It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!
Today I want to talk to you about fantasies and unrealistic expectations.
First, a demonstration. A while back Old Spice decided to make the ultimate commercial. They surveyed women about their romantic fantasies, and tried to include all the important ones in this. Just watch it. It’s hilarious:
Stopped laughing yet? So let’s start by talking about romance. Romantic love started to be idolized in The Middle Ages–although the romance talked about was usually a forbidden one. Arranged marriages, or marriages of convenience, were the norm, so that romantic love was usually felt for someone other than one’s spouse, even if it was never acted upon. Sonnets were written, letters were composed, and romance was in the air.
It wasn’t really until the nineteenth century in Western society where marriages were assumed to be based primarily on love (and were seen as somewhat illegitimate if they were based on other considerations). And once marriage was based on love, love became the ideal. Marriages would fulfill all our romantic dreams, and novels and literature began to reflect that.
It’s strange for us, in this day, to think of marriage as anything different, but throughout history most marriages took place between people who were often barely acquainted–or who were all too acquainted (either they were cousins or close family friends). Either way, there was little choice. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that God commanded husbands, through the apostle Paul, to love their wives. It didn’t always come naturally.
Do you realize what a luxury we have to actually marry for love? Most of our ancestors did not, but we got to choose our mate. But with that luxury comes a hidden sword: because we marry for love, we assume that the person will always meet our romantic fantasies. And when they don’t, we start blaming the person, rather than the fantasy. Marriage is supposed to bring us amazing love and romance, and if it doesn’t, it must be the other person’s fault.
Ladies, we want to preserve that love, we had better let go of the fantasy. Don’t compare your husband to some romantic pie-in-the-sky version of himself, or he will always fail. Instead, cherish him for who he is. If you’re starting to compare him to some fantasy, turn off the fantasy. Throw away the Harlequin romances or Nora Roberts books. Stop watching soap operas. Be careful of movies. Fill your mind with the good things about your husband, not some ideal of a romantic guy that doesn’t exist, no matter how much we think he should.
No guy is going to buy you a ton of diamonds, take you on a yacht, or ride a white horse. It ain’t going to happen. Let go of it. Ask yourself instead, “what can you be grateful for about your husband?”
Maybe the fantasy you’re holding onto, though, isn’t that outrageous. It doesn’t revolve around diamonds or horses; it’s something simple, like having him talk to you once in a while, or give you a hug when he comes home from work, or look up from the computer every now and then to tell you that he loves you. Life has become really difficult in your house because you feel very unloved.
What do you do then? Take it to God. Lay it at His feet. Ask him to make you into the woman that God wants you to be. Ask Him to help you reflect Jesus in your house (and sometimes that means developing more of a backbone!). Above all, ask Him to start meeting your deep needs for contentment and attachment.
Remember that throughout history most women did not have husbands who could fulfill their relationship needs. Many girls married at 16 to men who were 2 or 3 times their senior. What you are going through is not something unique, and the answer isn’t something unique, either. Run to God. I do believe that when we start getting our peace from God, we become different people. And as we start to reflect Him more, and radiate peace more, our marriages will change for the better anyway.
I know it’s hard, but it really is the only route open to you. Nagging doesn’t work, fantasizing doesn’t work, and studies show that leaving doesn’t make you happier (unless we’re talking abuse or addiction). God, though, is always there.
Now, what advice do you have for us today? Have you ever had to confront your fantasies and throw them aside? How did you do it? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!