I hope you had a day of Thanksgiving even if your turkey wasn’t delicious or you had a little (or a lot) of drama at your gathering. God reminds us to in everything give thanks – even in the rough times (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It then becomes a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).
How do you help women eliminate the idea of having a fantasy husband?
Where do you draw the line between high standards and unreasonable expectations?
Answer: Your question piqued my curiosity. What is a fantasy husband? Prince Charming? The knight on a white horse or BMW riding in to save the damsel in distress? Girlfriend, there is no such creature – for a woman or a man, so get it right out of your head.
People are people and can be wonderful, but they are limited and sinful. There is no fantasy husband or fantasy wife that will fix your life, rescue you from your problems, make everything better and always be there for you. It’s fantasy because it’s not real.
Let’s move on to your next question about high standards and unreasonable expectations. Where do you draw the line?
When you ask about choosing a husband by having high expectations and standards, I think what you might be thinking of is not an intimate marriage relationship but more of a transactional relationship.
A transactional relationship is one where your primary focus is on what you get from the other person. For example, I hire a cleaning person and I expect that person to do what I want in return for a certain payment. Both parties have expectations of one another in order to have a successful relationship. If my expectations are too high and my cleaning person doesn’t meet them, or my cleaning person’s expectations for a certain payment is too high, and I don’t want to pay it, we would not work together long. The relationship would end. It’s not terribly personal, even if I liked my cleaning person, it’s more transactional.
This is often our relationship style with people at work, church, and even some friendships. We expect fairness like turn-taking, bill-splitting, a give-and-take rhythm that keeps both sides happy with the relationship. When we find ourselves giving more than our fair share, we get resentful, even ending the relationship.
Marriage is based on love and trust, not on should, especially when should is defined by the other person. How would you feel if you dated someone who said “I have high standards for my future wife. She should stay home with the children for their school years. She should never gain more than 10 extra pounds. She should be willing to have sex at least 4 times a week. She should cook a healthy dinner at least 5 times a week. She should be willing to clean the house without outside help. She should be a committed Christian which means reading her Bible every day.”
If you met someone who talked like this, I hope you would RUN! Especially if those are not your standards for yourself but his for you.
Therefore, I think you would find far more value in defining your own standards and expectations for yourself and how you want to show up in relationship, rather than defining how your potential future husband “should” be or not be.
Dating someone by allowing that person to fully be oneself is crucial in helping you discern whether or not you want to partner with that person for a lifetime. Telling him who he “should be” or what you “expect” in order to date or marry you is inviting him to lie and pretend in order to “win” you over to marriage. It’s a lose/lose approach.
If you desire to be a woman who is honest, kind, responsible for yourself, financially independent, curious, and strong, with healthy boundaries then show up that way. You will attract someone who has similar values and standards. You don’t need to define his standards, just live out yours. If he pushes against some of your standards or boundaries or for example, he doesn’t want to be as honest as you by disclosing his financials (credit score, tax records) then that lets you know he is not the right person for you.
Hope that helps you to clarify.
Friend, any other wisdom you would care to share with this person? How have you wrestled with this question?
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