5 Ways Defining Relationship Expectations Can Keep It Healthy

 / 

5 Ways Defining Relationship Expectations Can Keep It Healthy

Is your relationship going through a rough patch right now? Have you ever thought about defining relationship expectations, to keep it healthy?

As we are all learning, relationships can be sorely tested by the stay at home measures being recommended during this coronavirus pandemic. What I know, however, is that defining relationship expectations NOW can keep relationships healthy and can possibly help mend damaged ones and help move them forward stronger than ever.

In these modern days, establishing expectations at work is something that is done as a matter of course but, unfortunately, establishing relationship expectations is not so common. Why, I don’t know, because not having expectations around anything is a recipe for things to go awry.

So why does defining relationship expectations make such a difference, especially in these scary times?

1. Everyone knows what to expect.

One of the key reasons why defining relationship expectations now are so important is that everyone knows what to expect.

Think about work – when you start a project the first thing that is laid out is the participation expectations of everyone on the team. That way, as the project moves forward, everyone knows what their role is which, in turn, ensures that the project will be a success.

In a relationship, things work the same way. If you both can define what your expectations are then your relationship has a better chance of staying healthy.

In my relationship our expectations are as follows:

*I will decide what we are going to eat and I will cook and he will do the dishes, preferably right after dinner but that is negotiable.

*We will take a walk together every day, no excuses.

*I won’t blurt out horrible things that I read in the news without his permission.

*He gets 2 hours in the garage daily to putter.

*I get a foot rub 4 nights a week.

These are the things that are most important to us and that we both expect from our relationship. Imagine if we didn’t understand each other’s expectations, if he didn’t do the dishes and I just blurted out every horrible news. How quickly would we get upset with each other? How quickly would our nerves begin to fray?

So, take the time and talk to your partner about your expectations, both around the coronavirus and the big picture. It will be worth it, I promise.

Want to know how you can deal with expectations the right way? Read Unmet Expectations: 5 Ways It Is Ruining Your Relationship

2. You can start with honesty.

Every healthy relationship is built on honesty and defining expectations is an important part of being honest.

A client of mine is full of resentment around what her husband does and doesn’t do around the house. The problem is, she has never told him what she wants him to do – she just expects that he will figure it out. As a result, she passive-aggressively nudges him to do what she wants him to do. And it pisses him off that she isn’t direct and that makes it more likely that he won’t get it done.

He tells me that if she were just honest with him about what she wanted to get done, and he was able to be honest with her about what he could do, they would be able to navigate all of this much better and eliminate the underlining tension that always exists in their household.

So, be honest with your partner about what you want so that you can include it in your expectations. Even if your partner isn’t sure he can meet the expectation, you have put it out there honestly so that you can discuss it.

3. You can better manage disagreements.

Let’s say that my boyfriend fails to do the dishes after agreeing that that was my expectation. Now imagine my client’s husband failing to do the dishes because he doesn’t know that he is expected to do them.

Now, picture whose argument around the dishes would be loudest and longest? If my boyfriend knowingly didn’t do the dishes it would be hard for him to argue that I was being unreasonable and difficult. He would, hopefully, acknowledge that he dropped the ball and we would move on with our day.

The fight that would ensue, or the extended simmering anger, if my client’s husband didn’t do the dishes would be something that would not be easily managed. That she didn’t ask for what she wanted and he didn’t do it on his own would just lead to disagreement that has probably happened before. A disagreement that will never be settled and would lead to more issues down the road.

4. You can celebrate when things go right.

One of the nicest things about setting expectations is that, when they are met, we have an opportunity to thank each other and celebrate. Because these expectations are met, we know when our needs are being honored and that makes us feel happier and more secure in our relationship.

When my boyfriend gets to have his 2 hours in the garage, even if I wanted him to help me in the garden, he is a happy camper. He not only gets his time on his own but that he gets to do so makes him love me even more. And when he is that happy, my foot rubs are much longer.

So, while setting expectations can be difficult at first; when they are stuck to, good things can be the result.

Do you manage your disagreements properly? Read The 11 Fights Every Couple Must Conquer to Have a Strong Marriage

5. You can be hopeful.

People say that divorce attorneys are experiencing higher than normal inquiries into their services.

Couples who were previously able to ignore their marital issues because of the busyness of their lives are now unable to do so. As a result, problems that were long-simmering are rearing their ugly heads.

Imagine if you and your partner were able to sit down and define what you both wanted during this extended period together. Imagine if, instead of resenting each other for the things that haven’t been done, you are honest with each other about what you need and you are so happy when those needs are met. Imagine how that would serve to not only heal a relationship but also give it hope for the future.

I know that for years, my biggest resentment around my ex-husband was that he started projects that he never finished. Our garage was filled with Home Depot bags full of parts that were never actually used. I so wished that I had, even once, spoken up around my struggles with all of those Home Depot bags. If I had asked him directly to finish a project before he started another one, who knows, it might have saved my marriage.

I would encourage you, in this time of isolation, to work on sharing what you both want in a relationship and see if you can work together to give each other those things.

If you can do this, instead of repeating old patterns that are tearing you apart, something really good could come from this current crisis – a relationship strong and healthy and a family intact.

Defining relationship expectations can seem kind of contrived and unromantic but doing so can make a huge difference in a couple’s happiness.

But setting expectations, ones that you both are aware of and have agreed to can go a long way towards healing a damaged relationship and preventing a healthy one from getting damaged.

So, be honest, stop the fighting, celebrate taking care of each other and be hopeful for the future.

I know it might seem daunting but you can do it!

If you want to know more about defining relationship expectations, then check out this video below:


5 Ways Defining Relationship Expectations Can Keep It Healthy
5 Ways Defining Relationship Expectations Can Keep It Healthy

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Friendship Marriage: Japan’s Latest Relationship Trend Explained

Friendship Marriage: Japan's Latest Marriage Trend Explained

Friendship marriage is the latest relationship trend taking the world by storm, and it’s got everyone talking. Forget the traditional notions of romance and commitment; these couples are rewriting the rules of marriage and how!

This unique approach has not only got people talking, but it’s also challenging many societal norms when it comes to marriage, romantic relationships, physical intimacy and cohabitation.

So, are you ready to unravel what the friendship marriage in Japan is all about? Let’s go then.

Related: 5 Simple Ways To Strengthen The Friendship In Your Marriage<



Up Next

Should I Start a Family? 10 Reasons That Might Convince You

Should I Start a Family? Reasons That Might Convince You

Two paths are diverging before you at a crossroads. You can either continue with your present life which has the comforts you know so well, or you could choose the other path which goes into the unknown. 

The decision to start a family is one of those big adventures in life that leaves us breathless with awe; it is filled with twists and turns and love upon love.

This article takes you on an exciting journey of decoding parenthood: an adventure that is both daunting and thrilling, and joyous as well as demanding.

Whether it is from the depths of unconditional love or soaring heights of leaving a lasting impact, each reason acts as a lighthouse in this respect.

Therefore, let’s examine these 10 reasons why to start a family!



Up Next

8 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Marrying The Wrong Person? Important Questions To Ask

Picture this: you’re standing at the altar, surrounded by beaming friends and family, moments away from saying “I do” to the person who you thought was your soulmate and the love of your life. But deep down, you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Could it be possible that you’re marrying the wrong person?

The fear of marrying the wrong person lingers in the hearts of many, and it’s a fear worth exploring, because this is your life we are talking about. In this article, we’ll dive into eight essential questions that you should ask yourself before taking that leap into forever.

So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s unravel how to avoid marrying the wrong person.



Up Next

63 Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Why conversation starters? Over time conversations with your partner might begin to feel shallow and focused more on the daily grind than topics that actually matter. This is normal. It’s probably not a dangerous red flag that your relationship is about to end, but it is likely unsatisfying and monotonous.

It’s quite easy to reignite the spark with your partner by enjoying deeper and more meaningful conversations just by becoming more intentional in carving out time to talk.

We all know that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but let’s be honest; talking about what’s for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog just won’t cut it.

If you’re yearning for a deeper connection, it’s worth dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to one of the most important people in your life.



Up Next

When You Outgrow Love: What Is Grey Divorce And How To Thrive After

What Is Grey Divorce and How to Redefine Your Story

Divorce is never an easy decision to make. But sometimes life happens and you have to do the unimaginable. Grey divorce is one such experience that can feel like an unthinkable decision, yet, you know you just need to take the step. But what is grey divorce?

In life, at a certain stage we may feel that it is absolutely crucial that we start over, not only to survive but also to thrive. It becomes necessary that we step into the unknown regardless how scary or irrational it may sound. And the same goes for a marriage. 

Even if you may have shared a lifetime together and created lasting memories and experiences, a divorce may be the only option left for a happier, healthier and better life. That’s the reality for an increasing number of couples who find themselves in the realm of “grey divorce.” 



Up Next

What Does Being Submissive Mean? 9 Warning Signs You Might Be A Meek, Submissive Woman

What Does Being Submissive Mean? Signs Of A Meek Woman

Ever wondered, “What does being submissive mean?” Well, let’s put it this way: it’s like constantly being in the backseat of your life’s car, letting others take the wheel while you navigate the road of existence.

For example, meet Jess. She’s that friend who’s always putting everyone else’s happiness and needs before her own, and she often finds herself getting involved in abusive and unhealthy relationships.

If you relate to Jess and the ways she lives life, then you might be in for a very rude reality check. Because this points to the realm of female submissiveness. Stick around as we uncover nine warning signs that scream, “Hey, you might be more like Jess than you think!”

Related:



Up Next

9 Tactics To Trigger The Hero Instinct In A Man

Hero Instinct In A Man: Ways To Trigger Their Inner Hero

Do you know there’s a hero instinct in every man? If you want to unlock that side of your man then you have come to the right place. Today, we are going to talk about how to trigger the hero instinct in a man, and do it the right way.

From understanding their innate drive to protect and provide, to unraveling the mysteries of their emotional landscape, we will explore what is the hero instinct, and what does hero instinct in relationships look like.

So, ready to know more about this side to men? Let’s go then.

Related: How To Make Your Man Happy: 25+ Last Minute Gift Ideas For Him