Disappointments in life are inevitable. Everyone experiences them. In most cases, we recover and move on. But what happens if you discover that your marriage is a disappointment? The joyous bond you expected just isn’t happening.
How Could You Know that Your Marriage Might Become a Big Disappointment?
Did you ignore those “red flags?”
Did you attribute problems you were having to the stress of planning a wedding or buying a new home?
Did you think your partner would change?
Did you fail to talk about the big, important things in a committed relationship, e.g., having children, careers, household management, financial decisions, etc?”
Did you think that “everything will just work out with time?”
Couples are often frustrated by the inability to resolve those “perpetual” problems that keeping coming up. A few of the most common are:
Finances and Careers
Sex and Intimacy
Family and Extended Family Life
What it comes down to? Compatibility, in both a big and small picture sense. The glow of a courtship and the proverbial “honeymoon phase” eventually cools. What’s left are two individuals working to co-exist. This means compromise and acceptance. It also means a blunt awareness of what is and is not working. Deal-breakers exist. Hence, it’s best to stay grounded in your assessments.
4 Things to Do if Your Marriage is a Huge Disappointment
1. Commit to Blunt, Healthy Communication
Are you currently navigating ups or downs or anything in-between? Whatever the issue, communication is an essential component of a marital foundation. In times of disappointment, resentment often rears its ugly head. Healthy communication is the closest thing we have to an antidote. The problems will not fix themselves. If they are fixable, repair begins with a frank but loving discussion.
2. Re-Examine Your Expectations
Falling in love is like a prize promised to us from childhood. Almost everything we’re taught reinforces this. The conditioning is so intense. Under such conditions, it’s only natural that we all develop some unrealistic expectations. A powerful step? Re-examine and recalibrate these expectations. This is not the same as lowering our expectations to fit a disappointing situation. Rather, simply do not ask your relationship to do and be the impossible.
3. Choose Clarity
Is what you’re calling “disappointment” actually abusive or threatening? If so, it is absolutely crucial to identify this reality. It is possible for people to get so deeply caught up in “not failing.” In this situation, they may not accept that things have become dangerous. Marriage can get uncomfortable at times. Conflict will occur. None of this is ever an excuse, however, for verbal or physical abuse. If disappointment morphs into fear, seek help immediately.
4. Evaluate/Re-evaluate Long Term Compatibility
In a culture steeped in long-term monogamy, we often avoid break-ups at all costs. However, disappointment is not a sustainable state for any relationship. Closely examine your connection. Ask good questions. Change whatever is in your power to change. Communicate like your marriage depends on it (pro tip: it does). If this does not alleviate the feeling of huge disappointment, you have a huge choice to consider. Couples counseling is an excellent safe space for such a conversation.
Where to Turn If Your Your Marriage is a Huge Disappointment
As highlighted above, marriage is a work in progress. Most disappointments are not permanent. Therefore, once issues are identified and discussed, it makes sense to seek guidance. Couples counseling is a form of exploration and mediation. Working together — as a married couple/team — with a therapist is an excellent way to dig deep for the roots of disappointment. You will discover strategies and solutions once you’re recognized patterns and causes. In the case of huge disappointments, couples counseling is where you can make those big decisions about what to do next.
Please reach out for a consultation. We can work as a team to reach your relationship goals and a happier future.