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iMarriage 1 – Keeping My Ion You {Andy Stanley}

INTRODUCTION

Marriage. Everybody’s is different. Every marriage contains a unique blend of personalities, a unique history, a unique set of circumstances, a unique set of problems, and a unique set of joys. Despite the fact that every marriage is different, there are certain aspects of marriage that affect us all in the same way. There are some universal constants wired into us as people and into the nature of relationships. One of these universals is the power of expectations. As we’ll see in this session, understanding how expectations work will have a huge effect on the relationship between you and your spouse.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • 1.

    How have the following affected your expectations going into marriage? With each, have you tried to copy or avoid this picture of marriage?

    • a.

      What you have seen on TV

    • b.

      What you have read in books or magazines

    • c.

      What you have seen in other homes

    • d.

      What it was like in your home

  • 2.

    Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t measure up—that you just couldn’t meet the expectations you felt were placed upon you? Maybe this occurred with your parents, your spouse, your boss or someone else. How did this affect the relationship?

  • 3.

    When expectations collide, which of the following reactions describes you?

    • a.

      You leave (you distance yourself from your spouse)

    • b.

      You conquer (you try to change your spouse)

    • c.

      You conform (you try to be like your spouse)

    • d.

      You compromise (you try to work it out so that you both “win”)

  • 4.

    What are the downsides to each of these reactions?

  • 5.

    We tend to think of compromise as the best of these approaches; however, compromise stems from a commitment to marriage rather than a commitment to our partner. Compromise is really another way to be committed to “I” because I want MY MARRIAGE to work out. Have you seen this dynamic in your marriage?

  • 6.

    Expectations create a Debt/Debtor relationship in marriage. It becomes about what your spouse “owes” you. What do you feel like your spouse owes you?

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