A lot of us allow ourselves to say out loud when something is bothering us. However, some of us are introverts and prefer to keep our thoughts hidden as we think it will make matters worse instead of making them better. The other issue that couples face is when they expect too much out of their partner, and when those expectations are not fulfilled, they end up shutting themselves up and burn all bridges between them and their partner.
Unfortunately, staying quiet for too long can destroy a relationship, especially between a couple. Having too many unrealistic expectations from your partner can also ruin a relationship. On the other hand, alone time for some time and then rolling back into normalcy can be a healthy act between couples as it gives them time to clear their heads.
But at the same time, being silent for too long or being silent more frequently can damage communication between partners and can affect their relationship negatively. So, what can one do to protect their relationship, and how can one manage unmet expectations? Our article today covers four simple solutions that can help.
1. Validate Your Partner’s Emotions
The most common reason behind a fight between partners is when one person tells the other that they are hurting over something, but the other person ignores their feelings or tries to make light of it. Now, this particular person is expecting his partner to validate his/her emotions.
If the other partner responds by invalidating their concerns or completely dismissing them, saying they’re wrong, the first person’s expectations are ruined, and then there will be friction, obviously.
If both the people involved follow this pattern, then there are chances that both of them will actually stop communicating when something goes wrong. This is where the real problems start. Communication becomes worse and worse over time to the point that they are unable to have a proper conversation.
Even if you feel that the other person is wrong, you can calm them down and then give your point of view. Telling them in the heat of the moment that they are wrong will only make matters worse.
2. Communication Is Key
Your partner is not an all-knowing, divine creature who is aware of every single of your needs. If your expectations are not being met, communicate that to your partner. Maybe they are not even aware of the expectations that are being tied with them. This again should be done at a time when both of you are in a mood to discuss and not in a mood to argue.
Once you discuss your expectations with each other, you can work out the ones that are realistic and can be easily managed. Work on your communication and half of your relationship problems will already be solved. The best approach advised by experts is to avoid anything that will result in distorted communication.
The first thing that couples should avoid doing is texting. Yes, text messaging can cause a major communication barrier as the person at the other end is not aware of your body language and can’t put whatever you are saying into context.
The second thing that couples can do is to talk at a place that is free of distractions. This way, it is easy to communicate effectively. Third and last, listen with the intent of understanding the other person rather than displaying aggression.
3. Set boundaries
Most couples who are just starting their relationships refuse even to entertain the idea of setting boundaries. However, according to experts, it is important to set boundaries as early as possible to minimize expectations that partners would have from each other.
Healthy relationships are those who have defined boundaries, and no, we are not asking you to limit your communication or draw lines. It is just about having healthy boundaries so you can have a breathing space. Your space is yours, and nobody should be landing themselves over there.
If you enjoy doing an activity like this, then continue doing that. It can be a small activity or even a chore like carpet cleaning that you enjoy. The more you let someone in, the more you will end up expecting from them.
Here are a few examples that define healthy boundaries:
Stay true to yourself
Always keep room for “me” time
Mutual respect is important
Both partners should have equal authority
Respect your partner’s hobbies and interests
Equal time for both the partner’s families
These are only some of the ways through which you can define healthy boundaries. Every couple has different dynamics, and they function differently. You can even develop these rules together for a better relationship structure.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
A lot of times, our expectations are actually a fragment of someone else’s thoughts. These can be either thing that has been directly said to you regarding your relationship by an outsider or something that you have observed yourself, and you start drawing comparisons between your partner and someone else’s partners.
“He gets his wife flowers every day; why can’t my husband do the same?” or “His wife is so prim and proper all the time, why can’t my wife carry herself better?” Any of these sentences sound familiar?
The truth is we are all guilty of drawing comparisons in our heads. Some of us tend to say them out loud while others keep them in, and they seep out in other ways. It might not always be fair to draw comparisons because every relationship works differently and has its own set of compromises. If you keep bringing it in that someone has it better than you, then your partner will get annoyed.
Takeaway – Realistic Expectations are the Key to A Healthy Relationship
Having expectations is not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing that messes it up is the lack of communication between partners about their expectations from each other. Having too many expectations too early into a relationship can also be an issue.
You can’t expect your partner to know so much only a few months down the line; it takes years to develop that kind of bond. Give your partner time and never compare your relationship with others as every relationship is different, and every relationship requires hard work and obviously time.
Muhammad Shoaib is an SEO expert and a ghostwriter. Shoaib has years of experience under his belt and his work has been published on several notable sites and blogs. His areas of expertise include digital marketing, small and medium enterprises, and eCommerce. In addition to freelance work, Shoaib often writes for Carpet Bright UK, a professional cleaning company in England.