While we should never assume anything, assumptions in marriage are especially dangerous. Assuming is a game of chance, sometimes we’re right and very often we are wrong. Somehow the minuscule times we are right have eclipsed the reality of marriage, creating a distorted understanding of what we should expect. Presuming he will bring you flowers every time you argue or that she will have the laundry put away the same day it’s washed are way off par (if I’m being honest it usually takes me 2 days to finally put away all the laundry). Presuming without verifying is a marital trap, and created through precedence set by airbrushed relationships. You know the ones I’m talking about (and you probably have a person pictured in your head now), the couple that portrays perfection, model marriage. No matter how you filter your Instagram, angle your camera, stage that perfect laughter, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Just because it looks good, doesn’t make it true, and unfortunately we fall prey to believing that life exists.
Belief that a perfect marriage exists gives husbands and wives un-achievable standards, and unrealistic expectations. “George cleaned the house for Betsy while she was shopping, so Clay should be doing that too”. Well, first off congrats Betsy because you have a gem right there, but I can’t assume my husband will be just like George. (I made these lovely people up by the way). Clay has his own unique strengths and weaknesses in marriage, as does your husband or wife. “I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this” Psalm 139:13-14.We are each uniquely different and our marriages our incomparable. Presuming perfection or having unrealistic expectations are an instant recipe for a great deal of disappoint.
5 Things You Should Never Assume in Marriage
1. You can change your spouse
Don’t assume that you can train or change your spouse. If he has bad habits when you choose to marry him, he may always have those bad habits! Don’t marry the man you HOPE he will become, marry the man he IS. His clothes may never make it to the hamper, his smoking habit may never stop and his selfishness may never go away. Believing that you can make those changes after you marry him is setting your marriage up for one obstacle after another.
2. You are always on the same page
Clay and I are often so in sync we don’t need to say a word to know what the other is thinking… but that’s not always the case. Assuming you are on the same page is a foundation for communication failure. “I thought”|”You thought” can become a battle over even the simplest of things. Even the tone of voice can be misinterpreted and cause friction. You can NEVER over communicate, and though it may be obnoxious to verbalize everything, it’s better than a needless argument.
3. They will always put you first
I cringe during wedding vows when one exchanges the promise to “always put you first”. While the intention is admirable, that promise is entirely unrealistic. How often do we put ourselves first without even considering that we’re guilty of it? Probably 97.13% of the time, if we are being truthful. Though the idea of always putting Clay first is my goal, I know (and he knows) that it won’t always happen. And that’s where grace comes into play.
4. They are perfect
They’re not, you’re not. Your Facebook friends aren’t. Marriages consist of 2 imperfect people, and to think we can take 2 wrongs and make 1 right is entirely illogical. If we can’t assume that our spouse will always put us first, then we also need to recognize that our spouse is NOT PERFECT. They will disappoint, they will discourage, they will eat all of the chocolate chip cookies. Never assume your spouse will be flawless, because that will make the reality of disappointment sting much worse. Ease your pain by demonstrating grace (there’s that word again!) towards them, letting them know you don’t expect them to be able to do everything without fail.
5. Your relationship will never change
There are good years and bad years and all the years in between. Some days loving is an easy feeling while on other days love is a choice. Grace my friend. Relationships are always changing and what makes marriage set apart from all the rest is the commitment to stay with one another no matter how easy or hard loving that day/ month/ year/ decade/
century is. All relationships change. Think of your friendships over the years. If friendships change, what exempts a life long commitment from changing? In only 2 years of marriage Clay and I’s relationship has changed drastically. I can’t imagine how much more it will grow over the next 150 years ♥ (wishful thinking? Eh, call it what you will).
Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.“
God doesn’t anticipate our marriages to be perfect, and we can’t assume they will be. We need to stop setting unachievable standards, quit assuming and start loving day by day, for now and the next 150 years.