Contention and conflict is a reality for a lot of relationships, for a lot of different reasons.
One of the main reasons that people find themselves disillusioned in their marriages is that their marriage expectations were much different than their present reality.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, but there are several reasons that having high marriage expectations can be damaging. Read on to see why.
1. High Marriage Expectations Aren’t Always Realistic
It’s great to have a vision for what you want your marriage to be. However, some of this vision is rooted in ego, and how much is rooted in a realistic idea of what your relationship could be?
When you begin setting high expectations without taking realism into account, it creates a no-win situation for both partners. You can’t expect getting married to change personalities, careers, relationship dynamics or even your in-laws.
Go into the marriage with growth in mind, but have the patience to know that your dream lifemay not manifest that way you wanted or thought it would.
2. It’s Not Usually Rooted in What You Actually Want
Aside from having high expectations alone, many people set expectations that they think they’re supposed to, but that they may not even actually want.
For instance, you might complain that you want to live in a certain city because of career goals or being closer to family. You might later realize that this isn’t ideal for you and your family.
Arguments in marriage can be a a result of cultural issues too. You come into a relationship with different upbringings and backgrounds, so you may bring these biases and blind spots into your marriage. When you assess your own wants and needs outside of the culture you were brought up with, you may find that you want to let go of some of the standards that you once thought were important to you.
3. You Lose Sight of What’s Important
We’re only human beings at the end of the day. Having high expectations can make you look at your partner as a result, rather than a person.
Going to relationship counseling with regularity can help you keep track of what is important in your marriage. This way, you will be able to keep things fun and fulfilling, which is the most important part of the relationship anyway.
4. These Expectations Create Covert Contracts and Resentment
Expectations also create a scenario where you are holding your partner to standards that they never signed up for. It puts you into the habit of noticing what they aren’t rather than what they are.
As a result, you’ll begin keeping score in your head, and resenting them whenever they don’t live up to the secret contract you are holding them to.
Work on Your Marriage in Earnest
Marriage expectations are great, but make sure that they are rooted in honesty and realism, rather than an idealized version of what a marriage is supposed to be. The more honest you get about your relationship, the more fulfilling it will be as a whole.
If you and your partner feel that expectations are causing conflict in your marriage Book an appointment with us so we can help your relationship work though these issues and evolve into a stronger marriage.