Expectations in Relationships: What are Unrealistic Expectations in Relationships?

Expectations in Relationships: What are Unrealistic Expectations in Relationships?

What is a good man?

What is a good woman?

I recently heard the song by Dax called “A Real Man,” whose lyrics say:

“Realest story ever told

Can’t have a man who’s making money always home

Heart like a truck, that’s why he’s always on thе road

Providing everything you need to live thе life you say you want

Can’t have a man who wears his heart on his sleeve

That won’t rip once a while at the seams

Especially when you never take the time to look into his eyes

And hear him when he silently screams.

Yeah, she said she wants a real man.”

What is “a real man”?

We think that a real man is someone who provides but doesn’t feel.

I asked my friend who sent me the song if he could relate. He said, “Yes, I think most women like to talk about how they want men to be more in touch with their emotions but actually still desire a strong protector.”

I asked, “Is it not possible to be a strong protector and have access to emotions and feelings?”

He said no. 😕 I strongly disagree.

What a predicament we are in. We truly are in a predicament. Men think they cannot provide and have feelings. Women think they want their men to have feelings but then don’t know how to hold space for it.

I coach many women who want their men to be more vulnerable, but when they are, when they cry and break down about the burden of providing being something that is too exhausting and too much, she is disgusted and walks away.

Men do silently scream.

They do have to protect themselves from their feelings. There is no one to show them to.

The suicide rate is 3-5 times higher in men than women in America since the 1950s. Therapy for men is still very taboo.

I’m a tantrika. I hold space for men to cry. I hold space for men to show their authentic, intimate feelings. Feelings of sadness, grief, and shame are taboo feelings for men in America.

One of my favorite clients ever was an extremely tough gym rat from Pennsylvania, huge, burly man’s man of a guy, full beard, worked the docks as a kid. He came to me and said he wanted Dan Peña to coach him and finally make him cry. I laughed. He didn’t need a man to yell at him and shame him. He needed the tender, safe space of a loving woman who didn’t judge him, or care that he had feelings. This man broke down crying in every single session for months. He still tells me how much he loved it and hated it. But it was truly an incredible experience for him to have a woman hold space for him like that.

These are some times college graduates who can effectively communicate and make thousands of dollars in business. They aren’t having a problem “communicating.” They absolutely know how to communicate. So what’s the problem?

Expectations in relationships: expectations are premeditated resentments:

I tell all my clients that expectations are premeditated resentments. You want to feel resentment towards someone? Then just expect something from them. Particularly, something you never informed them about. It’s completely unfair to think that someone can read your mind. That they will just “know you so well” that they can provide for you without telling them what you need! It’s preposterous. But people do it all the time.

Expectations of men in relationships: the mixed messages

1). Don’t have feelings

2). Be vulnerable and share your feelings

3). Be the provider

4). Don’t need to be taken care of

5). Let her mother you

6). Clean the house and share the burden

7). Be sexy, but also let her mother you 🤮

8). Share everything

9). Don’t share your fears

10). Let her own you

11). Be free

So many mixed messages. How can you think the man you’re taking care of like you’re his mother is sexy? How can he share his raw feelings about not wanting to provide, or the burden of carrying the desire to provide, especially when it’s not working for him, when he believes you need him to provide? He doesn’t want to let you down. But he’s suffering. So he turns to porn, or alcohol, or other things to numb the pain of not being able to provide, or share that he’s not ok.

Expectations of women in relationships: the mixed messages

1). Be soft and feminine

2). Handle everything, the kids schedules, the husbands schedules, the food, shopping, cooking, cleaning

3). Don’t be tired

4). Start a passive income business

5). Manage the money

6). Don’t control your man

7). Don’t let him control you

8). Let him have freedom

9). Stalk him so he doesn’t cheat

10). He should be strong

11). But not too strong

12). He should provide

13). Don’t nag him

14). If he doesn’t do it, do it yourself without nagging

15). Be sexy. So sexy. Even if you’re tired and there’s dishes

She’s exhausted. She’s trying to manage herself z her kids, her husband, her work, her aging parents, the family schedule, the homework, the house. There’s no time to feel sexy. She just needs to know she can trust her man and rely on him. But she can’t. He doesn’t do the small things. She nags him. He’s silently suffering because he’s afraid of hurting her by telling her his vulnerable truths.

They’re ships passing in the night. They’re missing it. They’re missing each other.

The lists go on and on…

Both genders are sent so many mixed messages. No one knows their roles or the rules to play by.

Having unspoken expectations in relationships can lead to so much hardship.

Each relationship is unique.

Don’t let an “authority” tell you what to do, or how to do your relationship with your partner! You and your partner get to figure it out together.

A good therapist or coach will hold space for the couple to learn to communicate effectively with each other (see post on effective communication).

Don’t listen to authorities try to convince you that there is a right or wrong way to be masculine, or feminine. That there are some kind of prescribed roles to play by.

There aren’t.

There is only what you and your partner decide together about your expectations in relationships!

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