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In a previous post , I wrote that partners may feel certain obligations to each other as part of their relationship, but they shouldn't feel too much like obligations, in the sense that they feel separate from or on top on the relationship itself.
If they do, that signals a problem in the relationship, because one or both partners may be taking an external view to the relationship, as if viewing it from outside of it and seeing its "limitations" and "requirements" as binding, rather than an internal view in which the partners fulfill each other's needs out of love and appreciation for each other and for their relationship.
In brief, you should want to do things for your partner rather than feel you have to. Let's look at this from another angle: What about expectations in a relationship? In a sense, expectations are the flipside of obligations; if someone has an obligation towards you, you usually have an expectation that that obligation will be fulfilled. Again, this is similar to rights language in moral or legal philosophy ; if Bob has a firm duty towards Barbara, then Barbara has a right or claim to have that duty fulfilled.
For example, if Bob has a duty not to steal from Barbar, then Barbara has a right not to be stolen from by Bob; if Barbara has a duty to help Bob perhaps based on a promise or other commitment , Bob has a claim on Barbara's assistance. Now if Bob and Barbara or Bob and Bill, or Barbara and Betty are romantically involved, Bob may form expectations regarding Barbara based on obligations she has toward Bob and vice versa. Ideally, these expectations—like obligations—arise naturally out of the nature of the relationship and the partners' understanding hopefully discussed between them of where the relationship is.
For instance, Bob shouldn't expect complete openness and honesty, or frequent PDA or sexual contact, if the relationship has not progressed far enough for these to become reasonable expectations. Of course, partners may come to relationships from different places in their lives. For example, if you and your ex kissed every time you passed each other, you shouldn't automatically assume your new partner will want to do the same.
This goes for negative expectations as well; if your ex cheated on you, for instance, don't assume or expect your new partner to follow suit. Every new partner and every new relationship is fresh and unique, a story waiting to be written. Certainly, some things may be the same—after all, you chose them both for some reason, hopefully a good one—but many things will be different as well.
As with obligations, an ideal relationship does not involve expectations that are not implied in the relationship itself; in other words, partners in an affectionate relationships can expect love and support, partners in a physical relationship can expect a certain amount of sexual activity, and so on.
I don't mean to imply these two are mutually exclusive, of course! The point is that these expectations should arise naturally, and should rarely be mentioned as such. Obviously, neither is good for a relationship, and it's probably time to have a good talk between the two of you. I don't want the person I'm wish to feel she "has" to do certain things for me; I want her to do the things she wants to do out of her feelings for me, as I would like to do for her.
If you have to ask your partner for something or not to do something , you never know if he or she does it or not just because you asked, or because he or she really wanted to do it. Ideally, partners will feel free to do what they watn to do, including things they want to do for each other, and if their feelings are strong and they are truly compatible, their actions will be as well.
Looking at it a different way, what your partner does or doesn't do without asking him or her to tells you a lot about that person, good or bad. For instance, if you have to say to your partner, "I have a right to know" something, consider why he or she didn't tell you already and why you had to bring it up.
The fact that you expect to know this may also reveal something about you! This may seem naive and overly romantic, and few couples will actually achieve this blissful harmony, but that doesn't mean we can't strive for it—isn't that the dream? You're welcome to follow me on Twitter , but I have no reason to expect you to. MY SO has recently reconnected with his half-sister after 30 years. She is a manic depressive and has OCD. After making the connection, he is now on a mission to 'save' his sister as she was all alone up in ME.
Needless to say, without any input from me, they both decided to have her move in with us. He bought his house 3 years ago. I have a heart condition in which I am still going thru procedures since I am at a loss why I have been placed on the back burner after all these years to accomadate a 35yr old woman, who has been on her own for a very long time. She has gone thru 2 marraiges and has 2 children, one that was adopted and the other, all her rights were signed over to the husband.
She has just moved into our home yesterday and I am at a loss as to finding out what my role is, now that this person has moved in. I am so angry and upset and my feelings of being trapped is only causing me unnecessary stress. My home has been invaded by this unwanted person who is a stranger to us both.
We do not know her. She just surfaced on Facebook. This is someone who is heavily medicated and I have to worry if she is going to have a good day or a bad one. I have been literally been dismissed from anything going on with her moving into our home. The house is not in my name, but I am on the Will along with my SO's son. He has dismissed me in marrying me and getting the house together and now this. He says he loves me. I'm not too sure anymore.
I now need to know what role is now that she is here. My SO says he does not know how long she will be here, which could be years. I am ready to pack up and leave, but at the moment, I am in not a healthy position.
We have had arguments about her moving in and all he says is "I need to do this". My SO tells me this will be for my benefit also as she will provide company for me.
I dont need company nor do I need someone telling me what I NEED. I have two grown children from a previous marraige and they are there for me when I need them. So, I dont need company from a 35 year old woman who sounds like she is 10 years old. She is mentally disabled and I am on medicare due to the heart condition.
I love him, but if I have to leave because of this, then I will. I have to think of my overall health, which at this time, he is not. I cannot get anymore sick over this and I need some suggestion on what to do..
I hope someone can assist me and I'm sorry for writing a short novel. This is certainly related to what I wrote about expectations, but so much more.
Would that be OK? Please believe that I am not doing this to put you off - I simply want to give your comment the attention I think it deserves.
The response is now posted https: I learn a lot about the person I love this way, observing and staying out of the way. As soon as I enter the situation I can't be sure if she acts a certain way naturally, or just because I am around. And it's a lot less interesting then. I want her to do the things she wants to do out of her feelings for me, as I would like to do for her.
That's the ideal, as you said. Giving what another needs because you noticed and because it is rewarding all on its own. But it seems most couples drift in and out of this in and out of synch. Getting back into synch seems in my experience to be hard, maybe because it requires one or both people to behave "artifically" for a time, asking for something they need or giving something on request that they wouldn't come to naturally at that time - to getback on track.
I can tell - probably everyone can! I wonder what gets people back into synch I don't know if that's clear. In short, can expectations and obgligations of one another lead couples to this natural, ideal state by "priming the pump"? It seems that these things are common pieces of advice given to couples Maybe it is like But then you forget for a couple of years bad and your mom gives you a hard time and calls to remind you that her birthday is coming and you remember to send a gift Your mom's expectation led to the same behavior, but devalued it.
It prevent s the "bad" does not get you to the goal good again. I can see where that might work, especially if a couple has a very difficult time letting happen naturally, and priming the pump like this may be fine once in a while, but I would worry if a couple had to do it too much, i.
It threatens to become self-defeating, like "planned spontaneity. I'm a firm believer in "wei wu wei" action through inaction in relationships, allowing things to happen and progress naturally.
If a couple can find some time and space, even amidst the chaos of work and family, to simply BE together, I believe they will find themselves in sync if they can. And if they don't, maybe they simply can't, and this should not be forced either. Might they have to force things e. Perhaps, but once they do, the pushing should stop, and they should just try to be with each other, and over time they may find themselves in sync - and once they remember how fantastic that feels, continued attention to the principle of wei wu wei may help to maintain it.
Interesting comment about wei wu wei. I stumbled upon that philosophy a couple years ago and was struck about how it was so simple and effective. To realize that you do not have to fight and struggle to get where you want is pretty important I think but it is not obvious at all. Over the years I've tried to explain the concept to friends but I think that in our occidental mind, this is quite hard to grasp.
Isn't that some kind of procrastination they would say? Are you a slacker?! To learn to use the natural flow of life instead of working against its current Anyway, this really helps getting "zen" especially when things are going backwards and you live through a series of train wrecks. I think it's more like the serenity prayer, knowing what things you can change and deserve effort, and which things cannot be forced and are better left to themselves.
For instance, building a career takes effort - very few people can be successful in that sense without trying! But I've always felt that love, whether finding it or sustaining it, cannot be forced.