The first stages of love are the sweetest. Everything your partner says and does delights and thrills you. You can't imagine ever becoming annoyed, frustrated or disappointed with anything he or she might do.

However, after a couple has been together for a while and particularly after a few months or years of marriage, the sparkling perfection of one's mate can begin to dull. You might start to notice annoying habits that you didn't notice while you were dating or you might be disappointed to realize that your spouse doesn't always act the way you believe a good husband or wife should behave.

Every marriage faces the problem of unmet expectations. We all bring our own set of expectations to a marriage and often times those expectations don't match up perfectly. It is important to work together with your spouse to create realistic expectations of each other and your marriage. The following will help you avoid some of the common mistakes couples make when facing the issue of post-honeymoon disillusionment.

1. Don't overreact

While it can be disappointing and stressful to realize that your marriage may not be the idealized portrait of bliss that you thought it would be, remember that some disillusionment is inevitable. This doesn't mean, however, that there is no hope for happiness. There are, no doubt, still many things that you love and admire about your spouse despite his or her imperfections. Try to focus on these things as you reevaluate your expectations

2. Don't avoid the issue

Avoiding the problem will not make it go away. While you should avoid fighting, it is vital that you engage in a calm discussion with your spouse about how you feel. Try to do this without criticizing or accusing your spouse. This will only create resentment and defensiveness. For example, instead of saying, "You don't pay attention to me anymore," you could say, "I feel hurt and disappointed when you spend more time with your friends than you do with me."

3. Don't try to force your spouse to meet your expectations

It is natural for us to assume that our way of viewing the marriage relationship is the right way. It is important to realize, however, that your spouse's viewpoint may be just as valid. By trying to force your spouse to be what you expected him or her to be, you only create more resentment. Don't yell, nag, pout, or punish. These things will not help your marriage. Instead, try to find ways that you can meet in the middle regarding your differences of opinion. For example, if you believe that whoever cooks dinner should not be required to do the dishes, but your wife believes that dishes should be a joint effort in which everyone helps out, try to find a compromise that you can both agree on.

4. Don't look outside your marriage for fulfillment

You may be tempted to look to family members, friends or other potential partners to meet your unfulfilled expectations, but this is a mistake. It will only delay the problem temporarily. In any relationship there will be a certain amount of letdown when you realize that the other person isn't perfect. By running from your current relationship to a new one, you will simply be perpetuating a cycle of raised hopes followed by disappointment. Instead, communicate with your spouse and work to improve the marriage that you have.

Close Ad