April 2018 Knowledge Newsletter
We all have expectations of ourselves and others but these are seldom discussed. In addition, rarely do we ask others if they are willing or able to fulfill our expectations. Unfortunately, a failure to recognize and share our expectations with others can often lead to disappointment and misunderstanding.
I believe one of the most common problems that occur with couples and families are their unfulfilled expectations of love. Love is a universal concept and we all have a desire to be loved but how we like to be loved varies from person to person. Most people assume that their partners and families know how they like to be loved so this is never discussed. Most people treat others the way they would like to be treated believing their partner and others want the same thing.
For some people love is getting special or undivided attention, feeling safe and protected, being financially secure, romanced or given compliments or gifts. Expectations can also include being respected, acknowledged and so on. Most people want their parents, partners and children to be proud of them so when they aren’t acknowledged, they can feel unloved.
If our expectations of others are too high we can become angry at them, criticize them or consider them to be a failure, which will certainly make them feel unloved. If your expectations are too low, we may fail to encourage them, believe they are a failure or not be capable of more.
If you don’t know how you like to be loved or what your expectations of love are, then I suggest you ask yourself “What behavior or actions make you feel loved?” I would also recommend that you ask your partners and family members the same question to determine if they feel loved by you. If your expectations of love aren’t being fulfilled, this provides an opportunity to let others know what you prefer and hopefully, if they are willing, they will fulfill your desires. Also knowing what they like will help improve your relationship with them.
Aside from our expectations of others we have expectations of ourselves. If your expectations are too high they are unlikely to be realized leaving you feeling like a failure or being angry with yourself. If your expectations are too low you may never reach your full potential, don’t try to attain more and miss out on opportunities.
Aside from expectations of love, in couple relationships, each person comes with their own idea of what a relationship and their future should look like. Couples planning a life together each have their own ideas and expectations of their partners, what their future will look like and the best way to attain their goals. Unfortunately, too often these goals and expectations are not discussed because each assumes the other person shares their goals without ever asking them if this is the case.
Most people copy the relationship patterns and family expectations they experienced growing up as those were the only role models they had. Since each partner had a different childhood experience, their expectations of their partners and their life goals may be different. This is why it is so important to discuss your expectations with one another to be sure they are compatible.
I remember a couple I counseled years ago. She was 30 and he was 50 years old and on his second marriage. She wanted a house and kids and he did not because he had already done that with his previous wife. While both were professionals, they had never discussed in two years of being together what the other wanted and they landed up divorcing.
While most people want financial security, how that security is attained must be agreed upon. A man who is constantly away from home working and pays little attention to his wife or children may not be agreeable to both partners. The man will argue he is doing it for his wife and family but the woman will be unhappy because she never sees her husband and is left bringing up the children on her own.
A partner, who has a job where he or she is always travelling, creates a similar problem but can also open the door to their being unfaithful. Each person in a partnership has to decide what price they are willing to pay for financial security.
Other areas where couples have problems agreeing are on how their children should be brought up or disciplined. Some parents prefer a more lenient approach while others believe discipline is best. These beliefs are usually the result of how they were raised.so again I need to stress how our upbringing affects our choices.
Aside from our expectations about love, most parents want their children to succeed by following in their in their footsteps or in a career which they believe will bring success. They want their children to attend college, especially if they didn’t, because they believe a good education is a sure path to success.
If they have children that don’t want to go to college and prefer to pursue careers as musicians, artists or using some new technology that parents have never have heard of, they will have difficulty to support their children’s choices. Because of their own fear of failure or an inability to understand new technologies and the changing market place, they will be unable to support their children’s choices. This can create emotional distance in their relationships because every child wants love and acceptance.
Children on the other hand will believe their parents don’t understand them even if they try to explain their choices and may feel unloved because of their parent’s lack of support.
Often children fail to have the same expectations as their parents as they are growing up in a new world in which they are exposed to different ways of doing things as well as new technologies. This misunderstanding often causes difficulties in communication as well as widening the generation gap. Parents who try to keep up and understand new technologies often find it easier to relate. But parents, especially immigrants who worked hard to see their children go to college, certainly will not understand that their children aren’t interested in attending university when it was denied to them.
So to have good relationships and a fulfilling life, it is best to understand and recognize your expectations rather than blaming others when they are not met. Also be sure to ask yourself if people close to you are willing and/or able to fulfill your expectations.
If you have difficulty knowing, expressing or realizing your expectations, please feel free to contact me. I am available for personal, telephone or readings over Skype, relationship coaching, regressions, and healing at any time by clicking on www.sharoncheney.com or calling me at 505 474-6363 or 514 312-2451.
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