Monday, December 9, 2013 – Day 27: Love Encourages
When we get married, we go into it expecting our spouse to be able to fulfill all of our hopes and to provide us with happiness. Yet this is something impossible. Our expectations will only lead to disappointment. The higher our expectations, the more frustration we cause ourselves and the more our spouse will fail us. If we live this way, we will constantly be disappointed. If we are able to realize that our spouses our human and aren’t able to always meet our expectations, we will be much happier.
We need to learn to make a choice to live our lives by encouragement instead of being driven by unrealistic expectations. We need to learn to focus on our own responsibility and improving ourselves versus demanding more from our spouse. Does your spouse feel as if they are not meeting your expectations? Do they sense your disapproval of them and their actions, more than they do your acceptance of them? You may rationalize that the problem isn’t with you but with your spouse. While your spouse may view you as overly critical, you may think your concerns are valid and need to be addressed. It seems appropriate to point out genuine areas that problematic, right?
However, this is a very negative way of thinking. When it is evident to your spouse that you’re unhappy with them, there is no way they will feel motivated or uplifted. When your relationship started, you both made the effort to do everything in your power to please one another. Never in your wildest dreams would you have thought that you’d reach a point where you’d be so critical and able to detect so many faults and problems with your spouse.
When reality sets in and your realize that your picture-perfect idea of your spouse is not quite pratical, it can be frustrating and easy to take out on them. But instead of this making them want to take the initiative to correct things, it pushes them away or gets them more deeply rooted in their ways. Even if you’re the type of person to be demanding of yourself, it is unfair to place those standards on your spouse. The Love Dare compared marriage as “a unique friendship designed by God himself where two people live together in flawed imperfection, yet deal with it by encouraging and building, not by exhausting and belittling.”
Marriage should be a place where you can be free to express who you are in a non-judgmental environment. It requires both you and your spouse to create that type of environment. Being with you should be a source of happiness and a safe haven, not something that will exhaust them or leave them feeling broken down.
Dare for day 27:
Day 27 down, 13 to go!