I woke up this morning without my sense of humor. I was feeling pretty good yesterday. That is, until I expressed my concerns about a family event to my significant other. His response was less than helpful, although I know his intentions were good. So instead of feeling reassured, I ended up with a feeling of "yuck." To make matters worse, I continued to express another concern that came to mind in reaction to his "sharing." He not only fell asleep soon after this vulnerable moment but then later during the night proceeded to initiate "you know what" in a way that was in direct opposition to what I had requested just some five hours earlier.
So I begin to question things. Is he passive aggressive? Is he tuned out? Did he forget the importance of what I was communicating? Is he simply clueless?
Then I remembered.... He's just a guy. But he's my guy. And yes, sometimes he's passive aggressive, sometimes he's tuned out, and sometimes he's simply forgetful and clueless. That's just the way it goes from time to time.
Now, for you guys out there that are feeling attacked and picked on—I implore you to refrain from hitting "reply" and sending me letters. Because you have your own version for us gals. There are moments when you shake your head in disbelief at the things we say and do, the things we want, and the way we think and feel. There are no double standards here—the same goes for everyone.
Now, back to my story.
So I woke up this morning thinking, who is this guy I live with and why do I? I began to think of all the reasons why I should "dump" him. But after a short while, I stopped myself. I took some deep breaths and started to see things more clearly.
He's a great guy and an imperfect guy. He behaves like a typical man—which is sometimes good and sometimes challenging. He's the person I love and with whom I have chosen to share my life.
Then I turned the mirror toward myself? Who am I in this equation?
I'm someone who has high expectations and isn't afraid to ask for what I need and express how I feel. I'm someone who is sensitive and who at times will over-react to situations and events when my expectations aren't met and when I'm feeling exceptionally vulnerable. I'm also someone who at the end of the day can sort all that out and find perspective and a sense of humor once again.
So as I sit here this morning and remember what is truly important, I wanted to share these thoughts with you. When you find yourself disappointed, baffled, frustrated, or at a loss for words, remember this.
Your partner is not perfect and never will be. Men are men, women are women. And while the differences that exist between you and your partner can be challenging at times, in the end, they are what makes the relationship work.
Your expectations will not be met—at least, most of the time. Expectations are really another way to say "I wish you were more like me." Find your way back to appreciating the fact that your partner isn't more like you. Two of you would simply be too much of one thing.
Find your sense of humor. Most people have good will most of the time. Most situations are harmless (and for those that aren't, please refer to my other articles that address real relationship problems) and for those that are harmless, let go and laugh about it. Find a way to look at your partner and their baffling behavior as endearing comic relief.
And finally, don't take any of it personally.
As for me? I've worked my way back to a grin and am finding my way toward a little chuckle :-)....
If you or someone you know is struggling to create a loving and intimate relationship, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve.
As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships.
P.S. And don't forget to catch my radio/TV show Pathways to Love w'Julie Orlov LIVE every Sunday 1:30pm PST on LATalkLive!
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
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