My wife and I have been married for several years. Our life certainly hasn’t been what we envisioned – the road has been a lot tougher than we expected. We love each other, but we’re discouraged. Do you have any advice?
Answer: Many couples struggle with what their marriage is compared to what they dreamed it would be. But what they often fail to consider is whether their expectations were realistic in the first place.
Marital bliss is a common dream when people are dating. In those early stages of romance, they can’t imagine feeling discontent with their spouse or their conversations not stretching into the wee hours of the night. And disagreements? What disagreements?
But once you’re married, those expectations usually hit a speed bump. There’s the monotony of work and paying bills week-in and week-out. Then there are all the stressors. Maybe a spouse loses their job, or a baby is born, impacting the couple’s finances. Real life sets in, and the dream begins to fade.
Here’s the point: Good marriages aren’t built on lofty expectations. They’re formed through the ups and downs of day-to-day, year-to-year experiences.
So if your relationship isn’t all you’d hoped, take a look at what you’d originally hoped for. Maybe some of your expectations were unrealistic in the first place. If so, cast a new vision for your marriage. But this time, temper your dreams with a little less fairy tale and a little more real life. And build that vision on your individual and mutual strengths. Your marriage can be greater than the sum of its parts.
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