So many people think that they are marrying Mr./Ms. Perfect but just a few years or even months of living together, soon find their marriage dream tainted by disappointments. It is not humanly possible to be able to fully meet someone’s expectations, but the truth is that in a marriage, failed expectations can grow into much bigger problems that can easily jeopardize your happily ever after. Overcoming disappointments in your marriage is all a part of the journey.
Relationship coaches, Antonio and Laura Moore offer some insights into how overcoming disappointments in your marriage and understanding the root causes of where the disappointments stems from can take you from functioning to thriving. If you are looking for some relationship advice then this blog is for you! The tips discussed here can help you look past the weaknesses in your spouse and sustain that ‘spark’ for life.
Where Disappointment Stems From
No matter how long you have been together or how well you know each other, unwanted surprises are inevitable in every relationship.
These can be minor nuisances like finding out that your partners snores louder than a bear or has a habit of leaving the wet towel on the bed. Or, it can be something much more serious that makes you wonder whether you dated someone else and somehow married another.
There is a famous saying that expectation is the root of all heartaches. That is, we create our own heartbreaks by expecting too much from others. So, technically, you can avoid disappointments by not expecting anything from anyone.
That is true to some extent.
However, when it comes to marriage, there are certain things that every person naturally expects of their spouse. If they did not, they wouldn’t marry them in the first place, right?
Love, honesty, respect, consideration, faithfulness – they all form the foundation of a successful marriage. If any of these core values are missing, you are not only bound to feel disappointed, but your marriage is likely to crumble too.
At times, though, all these qualities might be right there, yet you are still left wanting something ‘more.’
You might acknowledge your partner’s true love for you but feel like it isn’t enough. You want them to provide for you in a better way, spend more time with you, help you more in sharing the household/ financial responsibilities or something of the sort.
Whatever the case might be, it is essential to address the issue as your first priority. Merely waiting for your partner to fill the void will do you no good – you need to TAKE ACTION!
Otherwise, the result will be constant disappointment that can drive your marriage into the ground.
Identify the Cause
Disappointment in a marriage can take many forms – i.e., it can hide behind many other feelings. How to overcome disappointments in your marriage is about identifying the root cause of the disappointment.
For example, it can be the hurt you feel when your spouse first shares an important news with their friends or family rather than with you. What about the late nights out or unanswered calls and the feelings that your partner is neglecting you. Maybe it’s a sudden change in their behavior as they no longer act so polite and courteous as they were during dating. It can even be the wave of anger that washes over you every time they forget to put the toilet lid down or spend on unnecessary items when you ought to be saving together for the future.
Momentary annoyances usually pass off as irksome habits. However, if you feel enraged at your partner’s behavior every now and then, it could signify a much bigger underlying problem. There is probably something deeper that is fueling your short temper.
Thus, the first thing you need to do is to dig down and consciously think about what’s really wrong with your relationship.
Has the trust alienated you from your relationship? Do you feel emotionally distanced from your spouse? Have you lost physical intimacy? Or do you feel like you are always playing second fiddle to the kids/ office work/ kitchen chores?
Develop a clear idea of what’s going on because as the age-old saying goes, a problem well stated is a problem half solved.
Who’s to Blame?
Once you have identified the source of your disappointment, carefully analyze the situation to determine who is responsible for the downward turn your relationship has taken.
It easy to play the victim but you must try to think through things from your partner’s perspective as well. Don’t be quick to lay the blame entirely on them. There’s a fair chance you are holding unrealistic expectations and thus, are partially, if not wholly, responsible for the self-created disappointment.
It is also highly likely that your spouse is completely unaware of the things that have been bothering you for so long. It is a common dilemma among husbands and wives to assume that the other knows about their needs and wants.
You and your spouse might connect on a deeper level as compared to the level of understanding between you and your friends or relatives. But unless they have telepathic abilities, no one can ever fully know what’s going on in your mind.
Prevent disappointments from piling up by telling your spouse what you want the first time you feel like complaining to them about something that they said or did.
Overcoming Disappointments in Your Marriage
Figure Out What You Want
Instead of constantly complaining about what your partner does or does not do, take a step back and ask yourself, ‘what do I want from my other half?’
If you don’t know the answer yourself, that’s okay. Sit down with a pen and a paper and jot down your definition of your dream man/ woman. It might seem like it’s too late for that but do it anyway. You’d be surprised at how helpful it can prove in redefining your marriage.
It’s crucial to properly think it through. Try to be very specific in your answer. After all, if you don’t know what you want yourself, how can your partner know what to give you? And will you then be justified in saying that they have let you down?
Have a clear goal, so you both know when and where you might be going wrong.
If you wish that your spouse would help you more with the household chores, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment. Define the ‘more’ here and let the other person know it as well.
For example, ‘I wish you would do the dishes every weekend or cook dinner at least once a week, so I get some personal time’ is a good example. It gives your spouse a solid idea of what you expect from them and why they ought to fulfill that expectation.
Similarly, demanding more time from your partner will not help much. Rather, requesting them to put away their smartphone when having lunch or dinner together is much better. Or for instance, schedule a day to have a date every month so that you can have their undivided attention, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Remember, They Are Only Human
Many hurdles that couples face after the wedding are nothing but their self-created barriers. Disappointment with your significant other often falls into the same category.
While it’s completely justified to have some basic expectations from your spouse, you must also remember that great expectations lead to great disappointments.
Make sure that what you want from your spouse isn’t something that they cannot fulfill. Like any human, they have their physical, emotional, and financial limitations and you must stay considerate of them.
It’s not fair to expect your wife to prepare breakfast for you every morning when you know she has been up all night feeding, cleaning, and looking after the baby.
Likewise, don’t be angered if your husband repeatedly comes home late at night when you know they have been working on a very tough project.
Understand Your Partner’s Love Language
More often than not, it’s the sense of feeling ‘unloved’ that makes overcoming disappointments in your marriage between you and your partner frustrating. Married life usually turns out to be more than what you may have bargained for. And this is something that is typically bound to happen.
As bachelors in love, you conduct your lives separately. You can dine together every other day, but since it’s usually at a restaurant or hosted at one person’s place, there’s no obligation on either one or both the parties to clear up the table and do the dishes. After the wedding, it suddenly becomes a shared responsibility. You expect the other person to shop, cook, and clean today just because you took care of it all yesterday.
Given the tones of daily chores and the stretch of average ho-hum, ordinary days ahead, it’s no wonder why the spark you initially felt starts dwindling.
The chocolates and roses might be out, replaced by groceries, utility bills, and whatnot.
The key to overcoming disappointment that stems in this situation is to make sure that you understand your partner’s love language. They may have earlier expressed their love by sending you a bouquet every week but now bringing the daily essentials home without you asking them to might be their way of declaring that they will provide for you to the best of their abilities.
You might be willing to forgive your spouse every time they forget to take out the trash on time. But what if you find out they have been secretly in contact with their ex all this time?
While irritable habits can lead to frequent arguments, they generally do not cause the long-term damage that originates from heartache due to shattered expectations.
Letting go of the hurt when you have been let down by a person you so dearly love isn’t always easy. But you must remember that maintaining a successful marriage is never a walk in the park. It takes time, effort, willful patience, and of course, lots of love and understanding for two people to maintain a healthy and long-lasting bond.
Holding a grudge against your spouse and waiting for them to apologize won’t do anything but create more turmoil in your relationship.
Look past your anger and try to talk it out. Given them a chance to explain themselves. Their intention might not be hurt to. In fact, as we said earlier, they may be clueless that you would be disappointed if they did something a certain way – be it talking to their ex, spending lavishly without your consent or anything else in between.
Effective communication is the key to bridge the gap that might have been created between you and your spouse.
Therefore, look for ways you can discuss the matter openly without coming across as too harsh or accusing.
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Managed by relationship Coach Tony & Coach Moore, Marriage Means Moore is a marriage & relationship coaching company committed to building healthy and long-lasting relationships.
With 28 years of experience navigating our own marriage through the ups and downs, as well as a proven track record of saving over 217 marriages, we can help you transform your unhappy marriage from functioning to thriving.