By Chandrama Anderson
"Plant an Expectation, Reap a Disappointment"Uploaded: Sep 11, 2020
What does this old adage mean for a relationship? We already have the myth that we can't ask our partner to change (although we can if it is to better the relationship and it is not to manipulate him/her).
When you are explicit, speak with "I" statements and skip the editorializing, you can ask for things you need and want, and yes, expect in your relationship. Work on being prepared to hear, "Yes," or "No," or "Maybe," as the answer.
I think it is the gap between your expectations and hopes with your actual experience that creates so many feelings -- in each of you. The gaps may fall in these categories and many others:
Family (yours together, and your extended family)
Amount of work to entertain
What your roles are (understood by each, including family of origin differences)
So how do you address these gaps?
The first thing to consider: What is actually in my control? Not much, truthfully, but what is in your control is critical: your feelings, your reactions, your actions, your communication, your self-care.
When you talk with your partner with the desire to understand the meaning and value of the topic, to be curious and listen (vs. waiting for your turn to talk), and to give attunement, you're on the right track. Then you are joining as a couple to solve the issue. You can see it as a separate entity that needs both of your attention to resolve.
Skip justifying no matter how much you want to do it; your partner will most likely not listen any further and your communication and connection have gone the way of so many previous conversations.
What are your options in gap areas? What experiments can you devise as a team? What might work best -- for both of you -- in this instance?
Please, please get out of the need to win and/or blame. You both lose. Own your part and listen to your partner own his/her part. Work on updating yourself in relation to your expectations and see what happens. Don't wait for your partner to do something before you address yourself and your part.
I know this sounds so simple when you read it here. It really does work, though.