Ask many divorced women and those still considering it the reason why their marriage crashed, and their answers will mostly point to disappointment, one way or another. We hear all the time that a marriage relationship isn’t a bed of roses, yet expect our own to be the exception, and understandably so.
You go into it thinking the institution of marriage is automatically supposed to make a person measure up, and fix the little flaws they had while you were dating. Unfortunately, most marriage relationships do not go down this way, and this sends many people down a path of disillusionment.
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The harsh truth is that disappointment will always be part of the deal, no matter what your hopes were before getting married.
Sooner or later, the honeymoon will phase out, you’ll see your spouse for the ordinary man he is, and you will want something more than he has to offer.
The extent of your spouse’s inability to meet your expectations will vary from time to time, and your natural reaction to that will go from specific displeasure to general disappointment. Left untended, this does not speak well for the quality and future of your relationship. So when you feel disappointed with your marriage, try these steps.
If you had to describe the kind of disappointment you’ve been experiencing in your marriage, how would you put it? To make it clearer, would you say you’re disappointed in a specific thing your spouse does – or doesn’t do, or maybe yours is more along the lines of a general lack of fulfillment?
You see, you cannot solve a problem without realizing what it is. Are your basic expectations not being met, or are you perhaps blanketing other issues with disappointment? Is it a new development or has the issue always been there? Even if you feel generally dissatisfied with your marriage, it has to have originated from somewhere. Start by figuring out the origin.
The next step is to segregate what you’ve found from the other emotions and reactions that may have webbed around it. Take, for instance, waning emotional connection or reduction in physical intimacy as the source of your disappointment.
You need to isolate it (the problem) from passive-aggression or any other secondary reaction that it may have brought out of you or your spouse for now, and ask the right questions.
If this wasn’t an issue while you and your partner were still courting, what’s changed since then? How did your relationship get here? Who dropped the ball? Before you put all the blame on your partner, take a moment on the next step.
Is there any chance your marriage feels this bad because you’re comparing what you and your spouse have to some ‘ideal scenario?’ Or did you maybe leave it all to your spouse to carry the whole relationship?
What is it you actually want that your spouse is not doing? Does he know about these wants? Is there something you’ve stopped doing because you’re not getting the same energy back? Is there something you can do about it that you haven’t already tried? Can your attitude toward disappointment in your relationship improve?
Just how deep is the extent of your displeasure, and what can you do better to ease the situation? These are pertinent questions you need to ask yourself. No one will step in and fix things for you, the earlier you embrace that reality, you’ll start thinking less and doing more to enjoy your marriage.
After an honest reflection, you can now take the next step towards fixing the issue by sitting your partner down and asking them the questions that pertain to them. No matter the emotions surrounding what you found out, make a point of creating an environment where your spouse does not feel the need to defend themselves.
Having a neutral conversation when things haven’t exactly been smooth between the two of you can be challenging, so take some time to do your homework before you start. Once there, let them know how you feel, and be specific about your grievances (but not in an accusatory manner). Give them a chance to table their side of the story too, and together, figure out what you can both change to get the marriage you want.
While coming out to talk to your partner about your issues is a big step, the whole point of it would be lost if, after everything, nothing changes. If the conversation goes well, both of you should be in a better position to tackle the root of the disappointment. If your spouse has been feeling neglected, you have to become more intentional in expressing your feelings.
If one of the issues is needing help around the house, let him know. Once it’s out in the open, your husband knows what he needs to improve. The point isn’t just to know what the problems are but to let your actions show you’re ready to face them together for the sake of your marriage.
It is tempting to forget everything we love about someone or something when they are not at their best. In the same way, we tend to overlook our partner’s good qualities when they fail to live up to our expectations. So it is completely understandable that you may have been viewing your marriage through a disappointing lens.
However, consider taking a step back and remember all the positives there are to this person, the things that made you choose him in the first place. Not your conjured idea of him, but the things about him that you genuinely enjoy.
Weighing the attributes you dislike against these likable ones instead of isolating his shortcomings might just help you view your marriage from another perspective.
Another way to stop being disappointed with your marriage (albeit not the most ideal), is to ignore the problem (and your feelings) and just focus on the family. Sad as it is, this is an approach taken by many married women who are not entirely happy in their marriage, especially those who have kids.
Either due to religious, moral, or personal convictions, a lot of women have reservations against divorce. However, some who do not share these reservations remain in an unhappy marriage because they fear the divorce might hurt their children.
So they let their spouse do whatever he wants, while they suppress their pain and focus on the family, ‘for the greater good’. I’ll tell you right now though, this usually doesn’t end well.
Instead of taking the ‘focus on the family’ approach, thus making yourself a sacrificial lamb for the greater good, you could pursue your own happiness outside of your marriage. This isn’t encouraging infidelity of any kind, it just means you should try and fill your own happiness bar instead of waiting on another imperfect human to do it.
It is true that your marital life should bring you happiness, and it takes two people to call it one. However, you shouldn’t rely on your relationship as your sole source of joy.
Do more of the activities that excite you like hanging out with friends, pursuing your hobbies, or even being content by yourself. Once this void has been filled, the energy you radiate might even have a positive effect on your marital life.
When all has been said and done, not all of your efforts will yield positive results. Some relationships are not meant to last forever; some are just meant to teach you a lesson. Once it’s come to the point of making compromises that sacrifice your happiness for love, you should know there is an important decision in front of you.
If after the realistic expectations and actively trying to make the relationship work, disappointment in a relationship persists, it is entirely up to you to choose whether to leave or stay in it.
First, make sure your disappointment is not a result of unrealistic expectations. Then have a conversation with him about how you feel and what he can do better. If nothing changes, figure out the cause of your disappointment and see if there’s another way you can achieve it outside of your husband and without breaking your marital vows.
The best way to get over being disappointed by someone you love is to fill your own love cup by yourself. You can also shift your focus to something else other than yourself and the person who disappointed you or draw strength from a similar experience that didn’t hurt you.
All marriages have their highs and lows. It is normal to be a little sad sometimes when you’re married. However, being unhappy shouldn’t be the theme of your marital life otherwise, that union wouldn’t be considered a healthy one. Overall, the highs should outweigh the lows on a general scale.
Everyone gets disappointed at every stage of life. Acknowledging this reality is a good way to start. Also, try not to wallow or beat yourself up too much when it happens. Instead, make a plan and find a way to push on.
If you truly care about how your wife feels, approach her and find out what you’re not doing that is causing the disappointment. Then see what you can do about fixing it. Try not to get defensive, so she doesn’t clam up instead of opening up to spare your feelings.
Disappointment in relationships is normal, whether you’re married or just started getting serious with someone. Your attitude towards it, however, is what makes all the difference. If you found this list helpful, please let me know in the comment section and share this with others to help them.