The biggest reason marriages fail is due to unrealistic marriage expectations. We want perfection, and that’s exactly what we will not get!
I’ve been married twice now. I have learned so many things about being a wife – I know what works and I know what does not prove effective.
One thing is for certain, I also fell victim to marriage expectations, and boy was I disappointed.
Let’s face the facts
Nothing in this life is permanent, and by all means, nothing is perfect. From childhood, we’ve built this fantasy world where life is supposed to be easy. It’s not, believe me!
These beliefs from childhood have not only misled us, but they have also made us form these marriage expectations which keep getting us into less-than-savory situations. I might venture to say that these unrealistic expectations could be the root of divorce in this day and age.
How do you know if you’re on the wrong track?
So, the most important thing you need to know now is if you are having those unrealistic marriage expectations. If you are, then you need to learn to lower those expectations in order to accept others for who they are and be more selective in who you choose to share your life with.
Here are a few signs to let you know whether or not you are walking with your head in the clouds.
I’m going to be honest. This truth shattered me into tiny pieces when it was revealed. I mean it took decades of my life to understand what marriage really was. All those dreams of finding a soulmate who would be perfect were dashed upon the stones.
Your soulmate may be indeed waiting out there for you, but they will not be anywhere near perfect. All these magical ideas came from childhood were not true. Yes, the knight on the white horse took all your common sense away.
With that being said, this is one of the signs that you have unrealistic marriage expectations. If you believe your soulmate is perfect, will play with your children for hours, and will always be willing to help you, then you are delusional.
He will not bring you flowers every day and write poetry all the time. He will be messy, make you mad, and even make you question the reason why you got married in the first place. Let’s be realistic, and this will give us an idea of what marriage is really about.
All for happiness
One of the biggest misconceptions about marriage is that it will make you happy. Marriage will never make you happy all the time. In fact, sometimes marriage will make you really unhappy and that’s okay too.
If you are basing your happiness on whether you are married, then you have no idea how to be happy or married. You should probably stay single until you find happiness on your own.
So many people think others are in charge of their happiness, and this is why true happiness never comes. This is also why marriages can be miserable. If both parties have no idea how to be happy with themselves, they will drive one another crazy with these unrealistic marriage expectations of what married life should be.
I have found that these ideals usually come from low self-esteem and neglect from childhood. If you have learned to base your worth on how others feel about you, happiness will be hard to find.
Fear of change
Relationships change, and this is something that healthy partners understand. In a marriage, there will always need to be room for growth. If you want everything to remain exactly the way it was when you first married, then you have unrealistic expectations.
Yes, consistency is good, but stagnancy is not. In fact, staying exactly the same is actually unhealthy. This fear of change derives from times in youth when things were taken away or people in your family left.
It can also stem from deaths in the family which left a deep imprint on your life. Even deeper than that, this fear of change could simply be the fear of losing control, lingering since childhood. This is something you will want to face and learn to heal.
Your partner is not psychic
Do you know why we should learn to communicate in relationships? It’s because our partner is NOT psychic and he doesn’t always know what we want. This works for men and women, although, I must admit, women are a tad worse at doing this.
We must stop assuming that our partners know what we need and want, and most of all, we have to stop getting mad when they cannot read our minds and act accordingly.
We seem to have a deep-seated fear of not being understood. Also, we seem to be afraid that if we communicate with our partners about something we want, we might seem needy.
The truth is, it’s unrealistic to think that your mate is so perfect that they know and understand every aspect of your mind. I’m sorry, but no two people are connected that perfectly. Ladies, he’s not psychic! Tell him what you want!
Another unrealistic marriage expectation is the idea that you two will never fight. That one just about made me laugh out loud. In marriage, you will have many fights, and it’s okay as long as you fight fair.
You might even do okay if you don’t fight fair every once in a blue moon, okay… Just understand this, no matter how close you are, you are not a cookie-cutter version of one another.
As long as you are different, and that will be forever, you will have fights. You will fight about some of the pettiest things as well. If you can manage to communicate well, laugh a bit, and apologize later, you will be just fine.
These diluted thoughts probably came from a dysfunctional family background where your parents fought all the time or they refused to fight at all. Neither of these options is a healthy one.
Marriage is imperfect and that’s okay!
You will never find someone who makes you happy all the time, and that’s fine. Like I said, you must find happiness within yourself. Now, it’s not healthy to live in a marriage that makes you miserable either.
You must weigh your circumstances and learn to recognize the difference between ordinary squabbles and abusive behavior. Other than that, you must keep realistic marriage expectations.
Because when something really great happens in your marriage, it will be amazing!
By Sherrie H.