Partners expecting too much or too little from each other is a sign of a dynamic in disarray.

When partners have expectations that are beyond what their partner is capable or willing to do, it is usually because they think they know best. They think they know what their partner should be about. They know what their partner should do, how they should feel, how they should respond, how they should think, and everything in between. They are usually projecting their own wishes, needs, likes and such onto their partner. They expect their partner to be the way they themselves would be.

On the other hand, other partners have expectations that are too low actually insulting their partner’s intelligence. They enable their partner to underfunction, neglect and take advantage of them. They allow their partner to get away with collaborating, participating and contributing as little as possible. They make their partner invisible. They do it all, not allowing space for the partner to show up and partake.

These two styles are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and are certainly not one-sided. Usually both partners are doing some combination of these. Interactions and relating then flow from these extreme types of expectations and worldviews creating stuck dynamics.

What happens in the extremes is the partners owning each other and creating a codependent relationship. These partners feel stuck in their relationship and their life. Imagine each partner pulling the end of a rope with equal strength. Neither gains an inch, neither can move – stalemate…

When we own each other we give up our self-agency and take our partner’s rendering both of us powerless. Neither can exact any movement, the interactions are either volatile or flat, and definitely not going anywhere…

To start chipping away at this death sentence, start by owning your Self: Clearly, appropriately and moderately express your thoughts, feelings, wishes and needs. Share from and about yourself and not about how much your partner stinks. This should start doing the trick!

Happy Owning!!

~ Your MetroRelationship™ Assignment

Have a discussion with your partner about an issue that is bothering you. Discuss it from your perspective, describe the behavior that is bothering you, and state how it makes you feel, how you are affected by it, and how you are impacted. Place your concern in contex: Why is the above so for you? How does this perpetuate your story? Ask your partner for their help in doing something different to change the pattern and create a new story. Jointly brainstorm for behavior changes that would address the frustration and choose to implement what would fit your needs.

~ Share Your Thoughts & Successes in the comment box at the end!

Take a moment now to share below any thoughts, comments, take away, tips, and successes! PLEASE post a comment now – we grow in community!

Thanks for connecting with the MetroRelationship™ Family!

Author's Bio: 

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT has been in the mental health field in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. She is the Founder and Director of a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected.