Do you have Expectations without Communication?
Over the years, hearing client's stories, communication seems to be the biggest breakdown in any relationship, whether it's in a marriage or a new dating situation. Each person often has a certain expectation of what they want and need in a relationship, and sometimes those needs remain silent and in our heads, rather than letting our partner know. It’s no wonder a couple ends up fighting, or that people leave rather than have the difficult conversation. Most of us are really under-practiced when it comes to communication
Let's define Expectation and Needs. Expectation is what we think our partner should do based on our own expectations of ourselves (holding ourselves to a standard and expecting they hold themselves to the same). Needs are what is required for you to feel happy, secure, respected and a host of other feelings to want to stay in your relationship.
So why is it so difficult for both men and women to express these needs? What is it that holds you back? Do you worry your partner will no longer like or love you? Do you worry you will be viewed as needy or impetuous or the ultimate extreme? Do you worry they will leave?
For those of you in a marriage or long-term relationship, I implore you to have those difficult conversations. You made it through your honeymoon phase, you have made it this far, why not tell the truth in a kind and direct way? What do you truly have to lose?
For those of you dating, be open and honest about your needs and what you are looking for in a partner. Communicating this information sets the precedent right away, so there is no confusion. Either your new partner is on the same page about the direction and what they are looking for or they are not. And, ask yourself, would you rather find out now or wait 6 months, or a year or more to find out you are not on the same page?
Having a difficult conversation is not easy. I get it. I've been there more than a few times. Being open, honest and direct about your needs in any relationship, though, will create less conflict and confusion going forward. Take a deep breath, exhale, and say what you need to say with kindness, compassion and honesty. You will be surprised what waits for you on the other side. Good luck. Reach out if you feel you need practice voicing something, if you attempted a talk and it felt like a backfire, or if you had the talk, and are left wondering what can we do next to connect.
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