Letting Go of Unmet Expectations in Marriage

A lot of the time life can feel unfair. Part of this feeling comes from expectations being unmet. I certainly expected my present circumstances to be different. I thought I’d work before having a baby, that I’d be in my own home, that I’d live near my family and friends. However, that’s not how life turned out. At times I feel jaded, sad and to be honest angry. I want control of my life.

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with this idea of control over my life. It doesn’t seem fair at times that my expectations of my current reality are unmet. I want to call the shots and know where my future is headed.

Instead of trusting in God’s timing.

Instead of submitting to my husband’s leadership over our family.

Instead of dying to self daily. 

I don’t want to give more grace or forgiveness or understanding or kindness than is being shown to me in return. When as a Christ follower that is exactly what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to follow Jesus example and be kind and tenderhearted and forgiving to those who mock me or treat me wrong. Yet my flesh fights so hard against what I know the spirit wants me to do. Consequently, I often give into the flesh because it’s easy and I’m tired.

My dissatisfaction with certain aspects of my life spiral into a cycle of being miserable. If I’m not happy my thinking is why should the people around me be happy too (the people that I care about and love most). Therefore I’m going to complain, nag and not be as grateful as I should. In my sinful and selfish heart, I want to make it known how I feel.

The common thread here is “I”. Being that I’m married and it’s no longer just “I” but two people striving to be one, I can’t continue living my life through a single self-centred lense.

Yes, it’s not fair that I can’t sleep through the night because I have to feed our precious baby from my healthy and fully functional body. It’s also not fair that my husband has to shoulder all of the financial burdens of our family. I’m only giving one simple example of how our life together isn’t always fair in our share of duties, I could go on. Trust me I’m pretty good at keeping a list of how unequal our contributions are (at least that how it feels sometimes).

I always thought I’d be that wife that wouldn’t mind giving more than I’m getting in return. In reality, I’m actually pretty selfish and would rather be served than serve. At the core of dying to self is serving others. True service like Jesus demonstrated is done out of love without an expectation of receiving anything back in return. Often I want recognition, praise or a returned favour. To me, that’s fair-to give and then get. However, that’s not what I’m called to do.

Perhaps so much of my unsatisfaction which stems from unmet expectations could become obsolete if instead, I decided to truly serve without expectation. If I’m only living for the praise of men I’ll have received my reward here instead of a true reward from God.

Too often I’m focused on earthly things, the day to day minutiae instead of an eternal perspective. Where the annoyances that seem so monumental are less irrelevant than they seem and perhaps they are meant to sanctify me. If life was easy and fun and comfortable I wouldn’t need to change anything or question how I could improve. It’s beneficial to me in light of eternity and becoming more like Jesus to undergo unfavourable circumstances.

I want to resolve to have a changed perspective during 2018. I want to remember that “hard is not the same thing as bad”, to die to self as I serve my family and to live for the praise of my heavenly Father over the temporal praise of men.


Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galations 1:10

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galations 2:20

Letting Go of Unmet Expectations in Marriage | Courtney Kramer

Being Married Young is Hard Newlywed Reflections~Month 9

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Blogging is a platform to share one’s story. Over the past 9 months, I’ve been sharing snippets from my experiences as a newlywed. Although there have been a lot of wonderful times, the last few months as I’ve shared have been hard. At times I find it difficult to stay positive and feel hopeful for the future. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. It seems that for other people life is looking up, but for you, things almost seem to be getting worse.

Being Married Young is Hard

Over the last month, I’ve considered quitting school multiple times. I’ve worried about not graduating and not finding a job after I do. I’ve questioned whether university was the right choice. Whether I should have just done a two-year college program because I could have been working by now. Despite my doubts, I’m grateful for the privilege of my education and the knowledge, skills and life lessons I’ve gained along the way. At the moment though it’s not the easiest thing to handle. I’ve had some personal things come up and between trying to figure those out and stay on top of notes, assignments, readings, group projects and just attending class it’s been overwhelming. I’m constantly thinking about school and what I need to accomplish for my classes.

Honestly, I just feel like I’m in a season of being tested, refined and taught. It feels like God is showing me that I need to trust Him, that I need to depend on Him alone, that it’s okay to lament my sorrows and to be dead honest with Him.

No matter what I know that God is faithful. He has been faithful in the past and He will continue to be. I know that God is good. His mercies are new every morning. I know these things. Lately, I have been tested on how true they are to me. How much do I believe these things? I’m questioning why is this happening? I don’t want to give a Christian platitude. I don’t want the surface answer. Maybe sometimes we just have to sit in our sorrow.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Recently I have been reading 1 Samuel and learning SO much! One theme that has stood out from this book is that bad, unfair things happen to people who love God. Take for example David who was a man after God’s own heart. God specifically chose him as a young man to be the next King of Israel. Prior to that happening though he was relentlessly pursued by the current king. He lived in fear of his life and was constantly on the move. He suffered a lot, just take a look at some of the Psalms he wrote. Yet David never failed to stop living his life in a way that honoured and obeyed God. He was given an opportunity to kill his enemy but refused to because that man was God’s anointed. Overall David trusted that God in His timing would appoint David to be king. Reading 1 Samuel encourages me to remember that I’m not being punished, but sometimes we just go through more difficult seasons to learn a lesson before God unfolds a different season of life

David is also a great example that it’s okay to tell God your frustrations. If you’ve ever read Psalms a lot of passages express the frustration of one’s enemies and wanting God to provide vindication. The Psalms show that you don’t need to hold back how you’re feeling from God. Try reading some Psalms as you’re praying. God is not intimidated by our emotions. He loves us and wants us to draw near to Him in hard times. Often after I pray about a situation I can fall asleep with a peaceful mind, because I know God is greater than my situation

On the relational side, God is teaching me and Michael to support and encourage each other when we are feeling weak. He is using Michael to encourage me for sure. I’m grateful that he speaks truth into my life and makes me smile when I’m feeling sad. I feel so blessed to have a spouse to share these burdens with. He reminds me that we’re a team and we will get through this together.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the ways God has blessed us lately. The first example is a simple superficial one, but it meant a lot to me.  I haven’t bought eyeshadow in over two years. The last time I did it was with a gift card and it was an expensive brand. I hardly buy makeup over $10 when I have to. A few weeks ago I was presented with an almost new eyeshadow palette from a family member. This small gesture of kindness was so significant to me because it was a small luxury that I did not expect. Next, our landlord offered to help Mike with his car so that he can start driving it. I am so thankful for our landlord, he is so kind to us. God really blessed us with our apartment.

Yes, the past few months and even this week have been a lot to deal with. These events are part of life. They don’t take away from God’s sovereignty or His plans for our future. Going through difficult times allows one to fully appreciate the better seasons of life!


CLICK HERE TO READ: Newlywed Reflections Month 8~The Only Good Thing

When Young Marriage is Hard

Newlywed Reflections Month 10~ And Baby Makes 3

When Young Marriage is Hard


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Photo: Camille Marie Photography

Thoughts on Singleness: How I Conquered Feeling Lonely, Unwanted and Not Good Enough

I write a lot on this blog of marriage and my experiences being married. I write about this topic because it’s relevant to my life at this point. However, before this current season, I spent a lot of time being single. I’ve written a few posts about those days: Just Wait, When Everyone Else is Getting Engaged and Encouragement for Single Women. Although those were not the most favourite or preferred times in my life, they were necessary and one lesson I learned was to be content on my own.

I understand that being single is not easy in a culture that is constantly pushing the mantra that you need someone to be happy or complete you. I say -lies! I also know that deep down we all accept the arduous truth that no one person can truly satisfy us. Yet we still seek a person or relationship to make us feel good, increase our ego and validate our worth. I understand the endeavour because we see the couples all over social media professing their undying love and affection to each other. They look so happy. Meanwhile, on the inside, we’re hurting or we’ve been injured by someone we trusted and we just want to feel loved and accepted. These feelings are not wrong, we were made to be loved.

Thoughts on Singleness: How I Conquered Feeling Lonely, Unwanted and Not Good Enough

Singleness is often perceived as not being wanted. Internally this may be felt or an ascribed label. Unfortunately, this definition deepens the pain of being ‘alone’. Not only do you not have someone to share life with, you’ve labelled yourself at not being worth someone’s time or affection. You persuade yourself if “I was attractive enough, or witty enough or…” then someone would notice me and validate my value, then someone would tell me I’m beautiful, then I could live out my romantic comedy dreams… I’ve felt all of these thoughts and emotions when I was single. It was hard. I often wondered if I would ever meet someone if I would get married before 25. I went through feeling bitter, jealous, and envious of other’s relationships. I wondered what is so wrong with me? Why can’t guys see my attractive qualities and character? I prayed many nights that God would bring a godly man into my life.

In an effort to change my situation I sought a relationship. Alas, trying to seek out a relationship often has the opposite result. All of my efforts to secure a guys attention usually failed. I tried to look pretty, be outgoing, laugh at their jokes, go to events where I knew there would be guys, talk to them, be available. To no avail did any of it work. I ended up feeling rejected. Eventually, I got to the point where I was encouraged to try online dating. (Which in some circumstances can be helpful to meet people, at the time I wasn’t ready to take this step). Everything I was trying was giving the same hopeless result. Until one evening where God changed my perspective.

I was over at a friends house from church with a few other young adult friends and my friend’s parents. We were talking about our church’s Young Adult group where once a month we had an event called Lunch & Learn where all the other young adults would gather after the Sunday morning service to share a meal and fellowship together. Our church was quite large and the group usually consisted of over 50 people. I always viewed it a perfect opportunity to meet guys (; On this night my friend’s parents encouraged us to go to Lunch & Learn the next day and seek out individuals who were alone or needed friends. We had a pretty solid friend group and it would be easy for us to reach out to others. The following day I went to the event resolute to seek out anyone who needed a friend. Instead of focusing on myself and how I could attract male attention, my desire’s were turned towards others needs. I and my friend ended up sitting away from our other friends to try meeting new people. As a result, I focused on showing kindness and interest to those around me instead of seeking validation from others.

This change in perspective was a pivotal moment for me to move past my selfish desires to meet my needs and to look around at how I could serve others. I wasn’t automatically content with my circumstances, but I began to not obsess over what I didn’t have to what I could give. I still felt lonely as I prayed about a future husband, but God began to change my heart and teach me to trust His timing.

A few weeks later I went home for Christmas and I focused on spending time with my family and doing fun things with my friends. Later my mom commented that she could sense I was lonely, but that I was also subtly content with my circumstances.

Eventually, I did meet a guy, and shockingly (to me) he asked me out on a real first date. From then on I entered a whole new exciting, surprising and unfamiliar season of life. Before that time I had spent a lot of time alone, single and wondering if that time would ever come. Looking back I’m grateful for the time I spent unattached. I realize it allowed me to cultivate lifelong friendships, to participate in a bible study that provided these friends, to spend in-depth time studying God’s word, filling my mind with truth and promises, and to learn the difficult lesson to be content in all circumstances.

I’m thankful I met Mike when I did because I was in a really good place personally. My sole desires at that time were not to find a relationship. Therefore, upon first meeting him I assumed he probably had a girlfriend so why waste time being overly friendly with this really attractive guy (as was my previous practice).

Still today, I haven’t mastered the virtue of contentment, I still struggle with it, although in different areas. In all season’s of life, we are faced with angst. I still have unmet desires and goals I hope to accomplish. Although I don’t know when those will be accomplished, I have learned to be content while I wait. I needed this timely reminder of how changing my perspective changed my situation.

Every season of life has a purpose and if one’s heart is open God is graciously teaching one a lesson. Don’t let your pride or personal preferences get in the way of His purpose. God doesn’t withhold good from those He loves. Although He gives us boundaries in His word to keep us away from situations and acts that are harmful to us, He does this to sanctify us and make us more like Him. At times it’s painful but the reward of obeying Him and living in submission to His commands far exceeds the pain.

Whatever your going through pray about it and trust that God is faithful in His timing.

Click here to read about one of my favourite go-to websites for solid, biblical advice on dating and relationships: Favourites Friday>> Boundless

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5 Traits I’m Glad I Didn’t Settle on in my Husband Newlywed Reflections~Month 7

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

The last month has not been fun. Between the end of the semester deadlines and ongoing car trouble, I’ve been struggling to not feel overwhelmed and stressed. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful to our family for helping Mike and me over the past month. Even as an adult I still need my parents sometimes <3

Although the last month has been challenging emotionally, mentally and physically I’m so thankful I have the husband I do. God blessed me with an incredible guy

5 Traits I'm Glad I didn't Settle on in My Husband

  1. Positivity

    Mike emanates a positive attitude each day. Although he works a minimum 12 hour day and has to get up before 4am he always comes home happy to see me and with a grateful attitude for all God has provided. He doesn’t let the stress of life overwhelm him to where he can’t still make me laugh in the evenings. He chooses to accept that this is what life looks right now and he has to keep moving forward instead of complaining about how things could be different. A partner who sees life with the glass half full makes going through rough times so much more bearable. Especially when I get easily overwhelmed in all that’s going wrong.

  2. Work Ethic

    One thing I have always admired about Mike is his dedication to giving his best effort in whatever task he’s completing. Whether it’s washing the dishes, cleaning his paintball gun or fixing our cars he always does a thorough and complete job. This trait applies to more than just menial tasks, I can see it in the way he approaches our relationship and his job. Mike takes time to listen to my thoughts, to pray for us and seek wise counsel. Most importantly his work ethic enables him to be the provider God called him to be.

  3. Spiritual Leadership

    The number one thing that drew me to Michael was his sincere faith. I could tell after talking to him and spending time together that God was an integral aspect of his life. Recently I’ve seen this article floating around about pursuing a Christian man vs a Christian boy and I wholeheartedly agree! Ladies do not settle for a Christian boy. You will regret it. When things get hard, as they have been for us over the past few months, our faith has been the thing we have leaned on. Especially prayer.  Not only has our faith brought us through tough times it has brought us so close together. I remember one difficult evening where we prayed together and I felt so close and connected after bringing everything to God together. Ultimately our relationship is only earthly, our lasting relationship is with our heavenly Father.

  4. Learning from mistakes

    We are all far from perfect, I daily make mistakes and do things I regret. I accept that Michael makes mistakes and always will. What is important is seeing my husband own up to his mistakes and taking it as a learning lesson. I often have to do the same. Not only is this a humbling experience but it teaches us to forgive each other. Don’t look for a flawless person, seek a partner who acknowledges where they need to improve and are working on themselves.

  5. Authenticity

    Anyone who knows Mike knows he is not afraid to speak the truth. He will tell you like it is and you can trust his opinion. He does this because he genuinely cares about people and wants to help. He is always there for his friends or family that need him. Mike will drive an hour and a half to be with a buddy that is going through a rough time. He’s constantly building others up and encouraging their abilities. Seek a mate who is not afraid to be authentic and notice how he treats those closest to him.

Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections~Month 6: How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty

young-marriage-4

Newlywed Reflections~Month 8: The Only Good Thing

the-only-good-thing


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Photo: Camille Marie Photography