Expectations of Our Husbands

Have you ever been disappointed in your husband?  I have.  I don’t think there is a wife since the beginning of time that hasn’t had similar thoughts run through her mind. The truth is our husbands are going to fall short.  Some days they are going to shine like the sun and other days you are going to feel like you need an umbrella.  It may be a marriage made in heaven but it involves imperfect people who live in an imperfect world.


The words above were written in January of 1998.  I was teaching a mentoring class called TWiG (Teach What Is Good) at Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ which was created to bring the older woman and the younger woman together (Titus 2:3-5).  I had an opportunity to share one of the lessons with a MOPs group earlier this year and then posted the content on Deliciously Inspired.  In case you’d like to read – What Kind of Mom Will Your Kids Remember?

I am now the older woman in the Titus scenario but I still find myself after 36 years of marriage needing to be reminded of what was written so many years ago.  When TWiG was created I remember purposely keeping the i as lower case to remind me of God and my relationship – there are times I can get a little too big for my britches. I wonder if anyone else gets mixed up about that occasionally?


Author Carol Kent in her book “Secret Longings of the Heart,” states “We all come into marriage with a hope chest full of expectations.” It’s interesting to look at the word “expectation.”  According to Webster’s it is something to look forward to, something that is considered reasonable, due or necessary and these two words:  wait and stay.

As little girls we begin to dream of the time we will meet the man of our dreams and build a home and family.  Somehow through the process, we can take the dream from fantasy and start believing it is reality. expecting our husbands to meet our needs for security, happiness, comfort, understanding and the list goes on.  Sounds like a pretty tall list for a human being.  I sure wouldn’t appreciate the same expectations of me.

There are things we should expect from our husbands –  to be physically and emotionally safe, respected, faithful and loved and cared for (remembering he will have his own way of expressing this).  Communication is key.  Not just the spoken word but how it is conveyed. One of the greatest gifts we can give to our partner is the freedom “to be.”  To be all God has designed them to be.  That means we lovingly encourage them to grow in areas they struggle in and we are thankful for their uniqueness.  Study your husband.  How does he process information, what things make him feel loved, anxious, comfortable?  Now ask yourself what things make you feel loved, anxious, and comfortable?  Quess what?  They may not be the same.   More on this subject can be found in The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

On the other hand, unhealthy expectations can be damaging leading to disappointment, anger and bitterness.  We cannot change our husbands.   That is God’s work.  But we can pray for them and just as importantly ask God to change us.  Change us in how we relate to situations within our marriage.  If you are a person that demands much of yourself, it is likely you have high expectations of your husband.  We must be careful that the expectations we express are not so high that they feel there is no reason to try.

You may say:  “I just want to be treated in the same manner I treat him.”  WARNING:   If you are doing things for your husband motivated by wanting something in return, you are not acting out of love.  Ist Corinthians 13:4-7 gives a list of guidelines regarding God’s love.  It is the model we are to follow.  

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

But what if your expectation is acceptable; it all lines up with the guidelines in 1st Corinthians?  Remember that expectation can also mean to wait. Most of us would choose moving over waiting any day.  But there are some things that are worth waiting for.  There are blessings, strengths and yes, even joys that cannot be attained without waiting.  Because waiting is a college degree in Faith.  I don’t think there is a successful marriage that has not endured hard times. If you are being called to wait, wait in eager expectation, put your hope in God’s plan and take courage in the fact that Our Father holds your hand.  Make an effort to focus on what is right in your marriage. Cling to God promise in Proverbs 23:18  “There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.”

There are other times when God points out to wives that there is more than one way to get to the same destination and our husbands are not the ones who needs redirection.  When we are confused, a solid plan of action is to hightail to God as fast as we can and ask him for his perspective.  

Keep in mind that we can be easily influenced.  Remain alert to the condition of your value system.  Is it a smooth wheel or has it become rather wobbling and warped lately?  Ask yourself, Are my expectations of my husband truly mine or are they influenced by family members, friends, TV, movies, or reading material?  There is much out there to confuse us and cloud our judgement regarding what our husbands should be providing.

In closing let us remember God alone will provide for our needs – not what we think we want, but our needs.  (Phil. 4:19  God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches.)

Expectations of Our Husbands – Quide Sheet

 1.  What are a few qualities you appreciate about your husband?  Have you told him lately?  Try to make it a point to praise your husband this week.

2.  Do you think accepting the limitations of our spouses can grow us in unconditional love? 

3. Is there anything that I’m expecting of my husband that is not reasonable or necessary? 

4.  Is there anything that I’m expecting of my husband that I am in a waiting mode?

C:  TWiG/’98 – Debbie Hallock

Saying - Marriage Box

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