There have been times in my marriage where I have been disappointed and frustrated with my spouse. Usually I did not share much of my frustration with her, but it came out in my behavior, e.g. less intimacy, complaining. My wife has been disappointed with me many times also, when I did not stick to promises I made, or did not spend time listening to her feelings. She has tried to address her frustration with me many times, because sharing opens up ways to communicate more and diminish the feelings. Sulking or complaining, or other negative behaviors did not help me much, nor did escaping from reality by watching porn or working too much.
The best way to deal with your disappointments and unmet expectations is trying to share them with your spouse. In such a way that it is not complaining about the other, but stating some feelings or thoughts in an I-message. Like, for example, ‘I feel sad that we don’t have much intimacy’, or ‘I feel disappointed that you don’t seem to want to listen to me.’ Or, ‘I think it is not fair when you treat me like this!’
If verbal sharing does not work, then writing a message or email to your spouse might be a tool. It lessens the danger of becoming angered or of getting out of hand, when one of the partners does not listen well enough. 1 Peter 5:7-9 tells us,
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Another way to better deal with disappointments and unmet expectations is writing a list of what you see as blessings in your marriage. The positive can often outweigh the negative. Or, you can also see a coach or counselor to discuss ways to deal with your frustrations. A healthy marriage is possible but it takes work. Don’t give up!
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