It often happens that a man gets married and soon realizes that the spouse begins to annoy, of course, not constantly, but much more often than it was expected. In fairy tales and love stories, married life is easy and carefree, and happiness goes on forever, without any effort. We wait for endless love, and then we get disappointed. We are ready to give the partner everything, but we demand the same from them. Many people don’t even suspect that their unrealistic expectations in relationships are the reason for splitting up, as life doesn’t always give us what we expect from it. However, it is difficult for some to accept the fact.

Unrealistic expectations of life often lead to serious mental problems. How to protect yourself from having unrealistic expectations and get rid of those obtained?

unrealistic expectations in marriage

Why Do We Have Unrealistic Expectations?

If you are married, then probably, like most people, you had certain unrealistic expectations of marriage. Remember how you saw the marriage at the beginning of your relationship. Are your hopes fulfilled? If not, one should not conclude that the difficulties are insurmountable.

For example, some thought their marital life would be filled with fabulous romance. Or perhaps you hoped that you would spend almost all your time together and resolve any differences with ease and prudence. Many people thought that by marriage, they would no longer need to restrain their sexual desires. And since such unrealistic expectations in marriage are likely to lead to disappointment.

Another misconception is that marriage itself can make a person happy. Of course, life with a faithful companion can bring great joy. Do you expect that marriage will become a wonderful tool for resolving all differences? Those who think so often suffer from deep disappointment.

In terms of psychology, unrealistic expectations in a relationship are on par with unrealistic expectations in friendships due to the case that both are based on our early experience. Children expect their parents to feed, protect and support them. But some parents do not take care of the child properly: they leave them alone for a long time, don’t respond to the requests as well as give love. If children fail to get attention from parents, they feel abandoned and unnecessary. Thus, they are filled with the conviction that they don’t deserve love.

Growing up, we transfer to other people the thirst for love and attention, which we couldn’t get from our parents. We expect from friends and loved ones that they will piece out what we lacked in childhood. If someone is kind to us, we are ready to fully trust this person. We believe (as well as in childhood): if you behave “well,” the chosen one will definitely appreciate and love you. But if the partner isn’t ready to accept this role, we lose interest in them and break off a relationship, preventing it from developing.

Unrealistic Expectations in Relationships

In modern society, people are used to idealizing love. They consider it a panacea for life's troubles. Films and book stories demonstrate love as the main goal of life, the ultimate deliverance from pain and suffering. And since we idealize love, we overestimate it. As a result, this affects the relationship. There is an opinion that women's unrealistic dating expectations are higher than men’s as the fair sex is more emotional and tend to dream more. Thus, unrealistic expectations of men are often considered to be more down-to-earth due to the fact that men are less likely to idealize the partner. But, as lots of studies show, expectations don’t depend upon gender, hence, males can suffer from emotional problems connected with unrealistic expectations as well as women do.

examples of unrealistic expectationsSometimes in search of a perfect partner, we use dating sites and apps. But in most cases, it turns out that the person you have been chatting online isn’t the same when it comes to verbal communication. Online dating unrealistic expectations are caused by the lack of live meetings and the influence of beautiful profile pictures which sometimes don’t belong to the account user or aren’t real.

Most Common Unrealistic Expectations of Love That Damage Relationships

1. In a happy relationship, partners guess the thoughts and share each other’s desires. When partners are passionate about each other or live long together, they really "tune" to each other. But the idea that someone should guess the meaning of our words and actions leads to disappointment and separation from reality.

2. There are no conflicts in happy relationships. Moments of misunderstanding happen in every family. No matter how you get along with each other, incidents happen anyway. Some couples believe that happiness is incompatible with quarrels, so they try to avoid them under any pretext.

3. If you need to “work” on relationships, then something is wrong with them. One of the most common misconceptions is that harmonious relationships should develop smoothly. As soon as there are quarrels and offenses in the couple, this allegedly indicates that the partners initially made the wrong choice. But no relationship can be perfect from the very beginning.

Examples of Unrealistic Expectations

1. In 1967, John Lennon wrote the song All you need is love. He also beat both his wives, abandoned one of his children, and showered his Jewish gay manager with antisemitic and homophobic insults.

Thirty-five years later, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails wrote the song Love is not enough. Despite his popularity due to scandalous performances on stage and grotesque clips, Reznor got rid of drug and alcohol addiction, got married, started two children, and then canceled studio and touring activities to stay at home and become a good husband and father. One of these men treats love realistically. The other one doesn’t. One of them idealizes love and sees in it the solution to all problems. And the other one doesn’t.

2. Bonnie expected her life to be simple. She was born in a prosperous family, she studied in a small private school. She never faced serious difficulties, and she did not have to take care of herself. When she entered college and left her absolutely safe and predictable world, she became confused. She had to live on her own and be independent, but she had no self-service skills or a desire to cope with problems.

Life expectations fit into three sentences, “I have to be fine,” “People around me should be good to me,” “I don’t have to deal with problems.” Such beliefs are common to many. Some believe that they will never get stuck in traffic, they will not spend hours waiting for their turn, they will not face bureaucracy, and they will not be touched by insults.

Unrealistic Expectations in Marriage

Rabbi Joseph Richards jokingly suggested his vision of married life, “People annoy us. Find the one that annoys you the least and get married."

A happy marriage gives you a feeling of comfort and security, sex, intercourse, support and a sense of integrity. It is important not to fall into the trap, believing in the image of marriage, imposed by fairy tales, romantic films, and romance novels. Because of unrealistic expectations, we begin to feel deprived. To appreciate all the good qualities of your spouse and learn to appreciate marriage, you have to go down from heaven to earth.

What Should You Expect from Life in Marriage?

Unrealistic expectations:

  • I will never be lonely again.
  • I will never be bored again.
  • unrealistic expectations of loveWe will never quarrel.
  • He (she) will change over time, the way I want.
  • He (she) will always understand without words what I want and what I need.
  • In marriage, everything should be divided equally.
  • He (she) will perform household duties as I want.
  • Sex will always be great.

Realistic Views

  • Marriage means a big change in life. To get used to living together and to the new role of a husband or wife will take time.
  • One person will not be able to satisfy all your communication needs. It is important to maintain friendly relationships with others.
  • In any close relationship, conflicts are inevitable. You can only learn how to successfully resolve them.
  • You should not hope that you will be able to change the old habits or basic traits of the character of the spouse.
  • Your spouse does not know how to read minds. If you want him or her to understand something, tell it straight.
  • Good sex is important for marriage, but you should not expect something incredible during every intimacy. Much depends on the ability of spouses to talk openly on this topic.

If you share some of the ideas listed in the unrealistic part, you are not alone, and such ideas are common. Especially great harm is caused by the idea that spouses should understand each other without words. This often results in mutual misunderstanding and painful experiences.

Unrealistic Expectations of Sex

Ideal sex scenes on the screen generate unrealistic expectations of sex for couples. However, many people complain that they aren’t satisfied with their intimate life. According to the survey, such people are sure: their friends and colleagues have a more intense intimate life. Therefore, it is important to maintain realistic ideas about sexual contact. Moreover, one should remember the positive impact of a healthy lifestyle on good health and on an intimate person's life.

The survey authors recommend keeping in mind the role of relaxation and trying to maintain a moderate level of anxiety, which spoils the impression of sexual contact. Sex, according to experts, will be much more interesting if the partners are doing everything possible to appreciate the touch and emotional pleasure not less than the sexual act itself. Before sexual contact, research leaders advise to forget about the fear of refusal and psychological pressure as well as mentally turn to positive sexual experience instead of a negative one. It should be noted that sex performs several important functions in the relationship of people: pleasure, stress relief, maintaining self-esteem, the formation of intimacy, recreation. If intimate relationships have all these components, both partners will get a positive result. Thus, the result of intimate contact depends on whether the pleasure in a person causes excitement of the partner.

Many couples assume that in long-term relationships the level of arousal should be the same as at the very beginning. However, over time people begin to take the partner for granted, forgetting about the need to share desires and listen to the proposals of the second participant of the relationship.

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