404 On Marriage, Expectation and Dirty Sinks

On Marriage, Expectation and Dirty Sinks

I haven’t written much about marriage in the last 6 months. Honestly, I’m not always sure what’s appropriate to share or how soon after something happens. So I err on the side of caution.

But there are great things happening in my marriage. I’m learning a lot about what it means to be a man. I’m learning that even when you think you have issues from your past dealt with, they still have a tendency to creep in subtly if you aren’t on guard.

Last year I wrote a guest post called The Weight of Expectation. It talked about how when we put the weight of expectation on our relationships, they end up in disappointment. It was actually eerily similar to my post this week. The post from last year talks about shifting from expectation to expectancy and I used that same verse in Romans 5, that I used this week.

As I reflect on what I wrote, I realize that it doesn’t matter how much information you have in your head about a subject. What matters is that you walk it out with someone. And for this lesson to “take,” I’ve had to walk it out in my marriage.

Becoming One

It may not seem like a big deal on the surface but it’s important to communicate about household chores. It’s incredible to see how much resentment can build up when someone doesn’t do the dishes.

This is something that I’ve recently had to navigate. I can’t tell you that I have a formulaic answer. But I can tell you what worked for us.

Heart change.

We finally got honest about how we felt and uncovered expectations that we had constructed in our minds. We brought it to the light and almost instantly the power of offense was removed.

It’s beautiful to see that when you quickly expose an issue, it quickly loses power. It’s only when we let issues fester that they build into a monster.

Marriage has been a constant lesson of heart change. I’m constantly becoming less of who I am and more of who WE are.

It’s a lifelong lesson in oneness. One mind, one heart, one love.


If you want to read my full story on what happened with the chores, please check out my guest post today called “So Who Does The Dishes?” in Prodigal Magazine. It’s an online magazine run by two great friends of mine, Darrell and Ally Vesterfelt. After you read mine, read through some of the other stories on the site. They are powerful!


  1. Brian Kings says:

    I agree with the sentiment that in marriage we should not only think about self but on “we”…. great line there.
    Brian Kings recently posted..kimkardashiantapenews.com

  2. Man, it took me a year before I learned that telling my wife what I really thought instead of walking on egg shells was the best approach. Glad you learned it quicker, Tony!
    Ricky Anderson recently posted..My Favorite Bluegrass Band – The Haggerty Brothers Interview

  3. Tony, I know what you mean. It’s very easy to let things such as who is going to wash the dishes get in the way of building a great relationship with our spouses. I have a smiliar story, just yesterday, my wife and I disagreed, as usual, on how I should approach one of our daughters when it came to school work. I can sometimes can get a bit rough around the edges, and my wife tries to balance me out. Of course we disagreed, but I was more willing then before to listen to her side, try a different approach, more loving approach. But even more than that, I was mad at her for three days, just because of our disagreement. God Bless.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Tenacious as a bird

    • Oh man, I can imagine how raising children ups the ante! I’m working on getting my perspective right on the small things so we’ll be able to navigate through the weightier issues in life.

  4. I dont really know why I feel like crying from this, but I think its your heart with faith, love, sincerity and the openness that you two have just makes me say “Yep, they’re a special one.” Thank you for sharing. I totally dig your nuggets on marriagedom. Keep em coming please!

  5. “when you quickly expose an issue, it quickly loses power. It’s only when we let issues fester that they build into a monster.” That’s so true, Tony. Thank you.
    Eileen Knowles (@cupojoegirl) recently posted..Moses Was The Man

  6. On the mark as usual, my friend. I love how marriage is changing you into more of a man of God in ways that could never have been done had you been single.
    Jason recently posted..How a Christian’s favorite band can be an “atheist” band

  7. My wife and I had the chore conversation early on. It’s helped avoid a number of “discussions” because we’ve communicated expectations.

    For example. I hate yard work and my wife hates cleaning the bathrooms. Guess who does what? 🙂
    ThatGuyKC recently posted..Two For Flinching: A FREE eBook

  8. i love this statement “I’m constantly becoming less of who I am and more of who WE are” but dealing with my room mates makes me appreciate the kind of sacrifice that entails, especially when it comes to doing the chores, thanks for sharing

  9. After almost 39 years of marriage (June 16) I can honestly say it all about heart change…and never stops. Learn now tony as you have been and it becomes easier as you go along. Don’t cover up. don’t wait. Don’t carry expectations hoping someday the time will come when all will be straightened out. Glad to see you are doing well.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..Cycles

    • I believe it! The hardest lesson I’m learning is to not cover anything up. As a man, I think I can deal with things on my own and it NEVER works. That’s why God gave me this amazing partner.

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