The following 5 false assumptions in a marriage are common. What we believe about the intentions of our spouse can have damaging and long-lasting effects.
There is a saying that women get married with the assumption that their husbands will change and they don’t. Men get married assuming their wives will never change and they do!
There is nothing wrong about holding your spouse accountable for their actions when they are out of line, however you must ask yourself first: is this really a problem with them or it possibly a reflection of my own failed expectations?
Ah love…disappointing, confusing, maddening, expectation-crushing LOVE…
5 False Assumptions That Will Kill Your Marriage
The assumption your spouse intends to HURT:
In case this is news to anyone, there is not a person on this planet that hasn’t at some point said something stupid and wished they could take back the moment it left their lips. Your spouse is no exception and neither are you. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt back. Whoever is without guilt shall cast the first stone right? Because we’re all guilty, it’s important to find forgiveness in your heart for your spouse when the dust finally settles. Chances are they are not intentionally out to hurt you, and probably don’t even understand the depths to which they did. If explaining it again for the fifteenth time is still not getting through, it’s probably in your best interest to try to move past it.
The assumption your spouse intends to ANNOY you:
Being annoyed by your spouse at various times of the day is pretty much par for the course in any marriage. They left dishes on counter again? When the dishwasher is right there? The laundry wasn’t folded the way you specifically showed them a million times? The kids ate candy for lunch and sat in front of the tv all day so you could go out and have a break? There is not a human being on this planet you could find to cohabitate with whose every minor character flaw you won’t eventually magnify beyond a reasonable measure. I get it – the sound of their chewing at supper makes you want to equip yourself with ear-cancelling headphones at every meal going forward– but they are not intentionally trying to annoy you. If it’s not life or death, let it go.
The assumption your spouse DOESN’T CARE:
I’m going to throw out a pretty radical idea here – just because your spouse doesn’t happen to care about everything you care about or to the exact same degree, does not mean that they don’t care about you. Everyone enters a marriage with a certain worldview, sets of values, and priorities. Inevitably these values and expectations you bring into a marriage with ultimately clash at some point with your spouse. One of you might feel out of control in a messy house while the other feels it’s more important to be present in the moment with your kids and clean up later. Neither of these are right or wrong. It’s important to remember that they are simple different values and expectations. It doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t care, they just come to the marriage with different priorities.
The assumption your spouse DOESN’T LOVE YOU:
Have you ever read The The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman (2010) Paperback?
If you haven’t you must! Essentially it boils down to the fact that people express their love differently. My husband for example is an acts of service guy. He cleans the house, takes care of all the little errands that need done, ensures there is always gas in my car, among many other things. It took me a long time to begin to view this as proof of his love. I’m a gifts girl. I write sentimental notes, drop off care packages to friends, and stop and pick up his favourite beer on my way home. Why doesn’t he ever do that for me? Well frankly because he often just doesn’t think of it. I’ve come to accept his love in the form he feels most comfortable showing it and he tries to bring me home a chocolate bar every once in awhile. Win-win!
The assumption that it WON’T EVER GET BETTER:
Every marriage has it’s seasons of ups and downs. Many couples eventually hit of point of what have we done? Can I really spent the rest of my life with this person? In the thick of difficult times it’s very difficult to assume things will ever be different. I’ve been there. What helps me through is choosing to love when I feel like just giving up. It’s seeking help from an outside source to talk through things we can’t on our own. Sometimes it’s just putting one foot in front of the other every day and not giving up. The fog always clears, often much sooner than I anticipate and I wonder why I ever felt that way in the first place.
There are many things about marriage that are frustrating, hurtful, and disappointing. The person you thought you married is more likely a pile of expectations you’ve staked your future on than a living, breathing imperfect human being. No one is perfect, including you. The more you can accept and love your spouse for who they are, the more likely your spouse is to return the favor.
What do you think? What assumptions did you go into marriage believing to be true? How did you handle it when it didn’t go as planned?
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The Good Enuf Mommy