One main reason Marriage Expectations catches couples off guard is that the “healthy” response to marriage expectations is not readily obvious. It is usually not difficult to discern the healthy response to an item such as “I can share my true feelings with my partner.” But many responses to the question of Marriage Expectations sound good on the surface, while the underlying message reveals a potentially problematic assumption.
The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations
While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.
- 6. Anticipate a Surprise
Anyone planning to give feedback to a premarital of married couple should realise that the discussion on Marriage Expectations may be a surprise to the couple.
Keeping the focus on the relationship and on improvement is vital, and focus on getting better, rather than being good and appreciating that change is inevitable. Through enhanced awareness of self and their partner and through careful exploration of issues, couples can develop and improve skills to deal with those issues.
Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:
“My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”
Tune in next week for more interesting ideas and tips.
Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D.
References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.
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