Dr. David Clarke estimates that 80% of women are lonely in their marriages because their relationships are plagued by disappointment, anger, monotony, and unmet expectations.

When couples are dating, many believe that their spouse will become their source of complete fulfillment after they’re married. But once they’re married, they discover that’s impossible.

Erin Smalley understands what it’s like when marriage expectations shatter. Early on in their marriage, she and her husband, Greg, fought frequently. Erin grew up without a positive male role model, so she expected Greg to satisfy her needs perfectly. It was a no-win situation for both of them.

If your marriage is stuck in a cycle of disappointment, don’t ask “How can my marriage be better?” Ask instead, “How can I be a better spouse?”

A great marriage requires two people. You cannot force your spouse to join you in improving your relationship. So, first consider how to improve yourself. Even a small change in the way you handle your marriage can have a lasting impact.

So, what can you do to chart a better course for your marriage?

The most important answer is to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. Although people will let us down, the Lord never will. He will fulfill us and meet our expectations. Marriage can be a difficult journey, but with the Lord’s help, you can have a happy and fulfilling relationship.

If you’re struggling with the disappointment of unmet expectations, I would encourage you to tune in to our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Becoming a Wholehearted Wife” with Erin and Greg Smalley. They explain how wives can become “wholehearted” and how husbands can participate in that journey with their wives.

They share 10 practical keys to a more loving relationship:

  1. Honor your spouse.
  2. Nourish your spouse.
  3. Accept personality differences.
  4. Connect spiritually.
  5. Foster good communication.
  6. Connect sexually.
  7. Resolve conflict.
  8. Defuse anger.
  9. Forgive.
  10. Transform life’s trials into blessings.

My conversation with Greg and Erin will cover these ideas and many more. Listen on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.

I hope you’ll also consider a donation to Focus on the Family. With your donation of any amount, we can continue to help marriages thrive. As our way of saying thank you, we’ll send you a copy of Erin Smalley’s book Becoming a Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship. You can get it for yourself or for someone you know who is struggling in their marriage. Check here for details.

Thank you for partnering with us to help families in need!

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