I had a set of idyllic dreams of what our marriage would seem like before I got hitched. For instance, I envisioned that my husband and I’d all the time wind down our days together. Perhaps we might savor the sunset, have dinner together after which cozy up on the couch. However, my husband often works late, and by the point he gets home, the sunset is long gone, and the day has been swallowed up by night. He can also be often exhausted and hungry. All he needs at that moment is a hot bath and a meal.
Over time, I actually have learned to take this and several other other unmet expectations in my stride. But this wasn’t all the time the case. Earlier on in my marriage, I’d blow a gasket each time I felt my spouse was falling wanting my expectations. I’d huff and puff, demanding that he acts or behaves in a certain way. Sometimes he would indulge me, giving in to pressure, but other times he wouldn’t. Eventually, we might each get entangled in an online of resentment.
Because all of us get married to fellow human beings with their justifiable share of flaws and weaknesses, it goes without saying that we’ve to contend with unmet expectations. Our spouses are removed from perfect. They may try their best, but they’re still incapable of meeting all our needs and attending to all our whims. It may feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick as you come nose to nose with this reality.
Unmet expectations can spark resentment and frustration. This article will enable you to put things in perspective as you cope with unmet expectations in your marriage.
1. Be Realistic
Let’s be honest; sometimes, we expect an excessive amount of from our spouses. For instance, a husband may expect his wife to all the time be within the mood for intimacy, maintain her body size even after becoming a mother, and keep a clean home in any respect times. A wife, then again, may expect that her knight in shining armor will all the time be at hand to take heed to her rumblings, organize weekly date nights without fail, and spend all his free time together with her.
And while each of you’ll want to do all it takes to like one another and meet one another’s needs, do not forget that you simply are limited. You are sure to fall wanting one another’s expectations. Additionally, men and ladies often have very different needs. What you could consider a priority in your marriage may look like a non-issue to your spouse. They need to learn your needs and master your love language over time. As they do this, they could stumble and falter. You must be patient with them and provides them the advantage of the doubt.
2. Separate the Wheat From the Chaff
It’s necessary to exercise sobriety where unmet expectations are concerned. Not all unmet expectations must be shrugged off. Some are indeed “deal breakers” and mustn’t be swept under the rug. For example, we expect our spouses to be faithful to us. When that expectation just isn’t met, and one spouse is involved in adultery, the offended spouse mustn’t chalk it as much as “unmet expectations.”
Adultery is a harmful vice in a wedding that usually requires therapy for the couple to seek out healing. But another unfulfilled expectations should not deal breakers. For instance, in case your spouse irritates you because they do not pick up after themselves, that’s something you’ll be able to easily shrug off since it doesn’t significantly threaten the health of your marriage.
As such, couples should separate the chaff from the wheat while coping with unmet expectations. If the problem at hand majorly concerns personality differences and doesn’t threaten the guts of the wedding, then the offended spouse can decide to overlook it.
3. Accept Your Spouse’s Weaknesses
“With all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with each other in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
Part of the explanation your spouse is not going to meet all of your expectations is that, identical to you, they’ve various weaknesses. Scripture tells us that all of us stumble in some ways (James 3:2). None of us are perfect. Perhaps your spouse’s weakness is forgetting necessary dates or procrastinating. However, that doesn’t suggest that they’re an awful person or that they do not mean well. It just shows that they’re human.
It helps to check your partner and note their weaknesses so that you simply should not too gutted after they fall short. As their companion, you could possibly also help them work on their weaknesses as an alternative of judging them and taking offense. Remember that forgiveness is a every day component of a healthy marriage—rise above obsessing over your spouse’s weaknesses and learn to bear with them in love.
4. Uphold Clear Communication
I do know the importance of clear communication firsthand since it has revolutionized my marriage. Earlier on, I used to carry on to grudges, expecting my husband to read my mind and determine what was responsible for me grumpy. Your guess is pretty much as good as mine – never once did he have an idea of the problem at hand. I quickly realized this tactic didn’t work and tossed it out the window. I learned to as an alternative clearly communicate my grievances.
Clear communication will enable you to deal with unmet expectations. Perhaps your spouse has a superb reason why they acted the way in which they did, but you won’t ever know until you get talking. Clear communication helps weed out misunderstanding, increases marital satisfaction, and spells out expectations. It also fosters respect and trust, which results in greater emotional intimacy. Every time you select to speak together with your spouse as an alternative of sweeping issues under the rug, you give your marriage a recent lease on life.
5. Connect with Other Couples
“A person who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he rages against all sensible judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1).
“And allow us to consider how we may spur each other on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are within the habit of doing, but encouraging each other—and all of the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Connecting recurrently with other couples helps you appreciate your spouse. As you interact with other couples, you’re prone to notice that they, too, have their disputes and weaknesses. This helps you set your relationship into perspective and makes you’re feeling higher about your marriage. It helps you realize that you simply should not the just one facing some bumps within the road in your pursuit of an incredible marriage. Many other couples are walking the identical path.
Besides that, connecting with other couples gives you recent ideas and perspectives, rekindles your passion, injects fun into your marriage, keeps you accountable, and fosters a stronger marriage. Remember that as iron sharpens iron, so does a person sharpen the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).
6. Do Not Compare Your Spouse
Yes, you feel awfully discontent in your marriage as you cope with a flurry of unmet expectations. But. Do not go down the rabbit hole of comparing your spouse to others since it often is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Comparing your spouse will usher you right into a path of no return as you elevate other people above your spouse. Even the great attributes that your spouse possesses will soon fizzle out in your eyes.
Instead, decide to bear with their weaknesses, communicate clearly and empathize with them. This will go a good distance in helping you handle unmet expectations.
Related Resource: Listen to The Real Relationship Talk Podcast!
Dana Che is the founding father of Thrive Relationships, where she serves as a wedding and relationship coach and host of the Real Relationship Talk podcast. Dana’s mission is singular: to assist people thrive of their relationships with the Lord and with one another. Listen to her episode on Overcoming Unrealistic Expectations in Marriage by clicking the play button below:
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/People Images
Keren Kanyago is a contract author and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a level in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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