Expectations and point of view

Our expectations are deeply rooted in our point of view. The more different two people’s points of view, the less likely they are to agree on what are reasonable versus unreasonable expectations.

Additionally, we each know all the details of our lives, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes, how our day was, how stressed, tried, or depressed we are. However, we can’t possibly have as good a handle on all those aspects of someone else’s life. What’s more, it’s human nature to put more value on our desires and preferences than the desires and preferences of others. We also tend to excuse more due to our problems and weaknesses than on we do for the problems and weaknesses of others. Therefore, even if we make a very honest effort, we end up with a skewed view – we see our expectations are more valid than others will see them, and we see others expectations as less valid than they see them.

If you and your bride can both accept this truth, that your self-interest and yourself awareness colour your expectations, things will go much better. When there is a difference about reasonable expectations, it’s very unlikely that one of you is right and the other is wrong. Usually what is reasonable is not what either of you thinks. Reasonable might be somewhere between your views, or something completely different.

Success on this takes a team effort, working together to find what is reasonable for your marriage at this point in time. Share your motivations, fears, and desires and encourage her to do the same. As you each understand the other better, you should each start to see things differently.

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