When it comes to meeting the expectations for each other one theme that constantly comes up in couples counselling are unspoken expectations. These always have the potential of wreaking even the strongest of relationships. To increase the likelihood of a successful partnership a couple should start talking about each other’s expectations. It never ceases to amaze me that so few couples talk about the expectations they of each other and the life they want to lead together. In this series we will look at four types of expectations that need not be part of your relationship. And the best way to do that is explore them.
The first cab off the rank is the ‘Unspoken Expectation’. This is where assumptions are make and casual remarks can become gospel. He says, “Yeah I’d like kids one day” and she hears “Ok, 3 kids in 5 years”. Finance is another potential minefield where she says “Ok, we live and love together and therefore we pool our money” and he is like “No way!, your money, my money”
The first requirement of each partner is to look at their own expectations for the relationship. Check to see if you are not asking the other partner to mind read, or that they should ‘just know’. If you don’t think you have talked about some expectations then you probably haven’t. It is time to start talking. It is good advice to talk about what each of you expect from the relationship including responsibilities, commitments, time together and the future. Talking means you discover if the expectations you both have are realistic, are they clear and, are they meeting the needs of each other and the relationship.
If they are unspoken then it is time to speak up. It is unfair on the other person if you have unspoken expectations and these ultimately lead to stress and miscommunication in the relationship.