What Do You Expect of Your Marriage? #1
Several common expectations were shattered on the rocks of reality for Randall and Kim. Perhaps the first was that of perpetual happiness. Before they married just the thought of the other could make Randall or Kim smile with delight. Ten years into the marriage the thought of their partner was often accompanied by some duty they were expected to fulfill. "Kim is going to ask if I fixed the lock on the door" or "Randall is going to want his dinner ready when he gets home." Both reflections came with an awareness that their role as husband or wife was laden with responsibility.
Another expectation that went through some serious revision was the whole concept of love. Prior to the marriage Randall and Kim thought of love as something they felt. The good looks, welcoming smile, and kind speech of their partner sparked immense joy inside, a feeling they described as love. That feeling was tested severely in time when neither found their needs being met as they envisioned they would be. Only much later did they realize that love has little to do with feeling and more to do with commitment to another person, commitment to be loyal, to honor and to serve
Randall and Kim also found that the carefree time they spent in each other’s company before marriage was soon replaced with the demands of house repairs, kids homework, and having to work overtime for extra money. This often left them sapped of time, energy and interest. Their carefree time now was spending a couple of hours watching tv after the children went to sleep.
Disappointment and disillusionment followed their shattered expectations, and in their private thoughts both Randall and Kim wondered about the whole purpose of marriage. Where was the endless bliss they were promised? Where was the happiness, the sense of being valued and esteemed by their partner? Those emotions that carried them into their marriage evaporated shortly after.
Fortunately, Randall and Kim did not allow the despair to spiral downward to divorce. Even when it was tough, they honored the vows and hung in there, eventually discovering that marriage, even with its shattered expectations, provided them with much more than either imagined when they walked the aisle. They learned that the trials and hardships were actually blessings that cleared their minds of selfish, unrealistic expectations, and freed them to develop the necessary character to enjoy the genuine companionship and contentment they now find in each other.
How is your journey going toward companionship and contentment?