All relationships can be difficult at times, but they should not be destructive to our well-being. Learn the difference between a destructive pattern and a difficult season with this free resource, “Is This Normal? 15 Red Flags You May Be Missing in Your Relationships.”


What Do We Do With Expectations?

September 10, 2018

Have you ever felt like a failure in your relationships?

Or maybe you’ve wondered why relationships have to be so hard and confusing at times?

This week, I’m excited to be a guest on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast as we talk about expectations in our relationships. I’m convinced one of the top reasons relationships feel like they’re failing is because of unmet expectations.

Expectations come in three potential categories:

1. realistic expectations
2. unrealistic expectations
3. uncommunicated expectations

It’s normal to be baffled by expectations, because they can be so confusing and wreak havoc on our relationships. We all know that unmet expectations breed frustrations. And we certainly don’t need more frustration in our lives. But what can we do about it right now?

Join in on the conversation by listening to the podcast on your phone or computer here. Or, you can take it on the road by downloading the show on your favorite podcast app.

The things we’ll be processing have radically changed some of my most difficult relationship challenges. My prayer is that you’ll gain a new perspective as you navigate expectations with your friends, co-workers, and family members!

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  1. Carolyn r

    Hi Lysa, Thank you for your words and know we pray for you. After reading your post, I wonder if expectations fall in a quadrant instead of categories: realistic-communicated (where we all wish we would be all the time!), realistic-uncommunicated (not bad), unrealistic-communicated (there’s hope depending on how they’re comm’d), unrealistic-uncommunicated (horrors!). What do you think?

  2. Karen Thomas

    You have no idea how this post is so so timely. My daughter-in-law doesn’t care for me. I have tried everything. To complicate matters, I have a precious granddaughter that my husband and I are only allowed to see a small about of time each week. I love my DIL. I am praying and asking for healing of this relationship. Thank you Lysa for your diligent work for our awesome God!


    Lysa, I just want to take a minute to say a very big thank you for continuing to follow God’s guidance in your work. I have been listening to How to be a good Bible study girl. It has been such a blessing at a time of trial.
    About a year or so ago I began feeling that God’s will for my life is to share his word publicly. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not one for being the center of attention. I actually feel stupid telling people that I love to do work such as you do, Beth Moore, Priscilla Schrier and so many other awesome woman of God. Yet, at the same time, I’d rather people didn’t know my name. Haha! It’s a bit of an oxymoron…the public speaker with no name. 😂
    But… we have a But God that anything is possible with and He can use anyone. Maybe one day I will speak in front of thousands or maybe God will isye me to bless someone that will have an affect on his Kingdom as Billy Graham did. And frankly that’s what I want. To make a difference in His Kingdom.
    Thanks for being such an awesome example of that.
    God bless and congratulations on the new addition to the family.


  4. Miranda Duman

    I am in need of prayer to quiet all the what ifs of my mind. I struggle to live for God and not for the world.

    • JoyAnn

      I have had the same struggle.😊
      Let us pray for each other as we journey this together.

  5. Poppy Smith

    We easily get frustrated when our expectations are not met–but did we ever express them to the person we’re irritated with?

  6. Emily Vega

    This was an amazing talk! Everyone flashed through my mind at different intervals – my mom, my husband and my best friend fall into each of these three categories. I have a diverse mix of relationship issues!!! Diffusing emotions by talking about things at a neutral time is the NUMBER ONE thing that I need to shoot for, and probably the thing we all forget to do once the conflict ends.

  7. NAN

    Hi Lysa
    I have been living in a Marriage of convenience 31 years. My husband never loved me as his spouse. We are not intimate. He looks at Porn and at other women. I have a 16 year old daughter. He is not verbally or physically abusive . We are basically room mates. I have taken to wine to help with loneliness. I feel trapped. Two counselors have advised me to leave. NOT healthy. Please pray for me.
    Thank you

  8. sarah msipa

    “‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.’” (Jeremiah 18:6, NIV)
    This verse l placed my name sarah.what is happening in my life l am wondering is this the God of love.The process is hard and its also increased by my inborn stubornness.This verse remind me that after God is done with this pot it look as a potter desire.


    psalm 37:4 delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
    This verse is true as long as we partner with the Lord in pursuing those desires and that they are part of His plan for out life. These desires do not fall upon us without us working to be in the Right Place, Right Time, Right People. This is from Jentezen Franklin’s book. We are partners with the Lord in developing our character and conduct to live on a more spiritual plane. Often the world through our family and friends pulls us away from things we thought were desires of our heart. Disappointments wash over us because at certain times we only saw part of the picture. When I am disappointed I cling to praise and worship to lift me up. Last night the Holy Spirit brought to mind this refrain: it was your great love that lifted me up, turned me around and put my feet on solid ground. Then I think of the fruits of the spirit like patience and endurance, long suffering and realize that other folks are going through similar experiences. Songs like The Lighthouse and the Anchor Holds, I can’t even walk without His Holding my Hand…praise and worship are an acknowledgement of His mighty, mysterious power.

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