Barbara L. Green, LCSW



"If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed."
Chinese proverb



As couples realize how different they are they experience disappointment in one another.

"I didn't know she was so moody." 
"I didn't know he liked to spend so much time alone."
"I didn't realize she wanted to spend so much time with her family."
"I didn't realize he would spend such long hours at the office."

Couples experience disappointment on subjects ranging from communication, money and household responsibilities to child rearing, sex and leisure time activities. In fact, the list of potential disappointments is endless. It is a direct result of being in an intimate relationship with someone who is not you!

Most couples underestimate how difficult coping with these disappointments is going to be. An endearing quirk in the romantic phase of a relationship can become an infuriating habit later on.

There is more bad news. The human brain does not seem to focus on what is going well, but rather on what is problematic. When is the last time you said, "I'm so glad I'm not thirsty"? Instead we look at ourselves and others and see what is missing. When our partner disappoints us, their positive characteristics fade into the background and we see their flaws in technicolor.  We then experience hurt, confusion and anger as we struggle to manage our disappointment.

Keep in mind:
Disappointment in one another is normal
An enormous disappointment one day, can feel very minor a few days later
A sense of humor and a sense of perspective can help moderate disappointment in each other

Remember your partner has to cope with disappointment in you too!