Have you ever gotten really annoyed at your spouse for not doing what you wanted them to do?
I think we all have.
Next time that happens stop and ask yourself if you ever really made your expectations (or the importance of your expectations) clear?
If not, you may be victimizing the one you love with a "Veiled Expectation"
In my work with couples that love one another, they usually have a genuine desire to make one another happy but VEILED EXPECTATIONS make it impossible for them to make you happy.
STEP 1: When emotions are low (when you have calmed down) clarify what you really want from them.
STEP 2: Allow for mistakes. If they don't meet your expectations the first time, cut them some slack. The key is to believe that they really WANT to make you happy. Consider that no matter how clear you think you were about your expectations, they did not get the message. You can repeat step one or, even better, have a real discussion about your expectations and be accepting if they have a good reason for why they can't or won't meet them.
STEP 3: It's not about YOU it's about you two. Work to set-up COMMON expectations, COMMON goals, a COMMON purpose and a COMMON vision of the future.
Be ready to let something you thought you wanted go in the service of the relationship. It's not a compromise if you truly change your mind about your expectations because it's best for the relationship.
STEP 4: Remember that you LOVE them.
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