One of the questions I get a lot as a relationship expert is: “Are the things that I am expecting my partner to do and provide valid and realistic? Or should I lower my expectations for them?”
Am I just hoping for too much? If you find yourself in a similar place, it is tremendously beneficial to consult an expert. Oftentimes you will learn that YES, your needs are valid! That is a message that we tend to repeat a lot as relationship experts. Then, we can give you information about why they are valid. As for the question: “Should I lower my expectations for my partner”, I would really encourage you to try to avoid doing that. Lowering your expectations usually leads to resentment, discouragement, and disconnection. In short, it does not bring good things into any relationship. Now, we are also able to put our expectations into context. I know that quite a few people have realistically and legitimately said for example “I don’t really like how snappy my spouse is with the kids right now. But I can put it into the context of the fact that we have all been stuck inside the house for many, many months, and that’s putting a strain on all of us.” When we put something in context we essentially buy ourselves some time. We agree to put up with that behavior for a period, but not for forever.
So if you are in this place where you are not one hundred percent fulfilled in your relationship, you are wondering whether or not your expectations for your partner are valid, then I would pause and ask yourself, if you could only make one significant change in your household as we start to climb out of the pandemic, what would it be? What is the thing that you crave the most? What is the thing that you need the most? Is it for your partner to do a better job handling their patience, or is it something else? Now is a good time to be honest with yourself and check in. Do I have any resentments or frustrations that seem to be building instead of waning? If so, the sooner those are addressed the better.
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