The Silent Killer in Relationships: Unclear Expectations

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God –Philippians 4:6

Expectations are only valid when they have been mutually agreed upon – Peter Scazzero from the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Expectation: The act of expecting; Eager anticipation


We all have expectations from those we love right? We even have certain expectations from amusement parks, friends, restaurants, and movies. They play huge in our life; if the movie doesn’t exceed our expectation we become disappointed and feel like we wasted our money. What about the restaurant our friend told us about how delicious the food was, and once we ate there and it doesn’t meet or exceed our expectations we come back to our friend with a sad report. Where do we get these expectations from? Do they come from our parents or television shows or from friends? I would say a little bit of all the sources previously mentioned.

The down side to expectations is that they all differ from person to person and we figure since we are all human beings we should all like the same things. Like a one size fits all kind of deal. We might all enjoy a good movie but there are different genres of movies. Some might like comedy movies while others enjoy horror movies.

Expectations aren’t always a bad thing; it just becomes a difficult when they aren’t discussed in advance or there haven’t been any clarity between two people. This plays huge in marriage and relationships. The first question we should ask once a relationship starts to get serious is what are your expectations of me in this relationship?  Now this is where the rubber meets the road because both parties should now have a mutual agreement to see if those expectations are realistic and applicable.

The good side to expectations is they should hold us accountable to our significant other or spouse. Unfortunately the things we take for granted and making assumptions of what others should be doing can become a dangerous thing. The bullet points listed sounds elementary but you can never be sure enough. We assume:

-He supposed to work every day. Did you discuss that with him during the dating process?

-She’s supposed to stay a certain size for the rest of her life. Did you discuss this with her and your expectation?

-He supposed to be the spiritual head of our home. Did you discuss this with him?

-She supposed to support all my sexual needs. Was this discussed?

-He supposed to put my needs before his. Was this discussed?

-He supposed to be there for his children. Was this discussed?

-She supposed to cook and clean. Was this discussed?

Make sure to discuss expectations before any relationship get serious. You owe it to each other.


Shon Hyneman

Single Father, Mentor, Blogger. The author of 5 books and founder of Never Again Ministries, a place where we can walk through life together. Shon also hosts of The Doctor of Love Show Podcast where he discusses real topics on relationships in a spiritual and practical way so you can apply it to your everyday life. You can subscribe to The Doctor of Love Show Podcast on Stitcher, iTunes, iHeartRadio and Google Play