Dealing With Disillusionment In Your Marriage

We’ve all been there before. There you were, starting a new life with your partner, thinking of the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.

Then before you knew it, you became strangers to each other, scratching your heads over how reality shattered the high expectations you had at the beginning.

We’ve all felt that incredible rush that comes with falling in love with someone - followed by the rude awakening that comes with the difficulties of married life.

When you got to this point, did you feel like throwing in the towel or long for the perks of being single again?

If you have, don’t fret – anyone who’s been married for a while has come to this crossroads too. When your morale is at its lowest, it’s normal to have these feelings.

However, the good news is that this is just a temporary phase that you can power through. Like they say, the course of love isn’t always smooth sailing.

You can AND will get through the rough patches if you truly want to.

“How Do I Get Over The Disappointment?”

You may not be able to control your circumstances right now, but there is one thing you can master: your mindset.

Though the external world (i.e. the events in your life) may move in ways that cause you distress, ultimately you can still choose HOW to react.

Are you going let the outside world dictate what you feel on the inside? Or can you focus on thinking about the things you can change instead?

Your spouse may not be the perfect person you once thought he or she was, but does that mean you can’t choose to accept who they’ve become?

Yes, married life is tough – that’s a basic reality that we all have to live with.
Nevertheless, you still have the power to feel the way you want to, no matter how much life swirls around you. Besides, what you feel on the inside may not always reflect reality.

What Do I Do About It Then?

“I get that”, you might be thinking, “but it’s unrealistic for me to instantly feel better just by being more positive.”

Indeed, all the positive thinking in the world can’t change things on its own. Besides, it’s not about pretending that everything is ok when you know it’s not.

It’s about making the conscious decision NOT to dwell on the negatives of your relationship and focus on DOING something constructive instead.

Thus, the other part of dealing with disillusionment is making an effort to understand the underlying issue, which is having different ideas of what the perfect marriage is.

Calling Out The Elephant in the Room

Much of the “reality check” phase – when real life catches up to the fairy tale – comes from NOT having a shared definition of the ideal life with your partner.

Chances are this wasn’t the case in the beginning. You and your spouse probably had the same rough idea of the direction that your marriage should take.

Over time however, people change for one reason or another. Our experiences shape us in many ways, and major milestones down the line can affect our mindset and priorities in life.

Then there are cases where you had radically different ideas from the outset, but never got around to discussing them before getting married.

For instance, maybe you assumed your spouse was perfectly happy spending a lot of time at home to catch up on your favorite books, shows and movies.

On the contrary, your partner might have been more interested in travelling the world together, getting lost in the middle of nowhere while learning “strange” new cultures and creating meaningful experiences in the process.

Whatever your differences may be, it’s common for many couples to overlook this. They simply don’t realize that they’re no longer on the same page (or never were to begin with).

A lot of marital dissatisfaction comes from these fundamental differences; not only does it lead to disillusionment, but also resentment in the long run.

Taking The First Step

If you think that you’re not on the same page with your spouse, it’s probably why you’re feeling disenchanted or even cynical about your marriage.

If that’s the case, then it’s time to create subtle but effective changes in your marriage to get back on track.

Sometimes, the best way to start is by asking your spouse what’s on their mind.

Consider if you’ve ever asked your partner the following:

“What do you think it means to have a shared life?”

“How much have your thoughts on that changed since we got married?”

“What’s your greatest achievement so far?”

“Where do you want your career to be in the next five years?”

“Where do you see US in the next five years?”

Couples who have a common vision of their marriage already know the answer to these questions. For them, there is no emotional disconnect – they know what the other is coming from even if they don’t agree 100% on their respective dreams.

In fact, dealing with disillusionment isn’t so much about having the same ideas about the ideal marriage as it is being aware of them AND finding a way to reconcile them.

Finding middle ground is the mark of a strong, stable marriage. The next time you have the opportunity, try picking your partner’s brain in a casual, non-threatening way.

Sit them down with their favorite snack or beverage and slip it in the conversation. Get them used to the idea of talking about their hopes and dreams.

Although talking about these things might be essential, you don’t have to get “heavy” with your spouse about it.

Progress, One Day at a Time

In time, you’ll uncover your differences when it comes to what you both want out of your marriage. Like I said earlier, not having the same vision of the perfect relationship doesn’t mean you should be emotionally distant from each other.

You may have your work cut out for you right now, but taking the initiative to get these thoughts out in the open will benefit you both.

After you’ve eliminated the assumptions and misunderstandings, you’ll eventually regain a brighter outlook on things and stop being jaded about your marriage.

That's all for now. But I'd love to hear about your experiences. What are your sticking points? What works for you?

Share in the comments below.

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4 comments on “Dealing With Disillusionment In Your Marriage”

  1. I agree with some of the points discussed in you blog but I believe that no real progress will ever be made until both partners are equally serious about saving their marriage. It is difficult to progress and wipe out any disillusionment if your partner finds it difficult to open up and discuss the problem with you! In my case, I find it difficult to bring the subject up in our discussion either because the kids are around or because of fear of disrupting the seeming "friendly" atmosphere that exists between us. I say "seemingly friendly" because frankly I don' t know what my wife is thinking about our problem and whether she is behaving in a friendly with me so as to make the kids believe that all is fine between us when it is not really the case since there has been a lack of intimacy between for a year now. I am finding it very difficult to endure and at times it gets so unbearable that I just want to quit! So how can one get to know her real feelings and thoughts about our future together as a married couple other than through using some trusted friends to gather some info for me or simply pushing the discussion onto my partner? The key to the solution to such a communication problem is a serious joint commitment but how do you get it?it is a rather sticky problem!

  2. I understand woman are beautiful complicated creatures but it is so hard to figure out what they want and feel most all the time you need a psychology degree or a manual to read it just shouldn't be that hard. Your stuck between being a sweet caring driveling wimp with to much emotion and that turns them off because your not manly enough but if your not sensitive enough your to much of a man your a mean jerk. They say they want one thing but when your that way its still not right. I just don't know why it has tobe such a guessing game cat and mouse like they want us to know exactly what to do and say but they don't want to tell us. You try tobe romantic and loving but its taken as fake or just wanting something. Like a mans feelings aren't real or when you say and do the things they say they want its not true because they don't feel that way. I feel and think my wife is the most beautiful woman I've ever known or been with and I tell her in more ways than poems love letters music but its like if she doesn't believe it about herself then im lying. You try to build there self esteem but its got tobe the most puzzling thing to figure out. I tell her and she even has agreed with me that men and woman feel and give love in totally different ways but when it comes down to actually accepting that fact and what her number one love language is she can't accept that of the five ours are numbered in a different order. They want us to understand them and know what they want and to figure it out without being told but when we give it to them straight with nothing to figure out they get it but wont accept it tobe what is most important to them so it shouldn't be most important to us. Why can't they try to learn why can't they have some responsibility in figuring us out we aren't nearly as hard to figure out as woman are I told ask showed but in fifteen years she still has it in her mind that I want like a woman wants. She thinks sex is all I want she thinks servicing me is what satisfies me sex is great but its the emotion the admiration the respect the way they look in your eyes the way they kiss you the way they hug you is what makes intimacy so special with the woman you love, if I didn't love the woman service would be good the less emotion the better it just drives me out of my mind I can't and haven't never been able to get her to understand that what is a man to do short of becoming a professional relationship coach or therapist a mussy wimp that ends up with no man left in him. I am ready to give up and it sucks because I am in love with the woman sometimes I wish I wasn't so when she started the I love you but not in love with you deal and about divorce and then to take everything to the worst she started lying to me and seeing another man all while telling me she wanted to work things out

  3. Hi Richard, you need to deal with the issues which have lead you to be emotionally detached from your wife, along with the infidelity. Clearly your wife feels that her own needs aren't being met if she's looking to another person. Have you tried getting her to talk about what frustrates her in your relationship? Perhaps you can get a counselor involved to help you get to the root of your issues so you can start to break down the walls that have built up between you. Also, try taking the initiative to compliment her, be affectionate and make plans to spend time together. Building the friendship is a major key to saving your marriage.

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