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3 Ways Your Expectations May Be Sabotaging Your Relationship

Are you unconsciously sabotaging your relationship?

Do you often find yourself back at square one fighting the same old fights with your partner?

It could be that your expectations are sabotaging your relationship goals and creating this friction again and again. Your expectations have taken time to form. So long, in fact, that it’s possible that they’ve become an unconscious part of you. Meaning, you might not even know you’re sabotaging your relationship. In taking another look at your thoughts and behavior, you might be able to stop this negative cycle. Here are a few tips to help you pinpoint some harmful expectations:

Expectations sabotaging your relationship1: You Expect Intimacy Perfection

People often wish for “the perfect mate.” While some people blend together better than others, it’s safe to say that there isn’t the perfect person for everyone. Though most people are romantics and believe that’s the case. After all, it is a sweet thought.

Unfortunately, it’s a sweet thought that can quickly cause trouble for you and your partner.

One minor slip-up and your partner can suddenly go from the perfect match to someone who just isn’t working out.

When you expect perfection from your partner, you’re actually sabotaging your relationship from the outset. It’s an undeniable set up for failure. No one person can deliver flawlessness 100% of the time.

A better approach would be to focus on the core values the two of you share rather than going through your partner’s flaws with a fine-toothed comb. Once you connect with your partner on a deeper level, it makes the surface annoyances easier to overlook.

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2: You Haven’t Communicated Your Needs

It’s not uncommon for one partner to expect the other to know they’re thoughts, moods, and needs. Though, this is neither a practical nor logical approach to relationships in general. Again, it stems from romance and unrealistic expectations.

This idea that your partner must know you better than you know yourself is a little farfetched.

The fact remains that we humans possess the gift of refined communication skills. Many times, we don’t put those communication skills to good use.

You might be sabotaging your relationship simply by not communicating what you truly need in the relationship. Avoid assuming that subtle hints are an effective enough way to get your point across. They’re not.

It’s important to connect with your partner to verify that they know exactly what you need from them. If you’re not on the same page as each other, it’s likely that you’re going to be disappointed.

3: You Expect Your Partner to be Like All the Rest

Unsurprisingly, it’s normal for you to lug emotional baggage from the past into a new relationship. This emotional baggage can range from childhood trauma to romantic heartaches. And further still, it can wreak havoc on your current relationship.

Often, people displace their hurt from the past and project it onto their partner. Without giving your partner the proper chance to prove themselves, you might be sabotaging your relationship without even knowing it.

Most of the time, this type of projecting isn’t thought out or premeditated. You might have experienced things in the past that have conditioned you to think and behave in a certain way. To identify these negative patterns, you’ll have to trace thought or behavior back to its origination.

There’s such a fine line between establishing healthy boundaries and forgiving, but it’s a line that you will need to explore to make your relationship work. It’s important to give your partner a chance not to be like the rest of them and to show you that they’re on your team.

Stop Sabotaging Your Relationship – Focus on the Good

When we focus on our partners “flaws”, we can increasingly fill up with feelings of irritability, disappointment and disconnection in our relationship. Filling up on what is working is a much better way to increase connection with your partner.

What is your partner doing right? Acknowledge that – the little things like doing the dishes, or picking up milk on the way home as well as the times they compliment you or thank you or show you a nice gesture.

When you acknowledge your partner, make sure you are giving them your full attention and make eye contact. This will increase the connection and impact. You will both feel happier and more connected.

Remember, remain realistic and willing to work on your relationships. If you need help please contact one of our Houston counselors for help. We offer many services related to relationship counseling. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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