What I’ve Learned In Marriage-19—Part of the reason why our hopes are disappointed, aside from placing them in the wrong thing, is because we have unrealistic expectations. I have seen many marriages where one spouse expects the other to fulfill every need they have.
That is unfair because every spouse is human, which means that they are imperfect and have limitations. We need to realize that our spouse can only give us so much, and to have grace when our needs or expectations are not met. Of course, we need to express our expectations to our spouse, because it is also unfair to expect something when they have no idea.
But the first place we should go for fulfillment is God. That is part of what placing God first, and having a Christ-centered marriage means. Because God is not human, limited, or imperfect He can provide everything we need. If we are fulfilled in Him, then our spouse will get our preferences instead of our needs and will have less pressure and an easier time meeting them.
Even with the things that should be fulfilled by our spouse, we need to have grace. We need to communicate our expectations gently and reasonably and then have patience. Accept the fact that life will never be perfect. Accept the fact that you are both sinners and imperfect. Be willing to let go of the mistakes, the botched dates, the forgotten birthdays, and do better next time. Demanding perfection is unjust and selfish, both of which are ungodly traits.
If your spouse doesn’t meet the needs that they should be fulfilling (i.e. intimacy), go to God, not only for fulfillment, but let Him know of your need, trust Him to work on your spouse, and hope in HIM and not the outcome. Let God take care of it in the way He sees fit. God knows even better than you how to fulfill your needs and desires, wouldn’t He be the best one to take them to? He can work on your spouse much more effectively than you can.
Be careful how much you let unmet expectations get to you. They are great opportunities for being offended which easily leads to resentment and bitterness. Rather than stewing on the problem or trying to take out your hurt on your spouse, gently and honestly express your hurt to your spouse and then let it go. Forgiveness is a requirement that God gives us regardless of what the other person does. Again, let God take care of it. As I have said in other posts, forgiveness is vital not only for a healthy marriage but also for a healthy relationship with God.
Psalm 37:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 55:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.