Can we expect everything from one person?

Can we expect everything from one person?

Esther Perel talks about how the expectations of marriage are different today then they were in the past. In the past, marriage was an economic decision, children were created so that they could help the family, and the needs of the family were met through the community, the village. Today, we marry for love, children are an addition to the family that create meaning, and we are more isolated as a family unit. This isolation has caused us to want our partners to be our everything- our partner/spouse, lover, best friend, parent to our children, confidant, provider, etc. All of these things can add to the stress of a relationship and shows how much we can’t depend on one person for everything.

She also talks about the need for us to keep the mystery in our relationship, that we need space in order for us to keep the erotic in our relationship. This allows us to miss the other person, not know everything so we can continue to learn something new even after being together for long periods of time. Think about how you feel when your partner leaves to go out of town, you have a chance to miss them, to realize what its like without them, how they are such a big part of your life. Sometimes, especially now, we are with someone so much that the appreciation of all that they do or how important they are to us can get lost. Those breaks in time together gives us that reminder that we need to make a reach to reconnect which then leads us to feel that the other views the relationship as meaningful. This space or time to do their own thing lets each partner have pieces of themselves that are just for them, which encourages individuality and having others that can be a support to them. Yet, while we need this individuality, we also need to know that our partner is going to be there for us.

Which brings us to what most are questioning in their relationships. The messages I hear as I listen to couples talk are: “Do you want to be with me?”, “Am I enough?”, “Will you be here for me?”, “Can I trust you to be here for me?”, “Can I show you who I am, will you accept me?” These are questions that come from many different places in a person (we all have our own lived experiences), that they often aren’t even aware of, and are often not even an indication of things that have occurred in the relationship. We want to know that we are connected to the person we are with and that they will be there for us.

So the next time your partner appears to be questioning you or seems to be saying something that indicates a lack of trust- instead of getting upset and defensive, get curious as to why. Ask them to tell you what’s going on, be compassionate to where they may be coming from- your interest and concern will show how much you care, that you are there for and with them and will help form a deeper connection in the relationship.

If you’re interested in reconnecting and forming a deeper connection with your partner, reach out, I’d love to help you on your journey of rediscovering and rebuilding your relationship.

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