We walk through life in general with unspoken expectations we place on ourselves as well as others. These expectations are sometimes higher than what we or others can realistically achieve which can cause unnecessary hurt and disappointment.
This couldn’t be truer than in relationships where we tend to hide agendas and feelings and wait for the other person to find the truth instead of revealing it up front. It is important in relationships that expectations be clearly communicated; otherwise it’s difficult for a person to meet an expectation they have no knowledge exists. Once the expectation is communicated then both parties have the opportunity to discuss and determine if it can be met.
This type of exchange may seem more stoic than romantic, but people spend too much time waiting for their spouse, friend, parent, sibling or co-worker to guess what they need or are thinking. For married couples it seems there’s some dream fantasy attached to believing that because your spouse loves you and married you, they should just know what you expect. That’s where the trouble begins along with the breakdown in communication.
While you don’t have to throw out the fairy tale, happily-ever-after picture, you need to adjust the framework. For example, men need to meet the emotional needs of their wives in order for her to meet his sexual needs. Sometimes men don’t have the capacity or ability to meet those needs in the exact way his wife desires, no matter how hard he tries. Does she then take a “well turn-about is fair play” attitude and not meet his need even though she is able?
The answer is no. She needs to lower her expectations to be more realistic of his ability, while at the same time he needs to work out what he can do to improve in meeting her emotional needs. If the expectations remain too high, he might give up thinking he will never be able to meet her needs. The same is true for his expectations of her.
If expectations are discussed respectfully in advance instead of just blurted out randomly during a highly-emotional argument, there is a better chance both individuals will have their needs met. This requires honest and open communication. It’s not fair to convey one expectation verbally but have a completely different standard in your mind that you’re afraid to discuss but can’t let go of either.
When you clearly communicate your expectations, you create a more peaceful, loving and safe environment in which everyone can learn and grow and reach higher levels of satisfaction. You will spend more time enjoying each other instead of trying to figure each other out.
Copyright - All rights reserved