Relating to the opposite sex
Romance and affection
Spiritual growth together
Roles of husband and wife
Values and lifestyle choices
Trials and suffering
Where to attend church
Differences (including male/female, backgrounds, religious training, regional)
Traditions (how to handle holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations)
Work and Career
Roles of mother and father
Most couples face common challenges in marriage. If you don't discuss and resolve the differences between you and your spouse, you're headed for rough marital waters. In our book, Starting Your Marriage Right, we outline four ways to resolve "great expectations."
1. When you married, you began a lifelong commitment to love and forgiveness. Remain committed. Love always. Remember, "love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
2. Your marriage won't grow without communication and understanding.
Communication means talking and active listening. You'll know you understand your spouse when you can verbally express your mate's actual needs and desires and he or she agrees with that expression. Communication is vital to clarifying your needs. The Bible urges husbands to "live with their wives in an understanding way."(1 Peter 3:7) Guys, that means you have to seek to understand. Ladies, that means you have to help him understand you.
3. You've heard the old saying, "walk a mile in my shoes."
In order to develop God's perspective of your mate, you may need to do just that. Remember, God selected your spouse for you. Accept His provision, knowing that He has an agenda for your life through unmet expectations.
4. Don't give up on your dreams. All of the things you imagined your marriage to be may not come true. God may have a new dream for you to live together. Talk about your dreams. Then dream together.