This week I was thinking about the role that our expectations have on our relationships. Oftentimes they are unspoken, but have the greatest influence over the successes or challenges we face in our relationships. Today I wanted to share an article with you that speaks to this influence. Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD In the article How realistic are your expectations? advises us of two traps that cause significant damage in our relationships. Read the first part of the article below.
“We all long for a sense of love and acceptance. We want to know that our existence has meaning and value to another person. When we were young, we depended on our caregivers for this sense of being loved unconditionally, and we learned from our caregivers how to (or not to) process our feelings.
But, of course, many of us didn’t get all of the things we needed to progress emotionally. When there are vital things missing from the parenting we received, we tend to – sometimes without even knowing it – look to our romantic partners to make up for these losses. Or, on the other side of this need, sometimes we attempt to make up for our own unmet needs by trying to be the “care taker” of our partner.
Relying on your romantic partner to make up for gaps in your parenting, or trying to emotionally provide for your partner’s deficient parenting is a mistake that marriage and family therapists agree is ultimately damaging and undermining to relationships.”
You can read the full article here.
I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on your relationships and ask yourself these questions: What are the expectations I have of my partner in our relationship? Have I discussed these expectations with him/her?
Your answers to these two questions will give you insight into the role your spoken or unspoken expectations are playing in your relationships.