Marriage Makeover – Day 6

Aligning Expectations and Reality

All stress and frustration begins in the gap between expectation and reality. Watch today’s video to find out what I mean! When you finish, take a moment to answer the following questions, along with your spouse, so you can discover what each of you expect from each other and from life. When you finish, discuss how you let go of some expectations so you can find more common ground.

  1. What do you expect from your spouse regarding emotional support during exciting times, sad times, periods of illness and job loss?
  2. What do you expect in terms of time alone to catch up with each other and have fun?
  3. How much alone time do you expect each of you will need?
  4. How much time do you expect each of you should spend with friends separately and together?
  5. How much time is appropriate to give to work?
  6. How much time does each of you need to spend with your parents and how much do you expect your partner to join you?
  7. Are you both comfortable with the salary differential between you?
  8. What kinds of philosophies did your parents have about child raising and do you agree or disagree?
  9. What kinds of punishment are appropriate or not appropriate?
  10. What kinds of expectations do you each have about money spent on toys, clothes, etc?
  11. Who should pay the bills?
  12. What amount of debt is acceptable?
  13. How do you plan to spend holidays?
  14. What kind of support do you expect from your partner when the parents are putting pressure on you?
  15. Is it OK for either of you to talk with parents about the problems of the relationship?
  16. What kind of relationship do you expect your kids to have with your parents?
  17. Do you anticipate that you will ever want a parent to live with the two of you when you grow old?
  18. What did your parents model for you concerning who did what in the family? Did you feel that was fair and do you expect something different?
  19. Does each of you have some preferences that might be unrelated to gender?
  20. How will you deal with household or yard maintenance? How will you divvy up these responsibilities or hire someone?
  21. When the children get sick, who should stays home with them?
  22. How often do you want to enjoy physical intimacy with each other?
  23. How do you intend to resolve differences in sexual preferences?
  24. How will you resolve heated conflicts?
  25. What can you learn about how your partner likes to deal with conflict based on their experience in their family of origin?
  26. What feels comfortable to each of you, as your partner gets upset?
  27. Can either of you ask for a time out to calm down and be creative in your problem-solving?
  28. What rituals will you develop to reach out to each other after a big fight?
  29. What does spirituality mean to each of you?
  30. What kind of participation do you expect in each other in some form of spiritual community?
    (adapted from


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