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Surrendering crushing expectations

October 21, 2013

Here’s a great idea…
In their book, The Marriage Garden, Wally Goddard and James Marshall say,
“It’s impossible and unhealthy to expect a marriage to be the only source of everything we require for ultimate survival and happiness. In the case of marriage, there’s no way our beloved wives or husbands can or should be responsible for every one of our wants, needs, pleasures, satisfactions, connections, and identity in the universe. The institution of marriage is groaning under such crushing expectations.” (p. 25)

In other words…
It is natural that we will sometimes become upset with our partners because they are not meeting all of our needs. Yet this is an unfair expectation. All of us have a variety of social needs that can only be met by a variety of people; no one person can meet them all. We need a network of supporting family, friends, and coworkers, in addition to our beloved spouses. When we expect our partners to meet all our needs, the only result will be disappointment and heartache for all.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
The next time you feel irritated with your partner, ask yourself if you are expecting him or her to do things for you that are unreasonable. Maybe you should appreciate the unique contributions your partner makes to your life while recognizing your own responsibility to surrender some expectations and meet some of your needs through hobbies, friends, etc.

To find out more…
about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read The Marriage Garden book.

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