When you decided to get married, you had a lot of ideas in your head about what marriage would be like. And these ideas of what it was going to be like were mostly good. After all, if they weren’t good, you wouldn’t have got married. You probably had visions of fun date nights, living in a nice house together, vacations you’d like to go on together, etc. – maybe even how many kids you’d have. You thought about them so much, they weren’t even just visions, they became expectations. And you dated around until you met someone who you thought met your expectations.
Then you got married.
After you got married, it didn’t take long until you realized that those expectations you once had about marriage didn’t exactly pan out like you thought they would. You found out that your spouse has their own ideas of what they want marriage to be like and they don’t exactly match yours all the time. There were a number of other surprises, too: You thought sex would be great. You thought that you’d agree on all the important things together and would be able to let all the small things go. You thought that they’d listen to you when something was important and would agree with you because they saw how important it was to you.
Oh, How Marriage Changes Things
Now that you’ve been married a while, you realize that those expectations you once had just aren’t being met. You also realized that you’re probably not going to fulfill a lot of the goals you once had now that you’re married because you’re trying to help someone else meet their life goals, too. Sounds kind of depressing when you think about it.
You can look around and think about how miserable marriage is making you – after all, if you weren’t married you’d be able to go on that vacation that you always wanted to. You’d also be able to buy that expensive thing you want because you don’t have a spouse you have to split your budget with. Yes, marriage does give you plenty of opportunities to lament. But is it really so bad?
Is it Your Marriage or Your Expectations?
a good long look, you’ll probably see that things really aren’t so bad. And it’s probably your expectations that are disappointing you more than your marriage actually is.
When you look at your life, you still have your kids who always bring a smile to your face. You may not have the house in the kind of neighborhood that you imagined but you still have a house and a place that you can have a couple of friends over for a barbecue. You may not be able to buy that big expensive thing you’ve always wanted, but you have some of the small things (like a nice smartphone) and you have a savings account you can begin making deposits into so you’ll have that bigger thing.
Yes, your expectations aren’t exactly being met like you thought they would but if you look around you’ll see that there are a still a lot of good things around you to enjoy. And yes, you really can enjoy them if you want to. As a matter of fact, you probably get a lot of enjoyment out of them already. After all, there are a lot of things that bring a smile to your face: your children, your family, your hobby, etc.
So before you go off feeling like you’re not meeting all the hopes and dreams you had for yourself, don’t fret. It’s probably not as bad as you think and it’s probably your expectations that are letting you down more than your spouse.
About the Author:
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in helping couples overcome stale relationships and overcome sexual difficulties and infidelity.