DOVE NOTE #63: The Magic Pill

(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

Now this may be controversial, but I’m going to make the bold assertion that there are very few things more damaging to long term relationships than unspoken expectations (I call them The Ewwies as in, “The U.E’s”). These Ewwies come about when communication is relegated to an afterthought instead of a priority in the relationship.

So what could be worse, you ask?

Well, “worse” would be people erroneously assuming these unspoken expectations will somehow miraculously be met once they get married.  It’s almost as if they believe marriage is some Magic Pill that will communicate all of their hidden desires and make all of their relationship issues go away. Unfortunately, it’s a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

Just recently a friend told me that he’ll be getting married in six weeks. I’m sure he noticed my facial expression, which was an unmistakable combination of shock and concern mixed with that pain stricken face you make when you swallow something hard. I quickly caught myself and smiled. Although it certainly seems kind of rushed to me, I do realize it’s different for everyone. I mean, I’m all for marrying when the time is right. But to avoid the Ewwies I think it’s critical that some basic expectations are covered before walking down the aisle. So I just encouraged him to make sure he’s tackled some of the big topics with his soon-to-be wife, like:

  1. Children (how many, if at all)
  2. Child Rearing (spanking/discipline, education, and nutrition)
  3. Finances (separate or joint accounts, who pays what)
  4. Religion (Protestant, Jewish, Agnostic, Wiccan, Catholic?)

Disagreements in any of these critical areas can often become deal-breakers in a relationship. And failing to address them before marriage only serves to exacerbate the agony of the Ewwies. In the end, I’ve found that some of the best marriages are the ones with strong foundations built on effective communication… and successful avoidance of the Ewwies. 😉

Categories: Dove Note, marriage, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “DOVE NOTE #63: The Magic Pill

  1. You’re absolutely right. I think maybe the underlying reason for most marriage failures is that one or both of them had unrealistic expectations. They just assumed certain things would/would not happen.

    For one thing, people always seem to think their partner is responsible for making them happy. They aren’t.

    • Too true. I learned a long time ago that we are responsible for our own happiness. Putting that expectation on others only sets us up for disappointment.

  2. I agree with you!! I’ve been telling couples this for years! We CAN NOT expect anyone to meet all our needs and fulfill all our expectations! NOT possible! Some needs or wants, only God can fulfill. Some our friends can fulfill. Most we can fulfill. Which gives our spouse or SO a break. 🙂 And when we set up expectations (especially unrealistic ones) we will be disappointed and it’s tough on the relationship.

    I was just talking with a friend last night about this very subject. 🙂

    And communication is so important! 🙂

    HUGS and thanks, Riis, for sharing your wisdom and heart!

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