If we were to only get our ideas about intimate relationships from social media, scripted shows and movies, we’d believe our partner should…
- be our best friend;
- be our erotic partner;
- support us in pursuit of our goals;
- be our romantic partner;
- be a good financial provider;
- participate in household responsibilities like cooking and cleaning;
- be a good parent;
- AND be a source of security and stability.
WOW! Even if someone is able to be all those things during the earliest stage of the relationship, this is impossible for one person to keep up with. How would they have time to take care of their own needs such as rest, exercise, and time for their own fun and friendships? Movies don’t show the partner doing those things for themselves.
Having all these expectations for one person to fulfill is doing us a disservice. It’s leading to disappointment. Worse yet, when our partner can’t do all these all the time it leads to thinking that ‘the grass is greener’ if we move on to another relationship. This is all over social media: the idea that one needs to find a 'better partner'.
Now, consider what you may have heard about why people married generations ago. What expectations did they have? Couples may have married to join two families and to make a political alliance. People may have married a partner who was a good worker who would run a family farm well together. People married to procreate. But they certainly didn’t expect their partner would meet all eight needs. This is a modern concept of relationships, again, that’s doing us a disservice.
With this information about expectations, ask yourself two questions:
- How can you notice and even thank your partner for the needs/rolls they do fulfill?
- How can you strengthen your network of social supports so that you do have these various eight needs met, but without unrealistically demanding them from any one person?
We hope asking yourself these questions will challenge you to think differently about your marriage. If you would like help thinking differently about your marriage, call us at 908-246-3074, or email GetSupport@CouplesTherapyCenterOfNJ.com to schedule an appointment with one of our relationship experts.