Does your spouse have unrealistic expectations of you in your marriage? It may or may not be true. Your spouse may be a bit of a perfectionist, and you are simply not that detailed. However, there are some people who simply expect too much from their partner.
How Do You Know When Your Husband/Wife Has Unrealistic Expectations?
- They push you too hard to be this “ideal” person, and despite your best efforts, you never seem to measure up.
- They are highly critical of you and are never satisfied. Often, they will express their dissatisfaction and how you fail to measure up. They will tell you that what they want is achievable, but it is really over the top- for anyone.
- The bar is set way too high. Many people who set unrealistic expectations on their spouses are indeed perfectionistic. They demand a great deal for themselves and others as well. Since they are always striving for success, they figure that you should be just as driven. However, just as their goals may be set too high for themselves to attain, they are equally as unrealistic for yourself.
- You feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and unappreciated. When expectations are continually unrealistic, many spouses either become bitter, resentful, angry, or depressed. Every time their spouse expresses that they “missed the mark” somehow, they feel defeated- as if they can never make the other person happy. Many end up just not trying anymore. Others will do whatever it takes to avoid an argument.
When your spouse has unrealistic expectations of you, it can make you feel as if you don’t measure up. In trying to please them, you end up feeling like a failure because they are never satisfied. Furthermore, even if you do meet their expectations somehow, the bar keeps getting elevated higher. They are seemingly very critical, and never happy.
So Why Is That?
Many people, as mentioned, that set unrealistic expectations over their spouses have unrealistic expectations of themselves. They will often say that they are trying to help you to be your best- and for the most part they are sincere. However, the critical and perfectionistic part of their character is what drives a wedge into the marriage.
A person can only withstand constant correction and criticism up until a point. After that, they just break. “Breaking” doesn’t mean that they have a nervous breakdown (although it is a possibility). It can mean that the person retreats into themselves, displays outbursts of anger/sadness, becomes bitter/resentful, becomes depressed, cries all the time, withdraws, or even divorce can result from being pushed too far.
The key in dealing with all of this is attacking the underlying issue- not the symptom- and the couple needs to be willing to discuss this. Clarissa Lee-Kennerly contrasts unrealistic expectations with ones in the “normal range” to help readers discern whether or not their spouse’s expectations are reasonable or not. She looks at the effects of unrealistic expectations on both the person, and the impact on the marriage. Finally, she will walk each believer into victory in their marriage, and emotional wholeness.
Our next issue comes out on January 28, 2019!