Rabbi for Interfaith Weddings

WHAT ARE EXPECTATIONS?

Bride and Groom Getting Married During Ceremony

Expectations are defined as the needs, wants, and desires of nearly every situation and event we encounter in life. They include ones we are aware of and understand as well as unconscious and unspoken ones.  This includes both animate and inanimate objects.   We have had expectations of the world around us since birth just as we have expectations today yet not the same ones. What we expect from people and events in out lives now are not necessarily the same as yesterday, which is to say that many of our expectations change as we go through life.

In many ways our expectations have been influenced by the people around us our parents, our teachers, our religious institutions, the media and so forth. As we grow older many of the expectations of yesterday give way to new ones or altered ones that seem to suit our lives in the present.  In other words our expectations are in flux and change as our life’s situations change.

At this juncture of your lives, anticipating getting married you have expectations of one another as a husband or wife. Knowing or not each of you has expectations of marriage and of your future spouse.  These wants and needs of the other are not new,  though some might be more recent than others many of them predate the time when each of you ever met.  Interestingly enough whether you know this or not you are fulfilling certain expectations of one another already otherwise you would not be planning to get married at this time. In the main this Expectations Program  is an exercise in  communication, in revealing what your needs and wants are in your relationship from the mundane to the most intimate. It is tool for you to be able to reveal to one another your personal concepts of marriage, test them on the field of reality and receive responses, seeing where each of you can come together in fulfilling what you need and want from the other.  Of course you have done some of this already since both of you know how serious the step is that you are taking. Each of you in a real way is becoming responsible for another human being, the most precious of all God’s creation.

But you probably have not had such discussions about this responsibility and the expectations of your husband or wife in a formal, structured way. The more we know of each other’s expectations the greater the opportunity we have to see where we are able to help fulfill our partner’s wants and needs.  Unmet expectations, often unspoken and even unrecognized, create conflict for couples. Gaining awareness and understanding of the expectations of your partner might not eliminate conflict but will help you weather it. How well you are able fulfill these expectations will in some real way be a measure of the success of your relationship. With Rabbi Davis assisting you in your discussions you will come to see and feel how your love can become deeper and more fruitful.