Do We Expect Too Much?

I will admit it: I have not been looking forward to packing up half of my house in order for our renovations to go ahead. I've dragged my feet and found other things to do and half hoped that it would all just happen by magic.

But a long weekend is upon us and it seemed the ideal opportunity to start moving furniture and belongings - not to mention to have a good ol' clean out.

One task that I'd been dreading was taking everything out of my china cabinet, moving it into the living room, and putting everything back into it again. It was too heavy to move with anything in it (it was almost too heavy to move empty) but it seemed such an irksome task to have to empty it out only to refill it a few moments later. But as I was packing the items back into the cabinet I realised that the next time that I do this will most likely be when I have my new kitchen and dining room. Suddenly it didn't seem like such an effort after all.

This task got me thinking about other things - namely relationships. It took a lot of hard work to move that cabinet from one room to another and the task wasn't a particularly enjoyable one, but by focusing on the end result the effort now seems worthwhile, and further down the track I'll be glad I did it (for example when demolishing begins and my china is all protected).

This is true too of marriage. It takes hard work. I don't think anyone will deny that. But the results are worth it.

There have been a number of long-term marriages and relationships breaking up around me and I've been asking myself lately, do we expect too much? Do we as women expect too much of a mere mortal?

It seems that there was a time when little girls grew up on fairy tales and dreams of knights on white horses, and then settled down contentedly with their less-than-perfect 'prince' and got on with the job of making a marriage work. They hoped that their man would be a good husband and provider and father and usually that was enough. He didn't have to be in tune with his feelings, or continually sensitive to her needs, or undemanding when it came to his own needs, or have super-model looks, or earn the highest salary around. He just had to provide, not beat her up, and be proud of his family. And for that she usually respected him.

But now it has changed. Or so it seems to me. We know that you need more than love (contrary to popular songs) to make a relationship work but do we want too much?

I wonder if the modern day habit of couples moving in together before marriage has contributed to high expectations. You would think it would work the other way - after all, they've discovered each other's faults and realise that they're only human - but there seems to be a trend that when the woman at least decides to marry she wants the man to be the best of everything - perhaps of several partners all rolled into one. It doesn't happen. No man is perfect and no man can fulfil all of a woman's expectations.

And furthermore, he's not meant to. My husband will never be able to think and feel like a woman simply because he's not a woman. He's never given birth or nursed a child, and even though he was present for such occasions, he will not have exactly the same feelings and experiences that I had. Nor will my husband ever be able to meet all my needs or fill the hunger in my soul - only God can do that.

What my husband can do - and does well - is provides, loves, protects, and leads. And that is enough. After all, even modern-day real-life princes are not perfect.


SchnauzerMom said…
I get the impression that people don't want to work at relationships anymore. It's too easy to break up and move on.
Jules said…
I think you're right but I've also noticed a trend where one or other expects their partner to fulfil all their needs. I guess what sparked this post was after an engaged friend voiced her doubts that she was doing the right thing by marrying. She and her fiance have been together for a number of years and are living together and yet she still has such thoughts. Knowing that when I was engaged such thoughts never crossed my mind, I started wondering if it is a modern day phenomenem that when couples marry they expect more of their partner than previous generations. I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well and my point obviously didn't come across in my post either.

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