Marriage, Relationships

Express Expectations or Watch Your Relationship Die

“He should know that this is what I want!” The wife explained. “How should he know that?” I asked her. “I mean isn’t that common sense that I want him to hug and kiss me when he comes home from work! Isn’t that just something men should know. I shouldn’t have to teach him that!” The husband hung his head low, eyes watery, face of defeat, and stated quietly, “I didn’t know it was that important to her, hell I didn’t even know she expected that from me.”

Unexpressed expectations are silent killers of relationships. So many times we enter into relationships with expectations, expectations that the other persons in the relationship have no idea exist, in fact, they too have their own set of expectations. We are all guilty of making the infamous list of things/qualities we want in a partner. We make this usually unattainable list and we hold onto it for dear life. We finally meet that special someone who meets many of the qualifications on that list and we decide to pursue the relationship with the expectation that they will have the remainder qualities we so desire. We head into the relationship full force ahead. And while there may be many warning signs that they don’t quite know what all our expectations are, we still keep moving forward at full speed, never expressing these expectations. Then years down line after the rose-colored glasses have come off, and real life has set in, we realize many of our expectations are not being met and that’s when the ish hits the fan and all hell breaks loose.

unexpressed expectations are silent killers of relationships -Tanyell

The unknowingly partner is simply floating through life doing things the way they have always did things and quite frankly the only way they know how. When one day they find themselves in the biggest argument with the partner saying, “I am unhappy, and I don’t know if I want to continue on in this relationship.” BOOM! Blindsided and the relationship just blew up! This is how many adult relationships play out. Here is my question would you have a baby and allow that babyto grow without any guidance and direction, then one day tell that child you are done with them because they haven’t met your expectations? I’m guessing probably not. Most times as a parent we teach, guide, direct, explain, and make the rules clear. There isn’t much guess-work for a baby as they grow. We understand that these fresh, brand new little creatures don’t know anything and that it is up to us to ensure they get the information they need to thrive, be healthy, and productive. What if I told you that a relationship is exactly like that little baby?! How so Tanyell? I am glad you asked!

You have two people coming together that are totally different from one another, different backgrounds, experiences, families, upbringings, beliefs, and the list goes on. These two people come together and they create a NEW baby relationship together. Here is the kicker this relationship doesn’t know how to survive, it doesn’t know what is it expected of it. It is your duty to educate this relationship on how to thrive and what it will take to be healthy. Without you teaching and nourishing this relationship it will die. People are afraid to speak their expectations and share exactly what is they need. Imagine how much heartache and pain could be avoided if on the first few dates a person expressed their expectations, needs, and wants. This allows the other person to know exactly what they are getting into and if these are seeds they are willing to sow. Imagine if you treated a relationship like a baby and assumed they (being the other person) knew nothing, forcing you to have to share your knowledge. The freedom this would bring into that relationship. When I met my husband. we spent hours on the phone talking and not just shooting the breeze talking but really talking about our expectations, wants, and needs. I told him that I expected to stay home with my children when I started having babies. He knew this was an expectation of mine there was no shock factor when I had our first daughter and came to him to discuss quitting my job. As we get older and life changes, so does my expectations, how would he know that if we don’t discuss them. I recently realized how important it is to me for him to fill my gas tank and wash my car. (I know call me traditional/old-fashioned) Growing up my father did this and talked a lot about a man washing and filling your gas tank up for you. I didn’t realize how much I missed that and how that was an underline expectation of mine until recently. Instead of getting angry that my husband hadn’t been meeting this expectation or expecting him to simply know this was an expectation of mine, I discussed it with him. He now knows this is an expectation of mine, therefore, he has no excuse when I am upset or disappointed when this expectation isn’t met.

Because I realize unexpressed expectations are silent killers and our world is forever changing, my husband and I have monthly SEX! That’s right Sessions Expressing eXpectations! It is important that we sit down and talk about if our needs, wants, and desires are being met in this relationship and if not what can we do differently to get those things met. We take these moments serious and it is a crucial part of our relationship. It’s like medicine for unexpressed expectations. (chemotherapy) Now there are times when expectations are unrealistic, “I want to have sex twice a day every day” Ummm not going to happen. (In my house anyway) So for us we discuss how can we make this expectation more realistic so that your needs, desires, wants are getting met, but I am not comprising who I am or my needs, wants, and desires. This is where healthy communication comes in. We discuss what could happen if these expectations aren’t met, how important are these expectations, and so forth and so on. These SEX moments allow us to get to know one another again and grow in our relationship. It keeps our relationship healthy and allows it to mature and grow with us. Think about it, in every area of your life there are reviews and assessments rather it is at work, school, health, etc. I mean even your car gets maintenance and assessments. At a job, aq the boss or whomever meets with the employee and they have a review over how the employee has been performing at their duties. They talk about improvements and ways the employee has exceeded or met expectations. In school there are exams to assess what the student has mastered and what they still need to learn. Go to the doctor and the doctor does an exam to assess the patient health and discuss how well they have been taking care of themselves and ways they can improve their health.  We take our cars for oil changes, tire rotations, and other yearly maintenance to ensure it is running at it’s best. Life is all about assessments. So why not have an assessment in a relationship? If all these areas are important enough to have routine checkups, assessments, and maintenance isn’t your relationship? A relationship is by far one of the single most important thing in your life so why neglect it. I challenge you to have SEX in your relationship and assess the relationship in order to improve it and make sure it stays on course. You wouldn’t drive a car for years without providing maintenance on it so why deprive your relationship of healthy maintenance? Don’t wait another day to express your expectations.


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