The Sun News

Does your marriage meet your expectations?

Sex, money and communication may seem to be some of the major reasons for divorce today, but they are just symptoms of the real problem. The reason marriages end in divorce is because of unmet expectations.

There is a saying, “Expectation is the mother of all frustrations.” The difficulty with most expectations in marriage is that they are often poorly communicated.

Sometimes, you hear newly weds or even older couples complain, ‘I should never have married him, he has changed.’ ‘I didn’t really know her. She was very understanding before we got married, but she’s now opinionated and stubborn on almost every issue.’

One of the fears young couples or eligible singles have is unmet marital expectations. Some men expect their wives to cook fresh food everyday, remain sexy and trim after child bearing.

They want their women to quit their jobs or give up their salaries, further their education, be ready for sex whenever they want it everyday, and also be very submissive. But reality sets in once she comes in and does otherwise. 

A woman expects her man to continue dotting, showing genuine interest, making her feel sexy as well as remain faithful. Every woman craves for a man who appreciates her, takes her out on dates often, hang out with she and the kids at home on weekends more than going to hang out with his friends.

Some women enter into relationships for the money and because the man went out of his way to meet all her ridiculous financial demands when they were single. She wants it to continue that way in the marriage but becomes frustrated when he stops doing all that.

Most people dream of having a marital relationship built on trust and honesty without any insecurity, where their partner respects their opinions and divergent views. Some are looking for love and companionship. Others hope their partners will love and care for them above everyone else.

Some people expect to resolve disagreements with their partners in a more rational and logical way, rather than violent verbal outburst, screaming, finger pointing and even beating. Their partners not living up to their expectations leaves them disappointed.

Marriage trouble begins when spouses stop meeting each others expectations which are not discussed openly. A lot of marriages take a downward spiral from this point because they are repressing their expectations and this leads to a lot of anger, misery and resentment, this starts little then eventually explodes. Couples become emotionally divorced yet living under the same roof. 

The pain and frustration that comes with unmet expectation is like a deadly venom that flows to the heart and wreaks havoc in the marriage.

It is good to have expectations but make sure they are at least realistic. For marriage to succeed, couples need to get out of the fantasy world by remaining open to all possibilities.

While some expectations are healthy and can strengthen your relationship for the better, others choke life out of your marriage because you may find yourself constantly nagging, complaining and feeling unfulfilled.

Always remember that people have their own vision, beliefs, and behaviour. When in love or in a relationship, it is very important not to come with the aim of changing your partner, because you are likely going to end up disappointed if not miserable.

During courtship, most people hide their bad sides, they do whatever it takes to please you even when it frustrates and hurts them. They endure it because they do not want to lose you. After marriage, they start to unfold. They feel they no longer have to pretend because they already got you.

These changes if not well handled may lead to divorce or a situation where spouses become two emotionally detached adults living together. 

You have to understand that for every expectation you have, your spouse probably has one or two of their own expectations that you aren’t meeting. But we are always quick to want our own expectations met but forget they have theirs too that we are not meeting.

When your expectations are not met, it is important for you to be calm, remain incharge of your emotion before you communicate your feelings to your partner. Also give your partner the opportunity to speak their mind while you listen. This will enable you get a feedback which could be negative because the other person may not be willing to do as you like.

You can talk to someone who is trusted and more experienced. This will help you understand your situation objectively. It could be your fault too that you are disappointed because your expectations are unrealistic. Talking to someone helps you reflect and judge yourself. It will enable you understand your partner better and plan on how best to improve your situation.

Communicating expectations saves couples from creating a false sense of reality in their own minds. When you don’t talk about it and keep assuming that your partner should know, your anger builds up and your passion gets cold. You become more and more emotionally distant with each other.

Having unmet expectations is not just a marriage problem, it is a life problem that no one is immuned from.People have different ways of dealing with disappointments. While Some may choose to ignore and repress their own feelings even when they are hurting, others may choose to walk away from the marriage.

The truth remains that giving up on a marriage because you are not getting what you initially expected doesn’t guarantee that you will get it in your next relationship.

Marriage is more than one person’s expectations. You have to learn how to communicate more and be willing to shift grounds too to make it work.


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June 2018
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