Introduction

An extremely serious situation in marriage is when your needs are not being met by your spouse. You may begin to feel that your spouse doesn’t value the relationship because other things seem to have a higher priority than the relationship based on the things they do. However, an even more serious issue is when we expect our spouses to do what they don’t do or be who they are not.

Sometimes, perhaps many times, we have unrealistic expectations of our spouses. We are expecting them to meet a particular need, but they do not do what we want them to do as a normal part of their being. This situation is exacerbated when we fail to communicate our needs, feelings, and thoughts to our spouses.

I will discuss this situation that occurs in marriages and provide some insights on what to do about it and even how to mitigate it in the first place.

 

Expectations

We tend to have a list of expectations of our spouses when we get married. Some may expect lots of sex, lots of intimacy, lots of time working together, starting a business together, expectations about children, finances, and more. We don’t realize that we expect our spouses to be someone that they might not be. We might expect our spouses to do things that they normally do not do. We expect our spouses to fit in the mold that we have created.

Issues begin to arise when our spouses do not live up to our expectations. They do not keep the house clean as our mothers did, they do not spend quality time with us, and so much more. We then begin to react negatively to this disappointment and perhaps resentment may germinate in the relationship.

Instead of realizing these misplaced expectations of our spouses, we try to change them to fit our mold. We try to get them to be the person that we want and do the things that we want them to do, sometimes in aggressive or passive-aggressive ways. The situation gets worse when our spouses do not change the way we want them. They seem to be apathetic to our expectations, and in many cases, our needs.

 

Communication

One of the most important things in any relationship is communication. However, this appears to be one of the most neglected activities in a marriage. Couples do not talk to each other on deep or sensitive levels. We may talk about what happened on the job, but we will not talk about how it made us feel or why it made us feel a certain way.

Many marriages could be better if the husband and wife simply talked to each other about sensitive and highly personal issues, especially those about the marriage. So many couples are disengaged because they expect each other to fit their spousal mold. We don’t get a chance to truly know each other because we don’t share our innermost thoughts and feelings.

Instead of sitting at the dinner table, living room, bedroom, or wherever to talk, we would rather watch television, work on the computer, or vegetate on social media. You expect your spouse to do one thing and they expect you to do one thing, neither of which is the thing you do, and none of you expresses these expectations or lack of having your needs met per that expectation.

Resentment begins to increase over the months and years because your spouse is not fulfilling you. Your spouse appears to not care about meeting your needs. For example, your wife is not a good wife to you because she doesn’t do the things that a good wife would do—per your expectations.

The disappointment caused by a husband not meeting the expectations of his wife (and vice versa) can be minimized if he expressed that disappointment to his wife in a nonconfrontational and respectful manner. Likewise, the wife should listen to her husband in a non-judgmental manner and work with him to resolve the issue.

The key is for the husband and wife to communicate. Talk about the marriage, feelings, thoughts, issues, etc. Have more intimate conversations than about what happened on the job, what the kids did, what vacation you want, etc. Talk about the relationship. Be honest and candid with each other. That will help avoid issues in the first place, and provide an effective way to resolve them quickly.

 

Meet Each Other’s Needs

How can your spouse meet your needs or expectations when they don’t know what they are? Like I said earlier, we tend to think that our spouses will be who we think they should be and do the things we expect them to do. However, you must remember that your spouse had a completely different path of life than you. Therefore, they will not be you nor will they be exactly what you expect.

Let me just say that trying to change your spouse is not the way to get your needs met or your expectations fulfilled in the marriage. When we try to change our spouse to meet our expectations or needs, we are blaming them for how we feel and perhaps for the condition of the marriage. We are in effect saying, “If you would just be the way you are supposed to be then our marriage would be great.”

However, as I pointed out earlier, you probably never told your spouse what you expect and what your needs are. How is he or she to know?

An effective way to resolve the issue of expectations and needs not being met is to first start with yourself, not your spouse. Instead of trying to force or persuade your spouse to meet your expectations, work to meet theirs.

To meet your spouse’s expectations and needs requires that you discover what they are. Communications, as discussed previously, is the way to do this. Initiate intimate conversations with your spouse about your needs and expectations and listen attentively when they express theirs to you.

It becomes difficult for a wife to work to meet her husband’s needs when he is consistently indifferent to hers. However, it is much easier to work to meet your wife’s needs and expectations when she is making an effort to meet yours. The point here is to start with yourself. Try to meet your spouse’s needs and express yours so that they can meet your needs and expectations.

Of course, this assumes that both husband and wife want to meet their spouse’s needs and expectations. The couple must want to work purposefully at their marriage and not just let it run its course as many do.

It is important to realize that all of your needs may not be met by your spouse. You may want your spouse to do things that they don’t know how to do or is otherwise against it for any number of reasons. For example, you may want oral sex, but your husband thinks it’s nasty. You probably won’t get oral sex from him unless he changes his disposition about it and acquiesces to your desire for it.

Therefore, don’t assume that open and intimate conversations about your needs and expectations mean that they will be met. He or she may try to give you what you want, but there may be some things that they have serious aversions towards and you’ll have to accept that.

 

Marriage is an Ongoing Project

We spend more time nurturing other areas in our lives and neglect nurturing our marriage. We’ll spend time studying for coursework for an advanced degree, pursuing a hobby, educating ourselves about children, technology, cooking, home remodeling, and a plethora of other things. However, we typically neglect to educate ourselves about marriage and working purposefully to make it a happy one.

If we would be aware of the fact that marriage requires lots of work, then we would be in a much better position to resolve issues that arise in it, especially unmet needs and expectations. Like most things in our lives, if we let it go then it will start to deteriorate. If we neglect our marriage, then the relationship will begin to slide downhill so to speak.

Marriage is an ongoing project that we must continue to work on. This mindset alone will enable you to do those things to consistently improve the relationship.

 

Conclusion

Many people get married and expect their spouse to meet their needs and expectations. However, they don’t communicate those needs and expectations and still expect them to be met by their spouses. We expect our spouses to have the same expectations in marriage that we do even though they had a different path of life.

We should communicate our needs and expectations to our spouses in a respectful and non-judgmental manner keeping in mind that they may not be willing or capable of meeting them all.

Work to meet your spouse’s needs as you communicate yours. Don’t assume that your spouse knows what you want.

Never stop purposely working on improving your marriage. Do not neglect to nurture the relationship. Be open and honest with each other with respect and empathy. Work together to create a happy marriage. Get to know your spouse intimately to avoid expecting them to be what they are not and do what they don’t do.

 

Introduction

An extremely serious situation in marriage is when your needs are not being met by your spouse. You may begin to feel that your spouse doesn’t value the relationship because other things seem to have a higher priority than the relationship based on the things they do. However, an even more serious issue is when we expect our spouses to do what they don’t do or be who they are not.

Sometimes, perhaps many times, we have unrealistic expectations of our spouses. We are expecting them to meet a particular need, but they do not do what we want them to do as a normal part of their being. This situation is exacerbated when we fail to communicate our needs, feelings, and thoughts to our spouses.

I will discuss this situation that occurs in marriages and provide some insights on what to do about it and even how to mitigate it in the first place.

 

Expectations

We tend to have a list of expectations of our spouses when we get married. Some may expect lots of sex, lots of intimacy, lots of time working together, starting a business together, expectations about children, finances, and more. We don’t realize that we expect our spouses to be someone that they might not be. We might expect our spouses to do things that they normally do not do. We expect our spouses to fit in the mold that we have created.

Issues begin to arise when our spouses do not live up to our expectations. They do not keep the house clean as our mothers did, they do not spend quality time with us, and so much more. We then begin to react negatively to this disappointment and perhaps resentment may germinate in the relationship.

Instead of realizing these misplaced expectations of our spouses, we try to change them to fit our mold. We try to get them to be the person that we want and do the things that we want them to do, sometimes in aggressive or passive-aggressive ways. The situation gets worse when our spouses do not change the way we want them. They seem to be apathetic to our expectations, and in many cases, our needs.

Communication

One of the most important things in any relationship is communication. However, this appears to be one of the most neglected activities in a marriage. Couples do not talk to each other on deep or sensitive levels. We may talk about what happened on the job, but we will not talk about how it made us feel or why it made us feel a certain way.

Many marriages could be better if the husband and wife simply talked to each other about sensitive and highly personal issues, especially those about the marriage. So many couples are disengaged because they expect each other to fit their spousal mold. We don’t get a chance to truly know each other because we don’t share our innermost thoughts and feelings.

Instead of sitting at the dinner table, living room, bedroom, or wherever to talk, we would rather watch television, work on the computer, or vegetate on social media. You expect your spouse to do one thing and they expect you to do one thing, neither of which is the thing you do, and none of you expresses these expectations or lack of having your needs met per that expectation.

Resentment begins to increase over the months and years because your spouse is not fulfilling you. Your spouse appears to not care about meeting your needs. For example, your wife is not a good wife to you because she doesn’t do the things that a good wife would do—per your expectations.

The disappointment caused by a husband not meeting the expectations of his wife (and vice versa) can be minimized if he expressed that disappointment to his wife in a nonconfrontational and respectful manner. Likewise, the wife should listen to her husband in a non-judgmental manner and work with him to resolve the issue.

The key is for the husband and wife to communicate. Talk about the marriage, feelings, thoughts, issues, etc. Have more intimate conversations than about what happened on the job, what the kids did, what vacation you want, etc. Talk about the relationship. Be honest and candid with each other. That will help avoid issues in the first place, and provide an effective way to resolve them quickly.

 

Meet Each Other’s Needs

How can your spouse meet your needs or expectations when they don’t know what they are? Like I said earlier, we tend to think that our spouses will be who we think they should be and do the things we expect them to do. However, you must remember that your spouse had a completely different path of life than you. Therefore, they will not be you nor will they be exactly what you expect.

Let me just say that trying to change your spouse is not the way to get your needs met or your expectations fulfilled in the marriage. When we try to change our spouse to meet our expectations or needs, we are blaming them for how we feel and perhaps for the condition of the marriage. We are in effect saying, “If you would just be the way you are supposed to be then our marriage would be great.”

However, as I pointed out earlier, you probably never told your spouse what you expect and what your needs are. How is he or she to know?

An effective way to resolve the issue of expectations and needs not being met is to first start with yourself, not your spouse. Instead of trying to force or persuade your spouse to meet your expectations, work to meet theirs.

To meet your spouse’s expectations and needs requires that you discover what they are. Communications, as discussed previously, is the way to do this. Initiate intimate conversations with your spouse about your needs and expectations and listen attentively when they express theirs to you.

It becomes difficult for a wife to work to meet her husband’s needs when he is consistently indifferent to hers. However, it is much easier to work to meet your wife’s needs and expectations when she is making an effort to meet yours. The point here is to start with yourself. Try to meet your spouse’s needs and express yours so that they can meet your needs and expectations.

Of course, this assumes that both husband and wife want to meet their spouse’s needs and expectations. The couple must want to work purposefully at their marriage and not just let it run its course as many do.

It is important to realize that all of your needs may not be met by your spouse. You may want your spouse to do things that they don’t know how to do or is otherwise against it for any number of reasons. For example, you may want oral sex, but your husband thinks it’s nasty. You probably won’t get oral sex from him unless he changes his disposition about it and acquiesces to your desire for it.

Therefore, don’t assume that open and intimate conversations about your needs and expectations mean that they will be met. He or she may try to give you what you want, but there may be some things that they have serious aversions towards and you’ll have to accept that.

 

Marriage is an Ongoing Project

We spend more time nurturing other areas in our lives and neglect nurturing our marriage. We’ll spend time studying for coursework for an advanced degree, pursuing a hobby, educating ourselves about children, technology, cooking, home remodeling, and a plethora of other things. However, we typically neglect to educate ourselves about marriage and working purposefully to make it a happy one.

If we would be aware of the fact that marriage requires lots of work, then we would be in a much better position to resolve issues that arise in it, especially unmet needs and expectations. Like most things in our lives, if we let it go then it will start to deteriorate. If we neglect our marriage, then the relationship will begin to slide downhill so to speak.

Marriage is an ongoing project that we must continue to work on. This mindset alone will enable you to do those things to consistently improve the relationship.

Conclusion

Many people get married and expect their spouse to meet their needs and expectations. However, they don’t communicate those needs and expectations and still expect them to be met by their spouses. We expect our spouses to have the same expectations in marriage that we do even though they had a different path of life.

We should communicate our needs and expectations to our spouses in a respectful and non-judgmental manner keeping in mind that they may not be willing or capable of meeting them all.

Work to meet your spouse’s needs as you communicate yours. Don’t assume that your spouse knows what you want.

Never stop purposely working on improving your marriage. Do not neglect to nurture the relationship. Be open and honest with each other with respect and empathy. Work together to create a happy marriage. Get to know your spouse intimately to avoid expecting them to be what they are not and do what they don’t do.

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