Broken Dreams

Kate says . . .

Have you ever gone through mourning in your life? For many of us we have experienced this, or we will in the future. Perhaps you have mourned a loved one who has passed on or a loved one who has been sick for a long time or a loved one who has taken a path in life that you would not choose for them. All of these are mourning.

I remember a time in our marriage where I mourned. I mourned for the broken dreams of a marriage I had built up into something it never could or should be. In a sense it was a death of a dream. If you take some time to think on it, all marriages have gone through this. It may be dreams you have created in your head or expectations you have placed on your marriage.


Dreams are what we conjure up in our head about marriage and what the relationship with our spouse will be like. Many times these happen before we are married, while we are engaged and dating. We have all kinds of ideas about sharing a home, romance, sex, having children together, etc. Dreams have their time and place, but also the potential to derail our marriage.


Expectation are what we think should be happening in our marriage. Characteristics and actions we would like our spouse to have. We all enter marriage with expectations, and that continues through the life of our marriage. Expectations come from our family we grew up in, ways we were loved, as well as preferences we have in life. Expectations also have their time and place but can really keep a marriage from oneness.

What to do with dreams and expectations?

A few questions to ask yourself . . .

  • Are the dreams and or expectations that I hold encouraging and helpful to my marriage?
  • Am I stuck wanting a dream so much that the reality will never measure up?
  • Can I talk openly and share my dreams for our marriage with my husband?
  • Does my hubby know of my specific desires (expectations) for him in our marriage, as my husband, as a dad?

If you cannot share your dreams and expectations with your hubby, they most likely are not doing your marriage any good. In fact they are harming your growth and one flesh journey. Being able to be open and transparent, means that you hubby already knows these things about you, or you have been open enough to share new things. Most dreams and expectations, we keep to ourselves or we end up voicing them in a critical way. I remember many times where I would expect something of Brad or I would compare him to my “dream” and it never was a positive in our marriage.

Let them go!

Letting the dream of what you thought marriage should be and what you still think it should be die is so freeing to your marriage. I don’t mean healthy dreams that you share together. But unrealistic fairy tale type of dreams. Let them go. Turn to God and seek what he desires for your marriage. We are fed many lies daily about what marriage should be like. Through media, books and advertisement we see a picture of marriage that is so attractive, so fun and always romantic. Letting those dreams and expectations go will allow you to experience what God desires for your marriage.

Do you struggle with what that dream of marriage you have put on a pedestal? If so, how have you let go of the dream, and moved into God’s plan for marriage?

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6 Responses to Broken Dreams

  1. The thoughts on expectations in marriage couldn’t have come at a better time. Unmet expectations are the stumbling block in my marriage at this time. We have been married 24 years and just recently had a discussion about the expectations that he had for our marriage that did not materialize. The problem is when the expectations are stifled due to other factors out of our control. We did not know that I would be diagnosed with MS which has severely altered reality as we expected it to be. Now he has expressed his desire to end our marriage instead of changing his outlook. My point is that husbands can also have unrealistic expectations and I hope this perspective will help him change his thinking.

    • Hi Julie, thanks for sharing where you are. My heart breaks for you from what you have shared. I pray that your husband’s eyes are opened and he can see God’s will for marriage, regardless of what obsticles come. So many of us say vows on our wedding day, not really comprehending what they could mean (with good reason), and once they exceed what we ever “thought” could have happened, we are overwhelmed. You are not the first one to share something of this nature. I am sure your heart is breaking too. CLing to Jesus, and know that he can meet all of your needs, even if your earthly groom is not. I wish that I had magic words for you to make this all better, but as you already know, I don’t! Please know that I am praying for you. Never lose hope, friend! Blessings, Kate

  2. This is such a great post. I agree… it is important to let go of our dreams and expectations. At times we even need to grieve those lost dreams…. no, I don’t need to grieve the fact that my husband has lost his 6 pack abs, or that I don’t have a mansion in the country, but I do need to grieve what has been lost in our lives due to his alcoholism. It is only through grieving these traumas in our lives that we can experience freedom and healing.

  3. Hi Workinprogress,
    You are so right, that having a spouse with an addiction or recovering from an addiction, absolutely goes through grieving the loss of a dream. Marriage sometimes ends up being so different then what we thought. Some of that is our own daydreaming and unrealistic exspectations, other parts are not in our control and call for grieving. I also agree that unless you grieve and let that go, you cannot heal! Thank you for sharing from your life! Blessings, Kate

  4. We all need to have dreams and expectations, but we have to make sure that they are realistic, and we have to be willing to let them go when life interrupts them. Without this ability, no marriage would ever last. Why would anyone get married in the first place unless they had dreams about what the future could bring? No one would bother if all they thought about were the negative “what ifs” of marriage life. We all need hopes for the future in order to give focus to our lives. Everything about life is a gamble, but there are things we can do to lessen the impact of what actually does happen, and ways we can keep a marriage alive in spite of the unfulfilled dreams and unrealized expectations.

    • Hi Zoe! Thanks for sharing, and I agree with you. We need to be careful about keeping dreams and exspectations realistic. Yet I think many new brides have very romantic unrealistic exspecations. We want the fairy tale or the movie or the book. And when we get into our marriage, realize it we think life is over. Now it is time for your to build a real marriage, one that is based on God’s thoughts on marriage, not a fairy tale. Just my thoughts! I think that the married women can help younger married women to understand this and see that God’s plan is so much better! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Kate