The truth is there are likely several people on this earth with whom one could have a successful relationship however when we confront the inevitable challenges of marriage, don’t be tempted to believe that you have made a mistake. Keep the focus on yourself, your relationship and on improvement.
The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations
While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.
- 5. Where is my Soul Mate?
Perhaps the most confusing items for couples suggest “My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage” and “Nothing could cause me to question my love.”
On one level, these are positive statements revealing a sense of commitment and confidence in the relationship. Still, a risk for those who believe they’ve found their one true “soul mate” is equating that with the assumption that things will be easy. When they hit the inevitable challenges of marriage, are they tempted to believe that they made a mistake and “the one” must still be out there somewhere?
To circumvent this, a focus on enhancing awareness of self and their partner and careful exploration of the relevant issues, and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues is key.
Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:
“My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”
Tune in next week for more interesting ideas and tips.
Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D.
References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.
Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.
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