Unmet Expectations

Couples Coaching

Uncommunicated or unmet expectations can lead to disappointment and create distance within your relationship.  Our partner truly doesn’t stand a chance of being successful and “pleasing” us if we fail to communicate what we want or desire in a particular situation.  Many of us fall into the “ought to know syndrome” my partner should just know what I want, what makes me happy….I shouldn’t have to say everything out loud.  No wonder the divorce rate is so high in the United States.  

Let’s look at a specific example, one of you spends all day preparing for a surprise romantic candlelight dinner and you prepare their favorite food, pick out the perfect music…the anticipation has grown all day as you think about spending quality and concentrated time with your significant other.  Low and behold your partner is 2 hours late getting home from work without calling. What you don’t know is that they are livid about being yelled at by the boss and need time to cool off. The perfect meal is overcooked…..the energy and excitement are gone. Anger replaces anticipation for the perfect planned night.  Disappointment sets in.  Story-telling begins in your head which immediately creates distance in your relationship.  What is your story?

Bottom line is that having expectations often lead to disappointment and relationship challenges.  Tune into our best tips here.

Our tips:

  • Be clear about any expectations that you have with each other
  • Sometimes it is best if you have no expectations at all.  In this type of experience, be mindful of what you are thinking and openly share with each other.  Just being together and being intentional about your relationship openly creates more intimacy
  • Push through any emotional fear and be open about expectations
  • If you find yourself disappointed or frustrated about a situation, ask yourself if there were unmet expectations that were not met.  Take time to share with your partner your awareness
  • When the ought to know thought creeps into your mind, speak your truth out loud

Reflection questions: 

What expectations are you needing to communicate with your partner?

What are some of the unmet expectations between the two of you?

How would communicating expectations improve your relationship? Enhance your emotional intimacy?

What areas in your relationships are suffering because you have not been open or even aware of your expectations?


Need relationship help?  We are here to be of service to you.

Steve and Cella Hartline, Enlightened Way: New Day

[email protected] or [email protected]

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