Ask Gwen: Expectations in Relationships

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My partner and I are always arguing because of my high expectation about our relationship that I believe she is not aware of. How do I communicate it to her so we can come to a complete resolution?

Gwen’s Answer:

The first step is to sit down with her and tell her the reason for many of the arguments is because you have expectations and she is not meeting them. Let her know that it was unfair of you not to have discussed these expectations.

Suggest that she also likely has expectations about the relationship and that it might be a good idea for each of you to write out the things you want in the relationship as well as the things you do not like or want.

Then you need to assess if the expectations are reasonable and if each of you feel you want to or can meet the expectations of the other. If you are too far apart in what you want there may not be a good fit in the relationship. You either go your separate ways, keep fighting or learn to accept that some expectations may not be met.This is a situation where couple’s counselling can be extremely helpful.