Expectations are an interesting thing. We often forget that they come from ideas we were taught as a child that may have been someone else’s priorities.

Most of the clients I work with have expectations that have developed over the span of the relationship. They look like this:

  • My partner doesn’t have a romantic bone in his/her body.
  • I never get help with the household chores.
  • I don’t get any support.
  • If I want something done at home, I have to be the one to do it.
  • I’m alone in making tough decisions.
  • All things child care related is on my shoulders. 

Do those sound familiar in one way or another? 

There is one simple phrase to bring into your life that will create change is this: No expectations

That alone will open the possibility of seeing your partner and relationship differently. Anytime you hear yourself using a finite phrase like always, never, doesn’t, or won’t, you’re closing off your ability to see and receive a different possibility.

Be open to something new and it will come to you. 

While that first step is very often enough, I’d like to invite you to explore the expectation more deeply. 

Let’s start with an example from above. “I never get help with the household chores” is a common problem my clients have when they first come to work with me.

I want to preface this by saying having help and desire for a clean home is fabulous. My goal is to help you uncover the meaning behind it so you can shift the way that impacts your relationship. Ok, here we go.

Start by looking at the expectation around household chores.

What is your expectation and where does it start? My clients say something along the lines of, “I can’t relax unless my house is spotless.” And of course, my curiosity light switch turns on, I tap my fingers under my chin, and say, “Ohhhh, tell me more about that!”

A common explanation includes the way they were raised and the experiences they had as a child regarding the family home. Under the surface there is a meaning of worth or safety behind it. This is what we bring to our adult relationships and the expectation is that everyone has the same need or that everyone in the family comply so we feel safe. 

Once we identify what’s under the surface, we can view the situation from a completely new perspective. Most often, we’ve created an environment where our family feels safe regardless of whether or not the dishes are done and the floor is swept. Which in my book is awesome! 

The last step in this is to see what you can do to be open to something new, be willing to embrace, “No expectations,” and allow the feeling of safety and peace to come into your being regardless of the condition of the house. 

Letting go of expectations is one very powerful way to reconnect with your partner and allow your relationship to evolve into the meaningful connection you desire. 

Until next time,
Tonya Marie

P.S. Grab the free journal prompts that accompany this “Rekindling the Flame: 30 Days to a Stronger Relationship” blog series at the link below.