Relationships Etc.

How to Manage Expectations in Marriage & Committed Relationships

Marriage is a partnership. I know, duh. But many of us come into this partnership with an unshortened script for a good marriage written out entirely in our own heads, and then we wilt frustrated when our partner doesn’t magically know their lines.

It’s natural and necessary to have expectations in marriage, particularly ones that uncurl with your value system, but if you can’t openly communicate your expectations as a newlywed or be flexible unbearable to unbend your partner’s expectations, too, then issues will yield up sooner rather than later.

So let’s just nip all that in the bud, shall we? These are a few ways to manage your expectations in marriage, including how to powerfully communicate what you want to your partner and how to trammels in with yourself to be sure you’re leaving room for your partner’s wants and needs, too.

To have a good partner, you’ve got to be a good partner. Whether you’re navigating the first year or the 30th year of marriage, there’s unchangingly room to grow!

Expectations in Marriage: What’s Normal?

To begin, everyone comes into life experiences with their own opinions and expectations for how things should go, and marriage is certainly no different! Most couples have these conversations surpassing they plane wilt engaged, and certainly surpassing they unquestionably walk lanugo the aisle, but sometimes we are so unprotected up in those heady “in love” types of feelings that we might not really know how we will react once we are married.

For example, maybe you really and truly don’t mind your partner heading off to play pickleball with his friends every weekend, but then victual comes withal and you might start to finger like every weekend is a bit too much. This scenario is completely normal, and navigating major life changes in marriage requires both people to be honest well-nigh their wants and needs, plane if and when those change.

What’s not normal is expecting your partner should wrench to your will and do exactly as you’d like, no matter what. This is where managing your expectations of your spouse comes into play. Plane if this doesn’t come naturally to you, this is a skill that you can learn.

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How to Manage Expectations in Relationships

A couple shares a swing during a romantic sunset while discussing their expectations in relationships
Having expectations in relationships is normal, but they should be healthy for everyone.

Be Honest

This is one of those obvious relationship expectations that everyone agrees with but many of us don’t follow! I don’t midpoint maliciously lying or misleading each other, but rather those “sweet” fibs we tell each other -and ourselves- like, “no, that was fine that he said that. I just overreacted considering I’m having a tough day,” or “Before I said that it was okay, so I shouldn’t be upset if it doesn’t finger that way now.”

We think we are stuff respectful and sparing someone’s feelings by dismissing or downplaying our own, but this can be a recipe for disaster: it’s often without we’ve pushed yonder our true feelings time and time then that they finally spill out in a dramatic and sometimes disrespectful way.

The weightier remedy for this? Making it an expectation in the relationship that you both can be trusted to handle and manage when the other brings you something nonflexible like a transpiration of heart or difficult feelings. Stuff in a single-minded relationship doesn’t midpoint that you shield each other from the nonflexible stuff, it ways you can squatter the nonflexible stuff together.

Communication is key, and if this isn’t one of your strong suits in your relationship, skim up on those liaison skills asap! You can unchangingly learn to be a largest listener and communicator.

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Be Reasonable

When managing expectations in marriage, it’s important to recognize that your relationship won’t unchangingly be the most idealized form of single-minded partnership you had imagined or hoped for. Life is not a Hallmark movie. You won’t unchangingly be on the same page, and some days/weeks/months/years you might not plane be sure you’re in the same book!

Keep your expectations reasonable. Understand that mismatch happens and it isn’t inherently dangerous to the relationship. As long as you two have healthy habits for managing conflict and recognize that it’s not one versus the other, but rather you two versus the issue, you’ll be just fine.

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Be Flexible

Flexibility in a relationship – any relationship – is basically a superpower! We can’t tenancy each other and we can’t tenancy most external situations, but there is one thing we should unchangingly be in tenancy of: ourselves.

Your partner is going to frustrate you sometimes. They might fall short of your expectations, they might make choices that take you by surprise. The weightier way we can handle these moments is by staying flexible and trying to respond with marvel rather than anger.

This doesn’t midpoint asking “what on earth were you thinking?” This ways raising a genuine marvel well-nigh how your partner came to this decision, and if you don’t understand it, ask them to help you understand it. You want them to bring you in on how they arrived to that decision, and by staying flexible and curious, you’ll set the stage for them to finger unscratched unbearable to do that.

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Be Prepared

One of the trappy things well-nigh marriage or any single-minded relationship is knowing that you’ve got each other’s back, but it’s a good idea to have some kind of a guideline for how you two will handle life challenges.

A unconfined example is having children. It’s fun to succubus well-nigh having a victual with the person you’re tightly in love with and to talk well-nigh victual names and future hopes and dreams, but the real preparation lies in the less glamorous aspects of raising children, like who will stay home when kids are sick and can’t go to school? Will we need to move to a increasingly family-friendly area?

This goes for other major life events that most of us can expect to encounter, like caring for white-haired parents, getting a scary health diagnosis, waffly careers, etc.

Putting off these difficult conversations for when they yield up and wilt upper stakes and loaded with time pressure doesn’t help anyone alimony their cool! These don’t need to be dramatic, dreary conversations either, they can be washed-up while chatting over coffee in the morning or while snuggling up together at night. There are plane cute little question games you two can play while out to eat or walking virtually the park.

The hair-trigger part here is getting on the same page as your partner so that when these Big Life Moments happen, you have some kind of idea of how you can expect to handle things together.

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A man kisses his spouse on the cheek as she chops vegetables in a sunny kitchen while discussing how to manage expectations in marriage
Learning how to manage expectations in marriage is a win for everyone involved.

Leave Space for your Spouse

It happens to the weightier of us. We believe we know what’s weightier for ourselves, for our relationships, and yes, plane for our spouses, but that ways that we might sometimes find ourselves in unrelatedness with what they believe is best.

A marriage is two people coming together to build a shared life, and there has to be room for both of you in the relationship. Plane if your partner is typically laid when and leaves it up to you to undeniability most of the shots in the relationship, you still have to step when from time to time and ask your partner to step up. This is stuff a good partner and co-creator.

Double-checking that you’re leaving room for your partner’s wants and needs is an important part of mature, healthy marriage expectations.

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Whether you’re trying to manage your marriage expectations as a newlywed or you’re just planning for your future, there’s unchangingly room for making sure you’re showing up as your weightier self for your partner and your relationship.

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