Without realizing it, we tend to base a lot of our expectations of marriage on what we see. Whether it’s Instagram or movies, we start so develop unsaid expectations about what marriage “should” look like. When Brian and I got married, I remember feeling so excited to cuddle in bed until we fell asleep…every night. I laugh now, even typing that last sentence out, because it’s clear to me just how unrealistic this expectation was, but it’s what I knew! My world was royally rocked when my new husband’s arm cramped up and went numb under the weight of my head several nights in a row, and he finally broke it to me that he wanted to fall asleep, well, unattached.
This may be a silly example, but it can apply to every aspect of healthy and unhealthy newlywed expectations. It would have been really helpful to talk about what we imagine married life will look like, even down to our daily activities. Even though Brian and I spent a lot of time together before we were married, living together was very different than the daily rhythm we had as single people. There was this build-up of what life would look like when we were married, but we had never really communicated what those ideals looked like for each one of us. We learned the hard way that communicating expectations is THE KEY.
So, talk about what your normal day-to-day looks like! What time do you wake up in the morning? Do you eat breakfast? What kinds of chores do you do around the house? What do you like to do to relax? Do you watch TV in bed? Have a conversation about what your day looks like now and what you want your days to look like when you’re married. The beginning of marriage is such a special and sweet time, but it can become lonely if you don’t prioritize communicating. Setting clear expectations from the start is the best way to create a good foundation and avoid disappointment. Be REALLY HONEST. Tell your fiancé everything that is on your mind, what you’re hoping for, and what you’re worried about. And also, be willing to compromise with what real life looks like.
Unrealistic expectations rob us of the real joy that we can experience in marriage. Learning to understand your spouse’s heart, desires, and operating rhythms allows you to connect more intimately. Those conversations can be difficult, but on the other side of them is a more fulfilling marriage, I promise you.Once you’re able to communicate well and let go of what other people’s relationships look like, it gives you the opportunity to create an amazing relationship custom fit to YOU.