Expectations are a reality in marriage. He has his, you have yours and if you say you don’t have expectations, well you're just plain lying.
It’s natural and normal to have expectations. I have plenty of expectations of my husband and he has plenty of me.
I expect him to remain faithful to me because that’s what he vowed to do.
I expect him to work in order to help pay our mortgage each month.
I expect him to let me know if something comes up last minute at work and we need to push our dinner reservations back.
Expectations aren’t innately good or bad, they’re not positive or negative but expectations can easily become negative and damaging to our relationships. During times of stress and frustration, expectations can cause tremendous conflict between both parties.
There are many areas where we have expectations in our marriage. Sex is no exception.
Let’s be honest here, he has his sexpectations and you have yours.
His may include having sex five out of the seven nights a week while yours may be that he helps you with the dishes and last load of laundry so you’re not too exhausted by the time you crawl into bed to even think about having sex.
If sexpectations are a reality in marriage, the real challenge is navigating them, especially when they don’t align with your spouses.
Here are 3 tips for navigating sexpectations
Be realistic about your expectations
This may seem like it should go without saying but holding your spouse to unrealistic expectations is common and easy to do. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had my moments where I held my husband to some incredibly unrealistic expectations.
Not only is it unfair, unkind and not loving to hold your spouse to unrealistic expectations but unrealistic expectations only lead to anger, conflict, disappointment, hurt and ultimately disconnection and resentment.
Be realistic about your sexpectations. Practically speaking, everyone’s life is different. You will experience different seasons of life and with those different seasons comes a different reality. You will go through seasons that include few responsibilities and commitments while other seasons include job changes, health challenges and having/raising children. You and your spouse will need to be realistic about your sexpectations in whatever season you are in. Creating realistic sexpectations will minimize the chances of sex becoming an area of anger, conflict, disappointment, hurt disconnection in your marriage,
2. Communicate your expectations
This may cause wildly uncomfortable moments, but it is vital that you communicate your sexpectations with your spouse. When you don’t communicate, you risk misunderstanding and misunderstanding can lead to unmet expectations.
It’s difficult enough to grapple with unmet expectations; and when those expectations are as personal as sex, you set yourself up for disappointment that can feel devastating.
Maybe you are incredibly reasonable and realistic but if you don’t communicate, you are setting yourself up for some serious disappointment.
3. Be willing to release your expectations
Sex is another area of marriage where you learn to be a healthy individual and simultaneously give yourself up for another. Your sexpectations will not always align. There will be times where you will need to release yours. It may be frustrating and it may feel unfair, but it is crucial to have the willingness to release your them.
Be realistic, communicate and be willing to release your expectations.
Navigating sexpectations may be tricky, uncomfortable and sometimes hard to talk about, but sex is too good of a gift to miss out on, it’s too good of a gift to throw away.