How To Deal With Disappointment In A Relationship: 15 Ways To Get Through It

Growing up, I had an image of the picture-perfect husband, with one boy and one girl. There would be an elaborate fairy tale wedding. I would be a stay home mom and nurture my perfect little boy and girl. Thanks, Disney. Oh, how my life has changed. It’s been packed with disappointments, and relationships are no exception. 

Dealing With Relationship Disappointment

Having the high expectations that I did, I was bound to have to deal with my fair share of disappointment. However, that’s how I learned quite a bit about relationships. I also learned a lot about how to deal with being in a disappointing relationship. If you’re feeling disappointed, these fifteen tips will help you deal with it perfectly.

1. Have realistic expectations

I grew up watching princess movies, too. I understand wanting a Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet because you’re simply gorgeous. However, that’s not realistic. Instead, it’s important to keep certain expectations and get rid of the rest. 

To do this, I made a list. I did let my daughter contribute to the list. Also, my best friend got input because she brings me back down to Earth. Things that are not on the list are negotiable. This can help you avoid the inevitable disappointment of having high expectations.

2. Understand that no one is perfect

You’re not perfect, and neither is any other person. When you expect your man to be perfect, you’re bound to feel disappointment when he falls short of what you expect.

Instead, focus on the effort that he’s putting forth. Not only will this help your relationships, but you’ll also find that you feel differently about them. You won’t put too much pressure on your partner, which will help your intimate relationship be more satisfying for both of you.

3. Know when to leave

While it’s normal to be disappointed from time to time in romantic relationships, you also need to know when to leave. If he’s not putting forth effort or you feel that the entire relationship is one big disappointment, it’s time to make a decision. You need to realize that sometimes, it’s okay to leave because you’re tired of feeling disappointed. You have to do what is right for you.

4. Keep your other relationships intact

When we have a new boyfriend, it’s easy to distance ourselves from friends or family. However, those are the people that you need in your life. They’ll be there when the relationship is over. Your friends will tell you when you have unrealistic expectations. 

More than anything, having a life outside of your relationship is healthy. When you’re enmeshed with each other, you’re more likely to be more disappointed more often.

5. Remember it’s normal

Everyone will feel disappointed from time to time. That doesn’t mean that the entire relationship is a disappointment. It’s important to keep things in perspective, especially when it comes to intimate relationships. Instead, you want to learn how to work through things when you do experience disappointment.

6. Accept them for who they are

When you find yourself thinking that your partner should be a certain way, you’re bound to wind up feeling disappointed. That disappointment comes from expectations that are different from your reality. Instead, stop thinking about what you feel your partner or marriage should be like. Instead, look at it for what it is.

7. Nurture your relationship

nurture your relationship

To make your relationship work, you’re going to have to work on it. Maintaining a relationship is important to be able to work through disappointment together. Plan a date night. Spend quality time together. Talk about your day together. All of those things will help you build a deeper level of intimacy.

8. Remember that relationships change

It’s common to feel a wave of disappointment as your relationship moves from one stage to the next. In the beginning, you’ll go through the honeymoon phase. It’s packed with love and impressing each other. 

Then, this will subside as your relationship continues to progress. Instead of disappointment, try to understand that this is a normal progression that every relationship goes through.

9. Talk about your relationship disappointment

There are going to be times that you’ll be disappointed. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to simply accept it. Instead, take the time to talk about things with your partner. If you feel hurt, you should be able to say that to the person you’re in a relationship with. Set aside some time to talk things over.

10. Set aside time to discuss how you feel

Don’t have the conversation when either of you has had a bad day. Avoid bringing other behavior in the marriage into the talk, too. This is about this situation and expectations. 

The sooner you sit down and have this conversation, the better off your marriage is. It gives you both time to discuss what your expectations are, and how the other person’s behavior makes you feel. You need to focus on the behavior and how it made you feel. Both of you should listen to the other person without judgment. 

Remember, you two are a team. You need to problem solve, not fight against each other. 

If you’re new to solving problems together, it can be helpful to create rules for the conversation. A common rule is no name-calling. Another great idea is to take a time out if either of you gets angry. Being in a heightened emotional state can result in ineffective communication from both of you. It makes one person lash out at the other person. 

Instead, resume the conversation when you are both feeling better and are able to communicate effectively. 

When the two of you discuss things, both of you need to create an environment that encourages non-judgemental, open communication. You both need to be able to say how you feel without fear of what the other person will say or think.

11. Don’t focus on anger

Anger is often our reaction when we are hurt or full of disappointment. However, mad and angry are reactions. It’s important to understand the underlying emotion and the reason behind it. 

For example, you may feel frustrated. Then, you need to understand why you feel frustrated. Sort that out before having a conversation with your partner about the situation.

12. Be honest about your feelings

Don’t just focus on the disappointment. Avoid focusing on only expectations too. Instead, look at what was going through your mind. Were you making assumptions? Did you wind up thinking that he was acting exactly like your ex? 

It’s common for us to be disappointed in a relationship, but sometimes that disappointment is a result of our own thoughts. Be honest with yourself so you know what is behind your feelings.

13. Be empathetic

Your partner doesn’t mean to disappoint you. In fact, they might not know what your expectations are. This could be why they disappoint you over and over again. If they are putting forth a lot of effort, understand where they are coming from. Empathetic thinking can help strengthen your relationship. It’s necessary for a conversation about how you’re feeling too. 

Being empathetic can also help you understand why your partner did a certain thing. They weren’t trying to let you down. Perhaps they had a rough day at work. Maybe they are tired or aren’t feeling well. 

There are quite a few things that can result in your partner doing a certain thing. You can ask them if something is wrong to help you understand where they are coming from.

14. Don’t take it personally

dont take it personally

When people do things that we find disappointing, we typically lash out with hurt feelings because we take them personally. 

However, that’s a pattern that you need to break. There is a significant chance that the person did not intentionally do it to be mean to you. They more than likely had something else going on, whether it be internal or external. Maybe they canceled a date because they were dealing with their own disappointment. 

It’s also important to remember that most of what people say has nothing to do with us. Ninety percent of what people say is a direct reflection of how they are feeling in the moment. When you keep that in mind, it makes it easier not to take things personally.

15. Always look at the good and the bad

It can be easy to focus on disappointment in a relationship, but it’s important not to let that set the stage for the future of the relationship. Instead, try to place a little bit of value on it. How much did it mean to you? How much did their action hurt you? Do you think it will matter in five or ten years? 

This can help you keep your partnership in perspective. This is especially important if you often have certain expectations in relationships and frequently find that your partner simply isn’t meeting them. 


Can a relationship survive disappointment?

Yes, it can. This depends on the action that caused the disappointment, you and your partner’s ability to communicate, and whether it is possible to work through the actions of your partner. There is always disappointment in a relationship. Sometimes it’s small, and sometimes it’s not possible to work through it. Only you can decide if it’s a deal-breaker. 

How do you deal with disappointment from your partner?

Talk to your partner about why you feel the way that you do. They more than likely did not mean to disappoint you. Use effective communication to tell them how you feel. Ask them why they behaved the way that they did. Continue to discuss the problem so that you can work through it together. 

How do I get over being disappointed in someone?

Avoid internalizing your emotions. Instead, let them out in a healthy manner. Discuss what happened with your spouse. Let them know how it made you feel. Talk about what you will both do in the relationship moving forward. Forgive them, if you can. If not, give it time. You’ll be able to in the future. 

How do you communicate with disappointment in a relationship?

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you during the discussion. Instead, try to have a neutral attitude. This will help you create a space for non-judgemental and open communication. Tell your husband why you feel disappointed, and what actions you found disappointing. Focus on the behavior, not the person. 

Should I tell him I’m disappointed?

Yes, you should. Your partner doesn’t want you to feel that way. More than likely, they want you to be happy and in love. Tell them how you feel, and what made you feel that way. Make sure that you emphasize that you are disappointed in a certain thing they did, not in them as a person or partner. 

The Bottomline

It’s normal to have good days and bad days in a relationship. We will all go through them, and we’ll all feel disappointed at one time or another. How do you handle this in a relationship?

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