By Peter M. Kalellis
Most people have expectations of themselves or a spouse, a good friend—even children. For the most part, expectations can cause disappointment unless they are met realistically. And while some of our hopes are often verbalized, others remain silent—mostly out of fear that they may cause distress, disappointment, and difficulty.
Let’s examine some of our expectations and learn how we could be more effective in our interaction with other people.
This may obligate us to mingle with people other than our circle of intimates. Someone we may seek out is a former colleague or classmate. In this scenario, we may recall experiences and memories, or with whom we can pursue an activity resulting in the inclusion of an intimate family member/friend. This is not done intentionally to avoid someone or even your partner. It merely points out the need to connect with other people to feel fully human and fully alive.
AGREE TO DISAGREE
Seeing eye-to-eye with one another on everything that comes in daily life may be difficult. Two people with different values, backgrounds, and sets of habits cannot possibly agree on life’s unfolding experiences. One person enjoys climbing mountains; the other prefers swimming in the ocean. One is gregarious and loves to socialize; the other is an introvert and prefers solitude. Consider the possibility of accepting the other person as they are. The key to success in any relationship is learning adaptation.
A couple in love cannot do enough to satisfy the other. Later, as life moves on, this type of intensity is converted into focus on essential issues. Either it becomes marriage or an intimate and lasting relationship. The best way to help your partner to experience greater love for you is to create in yourself an experience of greater respect for him/her. Create a spirit of loving without expecting a return. Love does not work effectively when you expect repayment. True love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.
FULFILLMENT OF ALL NEEDS
It is humanly impossible to fulfill all the needs of another person—an intimate friend, a spouse, or a partner at work. No man or woman could possibly meet the total needs of another. Ask for what you want, enjoy what someone gives you, and work on differences. You both need to live in a broader social world—community, house of worship, your friends, personal interests—to draw on resources outside the marriage as well as inside for life and love.
As we get older, our expectations tend to change, and what appeared to be so important a year ago loses its significance a year later.
• Although we cannot control all the events of our life, we can control the attitude we have formed toward each other. Once you accept yourself, it would be easier to accept others. The next step is to take responsibility for your behavior. Finally, see what contribution you are making toward your interaction with another person and toward meeting common and mutual expectations
• Unquestionably, any person would like to be happily married. However, a happy marriage is never accidental. It is a careful process of applying relationship skills. A determination must be made concerning time spent together and how it is appropriated. Plan how to have essential time together. It is the quality of time that counts, not the quantity.
• Now is the time to set the process in motion. Arrange a mutually convenient evening and start your planning with a pencil and paper. Write down your priorities and discuss them. You may wish to rearrange them. Let’s assume that you end up with a long list composed by both of you. Goals and priorities do change at different times. It is important to take time to support each priority as it surfaces.
• If a partner is dissatisfied, then before any new priorities are pursued, it is imperative that your partner’s dissatisfaction is resolved. see if you can sensitively encourage a discussion.