It is very normal to have expectations in a relationship/marriage. As a matter of fact, marriage is all about fulfilling each other’s expectations.
However, when expectations are unrealistic or flawed, there’s bound to be problems because unfulfilled expectations cause marital strife which could lead to divorce.
Your expectations from your partner will determine whether you are happy with them or not. They’ll influence your overall marital happiness and assessment of your spouse.
So, it’s very important that you keep your expectations as realistic as possible if you want to enjoy your union.
I understand that we are different, so are our expectations.
However, some expectations are way too flawed, no matter who you are.
It’s better to know them whether you’re single or married so that you can put things in perspective.
Below are 15 common unrealistic expectations people have in marriage:
1. My Partner is My Everything
In a bid to sound romantic sometimes, we say, “You’re my everything” to our partners or tell others, “He/She’s my everything”.
But in reality, no single human being can be your everything.
It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or they’re not enough for you, but they can’t just be your everything, just as you can’t be their everything.
Your spouse can be different things to you at different times – friend, lover, gossip partner, sister/brother, counsellor, cook, sponsor etc.
But they can’t always be everything to you.
It’s unrealistic to expect a single human being to be all that you’ll ever need in humans.
Expecting your partner to be your everything is a way of setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
To have a healthy relationship, don’t expect your partner to be your everything.
Cultivate meaningful relationships with other humans who can be to you what your spouse cannot be or not available to be to you.
Sometimes, you need your own girlfriends/boyfriends, your family, a therapist, a manager etc.
2. My Partner Should Meet all My Needs
Similar to the first point, it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to meet all your needs – emotional, financial, psychological etc.
No single human being can meet all your needs.
Yes, there are some needs your partner should and must meet e.g physical intimacy needs, affection, attention etc.
But sometimes, you’ll need to find a way to meet your needs by yourself or get others to meet them.
3. My Spouse Will Make Me Happy Always
Your partner cannot always make you happy. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. But life is full of other realities.
There are bills to be paid, work to go to, dreams to fulfil, goals to be met etc.
Occasionally, your partner will do things to make you happy, but you shouldn’t always expect this.
There are times you’ll make each other unhappy. This is very normal and it doesn’t mean your marriage is in trouble.
4. My Partner Will Always be the Source of My Happiness
Expecting your partner to always be the reason for your happiness is simply unrealistic.
As a whole individual, you need to find other things you derive happiness in such as work, hobbies, friendships, volunteering, passion etc.
You’ll choke your partner if you expect them to always be the source of your happiness because you’ll come off as needy, and this makes you unattractive.
5. My Partner Will Never Hurt Me
Truth is, we are bound to be hurt by people we love and who love us.
There’s no perfect human on earth, not even you.
While someone who loves you will not ALWAYS hurt you INTENTIONALLY, it’s not realistic that they won’t hurt you at all.
You and your partner will be insensitive to each other’s feelings sometimes. You’ll hurt each other with your words.
This shouldn’t be the norm, however, otherwise it’s emotional abuse.
6. We’ll Always Spend Time Together
Spending quality together as a couple is a prerequisite for a great marriage.
However, it’s not realistic to expect that you’ll ALWAYS spend your free time together.
Marriage or relationship doesn’t mean your individuality should be thrown out of the window.
Sometimes, you or your partner will prefer the comfort of your/their own world.
It doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy each other’s company.
It’s just okay to enjoy your own company sometimes in order to recreate and be in touch with yourself.
Don’t be that person.
Clinginess is draining.
7. I’ll Know Everything about My Partner
While marriage affords you the opportunity to know your partner deeper, you may not know everything about your partner especially within a few years of marriage.
This is because human beings are generally unpredictable.
Sometimes, your partner will act in a way that will make you wonder if you know them at all. Sometimes they will act in ways that’ll leave you stunned.
Human beings evolve, so you may experience different shades of your partner as they evolve.
They’ll experience the same thing with you too.
Have you ever done things that surprised even yourself?
Why then should you expect differently from your partner?
8. We’ll Never Go to Bed Angry
Some couples have been able to achieve this – not go to bed angry.
But honestly, I’ve not achieved this in my marriage and I don’t see it as a problem.
Sometimes, emotions get too high, you just want to be left alone to process your thoughts and emotions.
I think this is better than trying to solve issues when emotions are all over the place because things could get worse.
The most important thing is to eventually trash things out and of course, not let issues linger unnecessarily.
Let me also state that it’s okay if you and your partner agree on dealing with issues immediately and not carrying them over to the following day.
But if you have a partner who prefers to process their thoughts and feelings first before resolving issues, it’ll be unrealistic to expect that you won’t go to bed angry on some days.
9. S*x Will Always be Great
Physical intimacy is a big deal in a marriage. Sexual dissatisfaction is one of the major causes of marital breakdown.
While couples can enjoy intimacy and bond in some other ways, bonding through s*x is non-negotiable.
If you want to enjoy your marriage, you’ve got to be intentional and serious about having a great s*x life.
However, s*x will not always be amazing in marriage. There’ll be bad s*x days, there will even be times when life realities get in the way of getting it on with your spouse for days or weeks.
As long as this doesn’t continue for a long time thereby leading to a sexless marriage, then there’s nothing wrong with your marriage.
It’s absolutely normal.
10. My Partner Will Always Understand Me
The reality is, you and your partner will not always understand each other.
Your partner will not always understand your feelings.
For instance, as a woman, your partner will never understand how it feels to be pregnant, be in labour, have period pains.
He can only be sympathetic to you. Don’t expect him to understand how you feel.
11. My Partner Should Always Know My Mind
What a sweet world it’d be if our partners could read our minds!
We’d be spared of having to explain ourselves each time we are hurting.
We’d be spared of having to tell our partners what we want them to do for us.
Unfortunately, we live in a real world where partners cannot be mind-readers, so you’ve got to make your mind known to your spouse.
12. We Will Enjoy Doing Everything Together
While couples should have mutual interests in order to bond, they can’t always enjoy doing everything together.
Marriage doesn’t mean you can’t have interests you enjoy alone.
For instance, it’s okay if your husband enjoys watching sports and you don’t.
It’s okay if you don’t enjoy watching the same genre of movies.
It’s unrealistic to expect that you and your partner will do everything together.
Create room for you/your partner to enjoy what you/they love doing even if it means you/they have to do it alone.
You don’t have to do everything together.
13. My Partner Will Foot All the Bills
In this modern day, it’s unrealistic to expect a partner to shoulder all the financial burdens alone except it’s by agreement between both partners.
If there’s no such agreement between you and your spouse, it’s unfair to expect that you won’t contribute in any way to the financial running of the family.
14. My Partner Will Do the Household Chores Alone
Research keeps revealing that in many marriages, women do more of the household chores despite working to contribute financially.
It’s appalling how some men want their wives to contribute financially in the home, yet expect them to do all the house work alone.
You can’t have your cake and eat it.
I understand that some women are blessed with enormous physical strength and don’t mind doing the house work alone.
But for an average woman like me, I can’t!
I need help, especially when there are kids to take care of.
While it’s unrealistic to expect a partner to solely provide financially, it’s also unrealistic to expect a partner to take care of the home alone except it’s by agreement.
15. We’ll Always Be in Love
Yes, you and your spouse love each other but you won’t always be in love with each other.
Your partner will not always give you butterflies in your stomach.
You won’t feel butterflies in your stomach when your partner annoys you or when you annoy each other.
It doesn’t mean you have stopped loving each other, it’s just that emotions vary according to the prevailing circumstances.
That’s why love is more than just feelings. Love is a choice. Meaning, no matter the emotions you feel, you still love your spouse.
These are the fifteen commonest unrealistic expectations people usually have in marriage. Are you guilty of any?