Expectations in Marriage

I am away playing on the beach with a bunch of amazing young women from my ward! I asked one of my dear bloggy friends, Sharlee, to share something awesome with you guys and boy has she delivered! I can relate to her story in a lot of ways. It's definitely got me thinking about my husband's reaction when I ask him to plan a date night or big getaway.

Hello, everyone. I'm Sharlee and I used to be a blogger. Even thought I don't write on my own blog, I still enjoy writing for myself and certainly am thrilled to have a little space on Amberly's blog today! I used to love writing about my marriage and sharing the FEW things I've picked up in the past 3 1/2 years. Today I'd like to share a little something I've learned about expectations in marriage.

Believing in Something

For our first anniversary I tried to have us come up with a couples plan. You know how some couples alternate years for planning? I wanted to do this because I was trying to force my husband to plan an elaborate date.

As our anniversary date approached I asked my husband, "Should I plan something for our anniversary, or do you want to?"

His response was, "I've got it covered."

Well, I couldn't wait. My mind wandered with all sorts of guesses at what he had in store. A fancy hotel? A weekend away? A fancy dinner (this was before I learned I don't do fancy dinner)?

My mind went wild with possibilities.

As the day of our anniversary grew closer, I noticed that I wasn't being asked to pack any bags, there weren't any signs of any elaborate plans, but I still held onto the hope that maybe we were doing something spectacular.

And then the day came. We woke up just like any normal day. He didn't say anything about plans, but I just kept waiting. Waiting for some big reveal.

Finally, after a few hours, I just came out and asked, "What exactly did you have planned for today?"

"I don't know really. I thought we could just do something."

"Seriously. That's what you planned for our first anniversary. Something?" I was hurt and irritated.

"I've got something planned for dinner, but I didn't plan anything before that. I'm sorry."

I was definitely disappointed, but I still held onto hope that dinner plans were something a little more elaborate. Something thoughtful and celebratory.

We made the most of the day and started an anniversary tradition of forgoing gifts and instead buying something that we could use that year as a couple. Later that day, I asked if I needed to change for dinner.

My husband's response, "Nope. I don't think so."

"Can you tell me where we're going?"

"We're going to the Boise Fry Company."

Again, "Seriously?!? For our anniversary?!"

I was more than upset. Holding back tears, we headed that way for my much anticipated meal. By the time we got there the place was closed. "You didn't even look at the hours to know?!"

I was pissed, upset, and our anniversary felt like a big huge flop. I threw a mild tantrum in the car, provided Zach with a fifteen minute lecture about how he would "owe me," and we headed home. On the way we stopped for a take and bake pizza and frozen yogurt.

Once I readjusted my plans for the night and settled on a quiet night in with pizza, I started to calm down. I was ready to have rational thoughts and a rational conversation.

I think that both of us were understandably upset by the events of the date. Zach because I was so unhappy and me because Zach didn't put much thought into it.

As we talked, he explained he thought the fry place would be fun because I love sweet potato fries and he thought maybe I could try some other varieties of fries.

I actually felt bad that I had been so ungrateful for the effort that he did put forth. I know Zach isn't a planner. Thinking ahead isn't really his greatest strength. I knew that when I married him. I don't know why I suddenly expected him to change once a ring was on his finger.

And that's when it hit me. We both had two totally different expectations of what a special occasion should look like. While I like the grandeur of a big celebration, Zach's satisfied with just about anything.

We both agree that anything goes as long as we're together, but I still like a big deal. I just do.

We have different expectations. Once I realized that, I realized that maybe it's not fair to expect things from my husband that are not part of who he is without at least communicating with him about that. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important to make an effort in the things that are important for your spouse, and Zach does. But it honestly made it a lot easier when I realized that. If I want a big deal, then I need to communicate that and see if I can help make it a big deal.

How do you deal with communicating expectations in a marriage? I would love to hear about it.