How to deal with disappointment in a relationship
Whenever we feel disappointment it tends to be about someone or something not meeting our expectations. If that someone is your partner then your feelings of being let down are going to be high on your agenda. You can feel anger, hurt, frustration, humiliation and other negative emotions which have been triggered through an unmet need.
So, how do you deal with these emotions and what do you do about your partner and your relationship?
First and foremost you need to ask yourself the following questions in order to gain an accurate perspective.
- Is my disappointment truly valid?
- Where my expectations realistic ?
- How has my partner disappointed me?
- Does my partner usually meet my expectations?
- What does my partners lack of understanding mean to me?
- Has the reason for the disappointment been mentioned before?
- Have I recently changed the expectations of my partner?
- Have I recently changed the expectations of our relationship? Have my partners expectations changed ?
- I am needing more from than the relationship than usual and if so, have a communicated this to my partner?
- What do I really want and need from my partner to help heal the uncomfortable feelings? Can I do this myself ?
All of these questions help you to focus on your understanding of the situation, your partner and your feelings and why you feel such disappointment.
If you have been in a long term relationship you probably think you know your partner’s personality and traits really well and if it’s a new relationship it’s all a learning curve.
Feeling let down and disappointed can give you both a chance to talk and re-evaluate your relationship and what you want from each other.
If one of you want the relationship to end and the other doesn’t and there is no chance of any reconciliation, then take what you have learnt from the current relationship and use it in your next.
If you have the opportunity to talk things through then use the space to discuss each other’s needs and expectations. If you are the one who feels let down start the conversation with
‘ I feel disappointed because ‘ ......
‘ you made me feel ‘ ........
If you go on the attack you may well get a defensive response. You may feel justified in blaming your partner but if you want to negotiate a new view point, you need to take responsibility for your reaction. There’s a better chance of your partner ‘ hearing ‘ your words rather than closing down and dismissing how you feel if you approach the conversation from the ‘ I ‘.
Sometimes, we can frequently feel disappointed because our partner keeps repeating a pattern of behaviour. Maybe you have mentioned it several times before but still nothing changes. When this happens, it’s you who has to decide to take control of your feelings and decide what you are prepared to accept and not.
Ask yourself -
‘ does my partner KNOW how to meet my expectations’
‘is he capable of understanding my feelings ‘
‘ does he usually show he cares about how I feel ‘
‘ is it always me who feels let down ‘
‘ do I make excuses for my partner’s behaviour ‘
It’s so important to see the reality of the situation so by asking questions like the above it helps you to properly assess what is going on between you.
There will always be compromise in a relationship, it depends on what you are both prepared to accept and compromise on. It’s a process of give and take, an open negotiation between two people who have mutual love and respect for each other.
We may think we know are partner really well but the truth is we can always learn through every disagreement, every misunderstanding and every disappointment, making the relationship stronger and closer than ever before.