Usually, Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Mel and Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. But Phil was away this week, so Pastor Sabrina Peters stepped in! Sabrina also has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. She loves to share her expertise on marriage, families and the expectation gap.
Have you ever bought something online, and been so excited for it to arrive. But when it does, you realise it’s nothing like how you expected. It’s to short, the wrong colour, or just doesn’t fit? There’s a popular saying: “disappointment sets in when expectations aren’t met.” Sometimes, the disappointment and frustration we experience in marriage is because our expectations are out of order. They can be unrealistic, distorted, or downright unreasonable.
So what can we do about expectation gap?
Become aware of our expectations and get rid of the wrong ones
to do this, there’s some important questions to ask yourself:
- What do I expect from my spouse, and is it realistic?
- What should marriage look like – what is it based on? Is it biblical, is it healthy, is it beneficial?
- Am I experiencing disappointment in my marriage simply because I’m expecting marriage to be something it’s not meant to be?
Recognise the purpose of marriage
Importantly, you need to have a fundamental conviction of what marriage is. Marriage complements our lives, rather than fulfilling and completing them. It’s not each other’s jobs to keep each other happy. It’s our own responsibility to find happiness and fulfillment. As Sabrina’s husband so wisely put it:
“A bucket with a hole in it is still going to leak, no matter how much water you put into it”
If you go into marriage expecting the other person to fulfill you, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. No matter how beautiful, charming or thoughtful your spouse is, it’s impossible for them to keep you happy all the time and the truth is – it’s not their job to. Of course your spouse provides solace, support, friendship, love and affection. But ultimately, you still have to make sure your worth, happiness and purpose is not tied up in your partner.
Realise that marriage takes energy and effort
There’s a great saying from Sydney J Harris that Sabrina puts in nearly every wedding card she writes:
“Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he is automatically deserving of success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage”
Marriage isn’t easy, but anything that’s worth it usually isn’t. It takes work, but it’s 100% worth it.
For all of Sabrina’s wisdom on expectation gap, check out the podcast: