Are you frequently unhappy with your significant other? Do you fight every day? If the answer is ‘’yes’’ then you probably have a good reason for that – he doesn’t pay enough attention to you, they don’t make you gifts and surprises, they don’t earn enough, they are jealous of your friends, they are extremely messy … Everybody has their reasons that make them argue with their significant other.
Actually, all conflicts in a relationship stem from the same thing. If you manage to deal with it everything will be much easier and even funnier.
Here is what one man has to say about the topic:
My wife and I have just gotten married when we went to a psychology seminar. The leading professor turned to the audience and asked: ‘’what do you think is the top reason for all divorces’’?
As we went to counselling before the marriage, I felt like an expert on the subject. So I stood up and said ‘’sex, money and communication’’. I looked at my wife and smiled. Easy job.
‘’Absolutely wrong’’ said the professor. ‘’These are only symptoms of the problem.’’ This is when I received the most useful advice in my life. It changed my life. The professor continued talking ‘’All marriages fail for the same reason – high expectations’’.
I was shocked. I couldn’t process this information. I started remembering all occasions when my wife and I fought because of high expectations for our life together. I realized I also had countless disappointments in spheres other than love because of my high expectations.
Too high expectations are poisonous for all spheres of life – communication with colleagues and partners, with friends, parents, children…
What is the way out?
I really thought about a solution after the seminar. Since I love math, I created a simple equation.
EXPECTATIONS – REALITY = DISAPPOINTMENT
I also played a hypothetical scenario in my head (but totally realistic).
I am going home after a long day. I expect my wife to have prepared dinner, to have the table ready and to have dinner together. I expect her to look perfectly (with done hair and make up) and to be fresh and happy (because she is perfect). Furthermore, I expect my 16-months-old daughter to stay in her chair peacefully, without screaming and throwing food anywhere. After a quiet family dinner I expect all of us to go for a walk and the kitchen to magically clean itself and look perfectly (or maybe the housemaid to deal with it).
I get home later than expected and not only there is no dinner, it was not even planned. The small one is screaming and hungry. I find my wife working on some project, which is not only extremely important, but she is falling behind the deadline and she needs to finish as soon as possible. When I ask her what we will have for dinner she looks at me as if she wants to set me on fire. She is a tired of work mother. I pick up the child and go into the kitchen to search for something to eat. The kitchen is in complete chaos, the fridge is empty and there are dirty dishes lying everywhere. I finally see some cheese and a piece of bread. We will have sandwiches for dinner.
I put my child in her chair, which makes her extremely angry. I find some baby food and give it to her, after which she finally calms down. Temporarily. The chaos in the kitchen is even bigger. There are toys lying everywhere in the living room who are just waiting for you to step on them.
After finishing the sandwiches, my wife and I just sit on the couch trying to avoid looking at each other. No has even the slightest desire to start cleaning up.
I could continue with this story forever but I guess you all know how it goes.
Next comes the DISAPPOINTMENT – the difference between the first two. As someone said, the expectation is the mother of disappointment. That is a fact.
If you want to avoid being in the state of disappointment, try to change the order of things and put the reality before the expectations. In other words, let life take its own way. First, see what the reality is and then start forming expectations.
One would say it is best not to have any expectations at all. This is too extreme for me. When expectations are realistic, reasonable and have a meaning behind them, they could be very useful. You can share them with your significant other so you can see if you have the same expectations about your relationship. Why not even change them so they can match. Thus, you can change your expectations for the better and develop a healthy relationship.
Give up on the unreasonably high expectations. See what reality actually is and then start forming them.
Finally, don’t forget to share them with your partner.