Scott Haltzman, M.D.
I do think that expectations are perhaps one of the biggest troubles that we get into in marriages and we get into in relationships. Now what’s interesting is when you start dating you have all these fantastic expectations and it appears that your partner is meeting them all. It seems like when you want him to be funny, he is funny. When you want her to be sweet, she is sweet and you have the belief that you are goingto meet your partner’s expectations and vice versa for the rest of yourlives. First of all, it’s just not possible.
Second of all, here’s the fact that once you get marry, once you’re hooked up for good, you stop trying quite as hard. It’s just natural. You’ve got to put your efforts into some place. If I put as much effort into courting my wife as I did when I first met her, I wouldn’t have a job. But I have to go to my job and I still have to make my marriage and my relationship with my wife my job. I need to make it a priority. I need to court her and she needs to feel like she is special. That is her expectation. Now the fact to the matter is I may still fall short? But that just motivates me to do more.
The other problem is that we get a lot of messages from the media about what relationships are supposed to be like and for some reason they usually work like this. The woman knows everything about what she needs romantically. The guy is clueless and
just at the point where you lose all hope that he is going to get it right and figure out how to win her heart, he swoops in and he becomes the perfect man. And how does he become the perfect man? Being more like a woman. Hey, that’s great for Hollywood. It sucks for real life.
There is just no way that you’re going to make a relationship better making a woman into more of a man. Men and women bring different attributes to relationships. As a matter of fact any two individuals bring different aspects to relationship. But our expectation is somehowmthat person has married me because they wanna become more like me. Uh-uh, they want to be themselves and they want you maybe to be more like them. But the real celebration of marriage, the real celebration of connection and commitment is to be able to appreciate that each of you is different. Each grows in a different direction and ultimately you can celebrate that and not be frustrated you.
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