Before anyone gets married they enter into a relationship with certain desires. These desires can differ depending on the individual’s upbringing, background, roles their parents played, experience or preference. Regardless, everyone naturally acquires them.
First let me say, people can have bad desires and those need to be filtered out by using scripture as its guide. In this blog, I am more referring to good desires that can become harmful.
4 Consequences of Letting Our Desires Become Expectations
1. Develops the “you owe me” mentality– This is when we move from wanting something to expecting it. For example, say our desire was for the wife to be romanced by her husband. When this is formed into an expectation almost anything the husband does is not be good enough. Expectations create a performance bar that is hard to meet. The wife would get upset when her husband does not romance her and when he does she would view it as him just doing his duties.
2. Causes a self-centered relationship– Having a “you owe me” mentality is rooted from selfishness. Instead of wanting to serve the other person it becomes about what can you do for me? How can you do better for me? You owe it to me to cook me dinner because you are my wife and that is what you are supposed to do. If you have not noticed everything is about that person.
3. Loses gratitude for the other person– This leads to being ungrateful for the things your spouse does do for you. When you view the things they do as just their job and they owe you, then you lose all thankfulness. Rather than praising them and being genuinely appreciative for them and their actions, you just always want more from them.
4. Decreases intimacy– In the end, this is a fast way of eliminating intimacy from the relationship. This does not only refer to sexual intimacy, although that is a big part, but also emotional and spiritual as well. When you are ungrateful and always expecting more and more in order for your spouse to meet the bar of what they are expected to do, then you never feel satisfied with their performance.
The key mindset to aid you in overcoming destructive expectations is remembering marriage is not for you happiness, it is for your holiness. The overall goal of marriage is to bring glory to God and reflect on people how much he loves us.