keep the stress that he deals with to himself. He didn't want to burden me with it. It took a very long time for him to just trust me enough to be that rock for him when he needed to unload. He had some warped idea as the "head of the household" it also meant that he should keep all his anxieties, worries, & stress to himself.

Heidi Ashworth said...

The unspoken expectations in our marriage were much fodder for therapy some years ago. I highly recommend it to one and all. Well, er, unless you have no expectations at all whatsoever. That's probably best, anyway.

Heidi Ashworth said...

My internal editor really wants to edit that last comment. Meh

Shelle-BlokThoughts said... husband was the same way.

Expectations r the worst! U always get let down. I found that out after many holidays and birthdays with my hubs.

I've learned not to expect and our marriage is a lot better now during these times!

Great post!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Amen Iwa!

I was just talking with my sister and all my sister in laws and I realized after listening to them that maybe a contract would help, but marriage is really just a process of opening up your mind to other points of view. It's a gradual step by step line upon line kinda figuring out what you will and won't do/allow/be and what you should and shouldn't do/allow/be.

My cute sister was just saying, with great emotion in her voice "I WILL NOT BE CONTROLLED BY ANYONE!"

How cute. I totally feel her pain. Been there. It's hard to kill your expectations, but it's harder sometimes to assert yourself, especially when you're afraid your hub will up and leave.

My SIL was saying that her and her hub totally disagree on a lot of important issues. I said, "do you think it's because you've changed?' And she said "partly, but I'm also more comfortable now and secure with my relationship and I know I can say what I feel without my hub abandoning me."

That is so true. I used to be such a freakin' pleaser. I read all the books about how to be a good wife. I usually ended up being disappointed and disillusioned. I had much better results when I just started being myself.

Shelle, I cried so hard on the first valentines. I totally understand what you're saying. I was 17 and shattered. How silly. But my hub always makes a big deal now. Poor guy.

Miss Heidi, I love that you went to therapy. I have always said I would LOVE to have a good therapist. When I was thirty and going through my mid life crisis I almost wanted a divorce. My bad. I wanted us to go to therapy but my hub refused. He didn't think we needed it.

H.K. That is so true!!!!!! Love that you related.

Queenie, you sound very lucky. And I hear you have sex every day too. hee hee

Hi T! Fun talking to you this morning.

Amber Lynae said...

I expected him to always be like the man I thought he was when we were dating and engaged. I expected him to still refrain from farting in front of me... to want to cuddle and talk for hours, to help do dishes, and make meals. On top of that I expected him to know what I was thinking as well.

Yeah I still have trouble with my expectations and reality. But I do love him. We could just work on the communication side.

And counseling has helped many couples I know. It is always nice to have a middle man when issues are too close and communication dsyfunctional.

Eva Gallant said...

counseling helped me to see I needed to end my 12-year marriage; 4 years later I remarried and have been married for 26 years. My first husband has now been divorced 3 times...