MARITAL EXPECTATIONS, this is an area that we as divorce mediators see a lot of, as well as in couple’s work. Where did expectations come from? One answer is based on IMAGO theory, where we have chosen or partner, subconsciously based on the familiarity of one of our parents. In brief, we felt this familiarity, yet we perceive that our now partner will meet the needs that our caregiver lacked in giving to us. This set the expectation. This is where many problems stem.
Many disappointments involve an unmet expectation. Expectations have a powerful impact on relationships. Married couples start out hoping for and believing they will experience the very best. Problems arise when these hopes and beliefs are not based in reality. The following is a list of common fantasies, select as many as you agree with and have your partner do the same, on a separate list, then discuss.
- My partner will meet all my needs for companionship
- Time will resolve our problems.
- If I have to ask, it is not meaningful.
- We should live “happily ever after” with no major problems.
- Keeping secrets about m past or present is acceptable if it would only cause pain for my partner.
- Less romance means we have less love for one another.
- Our relationship will remain the same.
- My partner’s interest in sex will be same as mine.
- Our relationship will be better when we have a baby.
- We will do things just like my family did.
- Nothing could cause us to question our love for one another.
- I believe I know everything there is to know about my partner.
- Love is all you need for a great marriage.
- It is better to keep silent about something bothering me than to cause unnecessary problems in our relationship.
As you can see there are many, ask yourself, are any of these getting in the way of fully embracing, and/or honoring yourself and your partner?