Marriage Was Always Meant to Be "Demand Free"

Marriage Was Always Meant to Be "Demand Free" - Steve Wickham

It appears to me, with a few years of marriage history behind me that a golden rule of successful marriage might be to make it demand free. Now this might sound obvious to some married couples and marriage experts, but it's something I've had to learn through experience. Let me go on. I'm going to differentiate between demands and expectations.
When we court and date we discuss expectations. What he would like; what she would like. There comes the ground of agreement and we (the couple) move on to the next item for discussion. Expectations in this sense are good. They clear the way for understanding and reinforcement based on agreed principles.  They provide boundaries for the relationship.
After the wedding, there are issues of conflict that come up and expectations need to be discussed and delivered on the run. Again, it's a clearing ground. The issue is discussed, agreed, and then we move on. 
Well it doesn't always work that cleanly does it? It's not often easy. Not everyone appreciates doing things on the hop, but it's the best thing on offer. When it doesn't work i.e. when one or both partners re-neg on the understanding, the marriage predictably goes through further conflict and what were once simple, clear and understood expectations, now have become demands. A subtle shift has taken place. Demands and expectations seem loosely aligned but the key elusive difference is golden truth.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have -- biblical and worldly truth. Love does not demand anything. It sets up expectations and then simply trusts. When we take our love further into 'demand-territory' we risk losing the precious, divine qualities of marriage.
I read a quote just today that might sum it up quite well. "Abundance consists not alone in material possession but in an uncovetous spirit." -Charles Sheldon. When we choose to drop the demands we place on our partner, we choose freedom for not only them, but ourselves too. The 'uncovetous spirit' is essentially the way forward in marriage and in life. We need to hold love lightly; loosely.
When our love becomes demanding it takes on a slightly less mature and less loving flavour -- it actually ceases to be love. We need to stick to our expectations but resist becoming demanding to make it work. We can't make anyone do anything.

© 2013 S. J. Wickham. Steve Wickham is a Baptist Pastor and a Registered Safety Practitioner and holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling. Steve writes at: and Article Source:  Article Source:

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