Are You Driving Your Spouse Away With Unrealistic Expectations?

Updated October 1, 2023  

Having unrealistic expectations in marriage can lead to serious problems later in a relationship or marriage.

Whether it’s you or your partner with high expectations, sooner or later, it’s going to cause issues.

So what do I mean by unreasonable expectations in marriage? Well, let me give you an example.

Let’s say your partner spends a lot of time doing a hobby they love. They spend time with you as well, of course.

But they have a job, you, and they have this hobby they love.

An unrealistic expectation would be if you wanted your partner to give up that hobby to spend more time with you.

Or how about your partner expecting you to make mounds of cash to support their lavish lifestyle while doing little or no work themselves.

So let’s talk about you…

You know now what I mean by unreasonable expectations.

So how are things between you and your spouse? Do you get along famously? Are you super close? I doubt you’d be reading this article if that were true.

But don’t worry – I’m here to help.

So…let’s talk about how your spouse acts around you. Do they try and avoid you? Are you setting unrealistic demands that they can’t fulfill?

The more you push your partner to do something for you, get something for you, etc., the more they’ll pull away from you.

So here’s an initial exercise (it doesn’t involve moving or doing anything):

Step 1 (The Easy Bit):

I want you to think of what you’ve recently asked your partner for, whether it’s more time, more money, a specific material object.

Whatever it is, I want you to have a good think and figure out why your partner is acting the way they are.

You might struggle and think, “Well, there’s nothing! I’ve not set any unrealistic expectations!”

If you really can’t think of anything, it’s time to move to step number two.

Step 2 (The Harder Bit):

Now, you may have figured out what demands you’ve been making that are pushing your partner away, or you might not.

Either way, the next step now is to talk to them. Get together, and make sure you free up enough time to talk to each other and listen to what both of you have to say.

Ask them why they’re acting the way they are and what you might be doing that’s making them act that way.

Ask them specifically if they feel that you’ve put any unrealistic demands on them recently, causing them to behave differently.

As I always say, communication is one of the foundations of any successful relationship or marriage, which rings true even in this situation.

If you take some real time to figure out why they’re behaving oddly and whether you’re the cause, you can nip that problem in the bud before it becomes a real problem.

Recommended reading: How To Deal With Criticism and Give Constructive Feedback in a Relationship

Step 3 (The Best Bit!):

So, you’ve talked about it. You’ve gotten them to open up and tell you what unrealistic expectations were there and how they felt about them.

Now it’s time for change! Yes, I know; change is hard. But think about your marriage/relationship.

A small change can have wonderful effects.

Watch as you remove those unrealistic expectations; almost all of the difficulty and arguing from your marriage just…poof! Disappears.


So, there you go. A quick three-step process for saving your marriage, ending some destructive conflicts, and patching up a shaky relationship.

Remember: figure out the unrealistic expectations, talk to your partner about them and ask them how they feel, and then figure out how you can fix it.

That’s all there is to it!

Have you experienced unreasonable expectations in your marriage? What was it, and what did you do about it?

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About the author 


Sebastian loves analyzing statistics about anything that has to do with the dynamics in a love relationship. He enjoys researching why people behave the way they do (and drinks horrendous amounts of coffee when he's in the zone).

He uses his knowledge to help couples in troubled relationships reconnect with their partners and create a perfectly imperfect relationship.

Dowload my free 14 mistakes ebook 

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