Identifying Expectations

The Task and The Process

Many of us have had the experience of spending time thinking of those things we want to accomplish during the day and twenty minutes later our mental list shrinks by half since our memory fails us. It is not that everything on our original list wasn’t important it is just that our minds are so full of, ”To Do’s” that we become distracted by other internal thoughts or external tasks. After a while we learn that to keep on top of what we want to accomplish is by making lists.. This is the task at hand as we approach identifying our expectations in a relationship and of our marriage.

You will find in this brochure two lists of expectations, one entitled, ”My Expectations”, and the other, ”Additional Expectations To Consider”. I have included these lists as a way of getting you to think about and examine your own expectations of what you want and need from a man who could be your husband and a woman who could be your wife and your marriage. Of course, the man/husband and the woman/wife are the two of you and as I wrote in the introduction you are already fulfilling certain expectations for one another otherwise you would not be at this point of your relationship, getting married. But there are undoubtedly other expectations that this program is designed to have you discover that you have not thought of, but none the less are important enough to consider discussing with your future spouse.

While I have tried to make these two lists of expectations as comprehensive as possible you might find that there are some you have that are not on these lists but are of particular importance to you. Also, know that some of these expectations might not have any importance or meaning to you at all – if that is the case just proceed to examine others that might be a part of your personal needs and wants. Yet I urge you to think about each one to see if it could be important for you to have.

As you identify the expectations that are meaningful to you and that you want your future wife or husband to commit themselves to, it is important that you write them down, making a physical list so you will not forget them. Making your list of expectations should be out of the eyesight of the other person to maintain some objectivity for the task. The first time you should see or hear about them is when we meet together to dialogue. At our first meeting I will give you suggestions how to proceed in sharing and processing your expectations, as well as how you can determine what the outcome might be as you complete the dialog of each item.

It is important to understand that there are no expectations that you should not consider having. Albeit, this will give you an opportunity to do some reality testing about your needs and wants and if there is something that you expect then it should be aired. By the same token there might be some items that are highly personal and intimate; they too should be written down on your list of expectations and should be discussed. If you have some hesitation about sharing them with anyone other than with your partner you will have an opportunity to do so in the privacy of your own space. In the course of developing your expectation list remember all of us have a hundred percent right to ask for what we want – unfortunately we do not have a hundred percent right to get it. Yet, if we do not ask we will never know if there is any possibility of getting all or part of our desires.

Earlier I wrote that I wanted you to make your list of expectations out of the eyesight of the other person. To this end I have enclosed with this brochure an extra set of, “My Expectations” and “Areas of Expectations I Must Have”, so that in writing down your own list you will not have to look over the shoulder of the other person to share only one set of lists. I also urge you to use your own words to express your expectations on a separate piece of paper not the paper that the supplied lists come on. That is, your expectations should be in your own words. By the way, if you are wondering if there is any specific number of expectation you should have – there is not, you can have ten or twenty or two-hundred it is your list and your personal wants and needs. Furthermore, each of you should do this on your own time in whatever time it takes but if you choose to participate in the task both of you should commit yourselves to finishing it because if one chooses not to finish you risk disappointing your partner. I have no particular time frame in which I expect you to complete the task. When you have finished we will then make an appointment to meet to begin the dialogue. The first session should last no more than an hour and a half. If we need to meet again I am available for that as well and perhaps more meetings until you are satisfied that you have completed sharing the expectations that need to be considered. When we have completed the task you will have the skill to use this technique in your marriage to facilitate communicating your needs to one another in a very easy, non-threatening manner.

I look forward to meeting with you in the near future to share this program.