How To Stop Letting Expectations Vs. Reality Kill Your Relationships

How To Stop Letting Expectations Vs. Reality Kill Your Relationships

There is a cycle of experience in relationships that begins with overwhelming joy and the warmth of love as you move around the circle glimpses of reality begin to add a cloud of disappointment. The joy of anticipation and expectation is a personal and solitary experience. It is a phenomena of relationships. These stem from our past and live in our heads.

When the unspoken dreams turn to disillusionment couples have options to discover and choices to make.

If you continue the cycle at the bottom of the circle is the place where choice dictates the road to recovery or the road towards the relationships demise.

The recovery path leads to greater understanding with a greater level of intimacy and ultimately restoration of the joy that began the cycle.

The recovery path has key elements that must take place.

  1. Clear communication - develop communication skills and active listening skills to share the thoughts and expectations in a positive constructive manner.
  2. Reign in the urge to assume bad intentions. When emotions are high it is easy to spiral down with assumptions.
  3. Blaming is like putting gasoline on a fire. Remember that there is responsibility for both people and own it, admit it, forgive it.
  4. Surrender the past, if disappointments from the past are brought up again and again it is an indication they were never resolved. There is a lot of work to be done.
  5. Thankfulness, what can you be thankful for in this moment? What can you be thankful for as you recall a positive time in your history?
  6. In the use of Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence skills, look for three gifts or opportunities even in this place of disillusionment.  When a negative mindset shifts into looking for a positive outcome there is a brain shift into calm.

Here are some examples of expectations in relationships?

Expectation: We will be madly in love forever. My feelings will never fade.

Reality: Feelings are mercurial, they come and go. What can be done?

Solution: Work on your relationship to keep it fresh, new, exciting. Do something together that you have never done before like dancing lessons, art lessons, scuba diving, flag football.

Expectation: The garbage will be taken out when it is overflowing, the dishes will be washed, help with bedtime all without being asked.

Reality: This is an assumption based on a couple cries for help or an exasperated “why can’t you see what needs to be done around here?”

Solution: During a peaceful moment incorporate active listening and communication skills to discuss these matters and achieve the buy in necessary to solve the chore issues.

Expectation: We will live happily ever after!

Reality: Jobs are changed, lost and recovered. Money can cause division. Sickness happens. Parents pass away and children grow up and leave home. Life events are joy-filled and saddening.

Solution: Commit to live in the present moment with each other. Savor the ups AND the downs that come your way, both can bring a greater depth of intimacy.

Look for the opportunity that each event offers for a future filled with conflict that is resolved.

Relationships can be tested and in the testing they will bend, break or become stronger.

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If you believe you are better together, stronger together and can go further faster together you will work to minimize the angst of conflict and choose the path toward restoration and joy.