Why you need to lower your marriage expectations right now

How many times have you wished your marriage was something different than it really is? Our feelings of disappointment are often the direct result of our own unrealistic expectations.

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  • Most of us wouldn't do the same thing over and over again, in exactly the same way, and expect the outcome to be different every time. But that's exactly what we do when we set such high expectations of our husbands, that those expectations don't match reality. And then, when we don't get what we want, we find ourselves disappointed and sad. William Shakespeare said, "Expectation is the root of all heartache."

  • Lower your unrealistic expectations

  • Romance movies and books have conditioned us to believe in love relationships that are built on fantasy. When what we see and read doesn't match what we experience in our own everyday lives, we wonder what's wrong with us.

  • There will be those days when we find milk stains on the kitchen table, we trip over toys left in the hallway, or we hear our teenage daughter slam her bedroom door for the third time that day, and then our husband comes home and wonders why the house is a mess. We may then find ourselves wondering: Where are the long-stemmed red roses? The whispers of his undying love in our ears? And instead of the masculine scent of fresh afershave, our noses are assallted by the dirty socks he left on the floor. And while this may not seem like true love, sometimes it is.

  • Choose love and make a commitment to really be in your relationship

  • Being in love means much more than how he feels about you, or how you feel about him. Real love is about making a comitment to someone else. We choose love. We choose to be in a relationship. We don't just fall in and out of love. That's not real love. If that's that we think, we need to adjust our expectations of what a good relationship looks like.

  • Read: How can you tell if your love is real?

  • Stop trying to change him

  • Instead of loving him for who he is, we try to change him into who we think he should be. We forget what attracted us to him in the first place. We keep our expectations unrealistically high, hoping to have some unmet need met, thinking this time things will be different; that he'll finally give us what we want. He'll guess what's on our minds. It's these kinds of expectations that are setting us up for disappointment.

  • Instead of trying to change your husband, accept and love him, warts and all, just as you want him to do for you. (Or if his behavior is abusive or intolerable, move on.)

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  • Stop wishing and hoping that things will be different

  • Don't dwell on the way you wish things were in your marriage, or think about how things could be. Instead, let the relationship be what it is. Accept the things you cannot change. People are much more likely to want to give you what you need when you accept them for who they are.

  • Change your perspective for the better

  • Even if we can't, or don't, choose to change our circumstances or our relationships, we can — safely and positively — lower our expectations and change our perspective. We can control the one person's behavior we can control: our own.

  • Try lowering your unrealistic expectations of others, and watch how your own sense of well-being improves.

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Read about the power of families to seek after the one in Susan's book: Coming Home: A Mormon's Return to Faith.

Website: http://www.returntofaith.org

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