Think of a time when you were disappointed in your spouse. Did they neglect to do something you requested? Were they distant when you needed them to be close? Maybe they didn’t come through with a big Valentine’s Day surprise like you were hoping for.
Disappointment can make you question your relationship and the feelings your spouse has toward you. Sometimes, disappointment leads to self-resentment. You may ask questions like, “Why doesn’t my spouse love me?” or “What am I doing wrong?”
You may not be doing anything wrong, and your spouse may love you as much as they ever have. They just neglected to fulfill an expectation you had for them.
Ask yourself the following questions…
- Did I express my expectations to my spouse?
Your spouse is not a mind reader. If you expected a surprise or the completion of a household chore, but didn’t communicate that directly to your spouse, your spouse may not think they’ve done anything wrong.
That doesn’t mean they don’t love you or think of you. It just means you didn’t communicate your expectations clearly enough.
- Why am I so disappointed?
This goes back to the self-resentment. If you are insecure about your relationship, it’s easier to go down the rabbit hole of thinking your relationship is in trouble or your spouse is losing their love for you.
- What exactly did my spouse fail to do?
In many cases, isolating the incident from our feelings will put your spouse’s behavior in perspective.
For example, your spouse failed to do the dishes. You could wonder for hours on end if your spouse is secretly mad at you, wants to spite you, or is trying to get back at you for something you failed to do something.
Or you could simply think, “My spouse failed to do the dishes,” and work on finding a solution to that simple problem.
Communicate Your Expectations and Disappointment
Your spouse may not think forgetting about your craft show or not going all-out for Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal. He or she may think that you’re overreacting.
When you talk to you spouse about your disappointment, be sure to communicate the expectations you had and your feelings when the expectations weren’t met. This may require being very vulnerable, but push forward and be honest.
Most of the time, your spouse will be genuinely surprised by the expectations you had for them. (Remember, no one is a mind reader!) But if there are other issues that led to your spouse’s behavior, you may have a longer conversation ahead of you.
Need more advice moving forward? Contact a Portland marriage coach.