Expecting your partner to read your mind and know what will make you happy is unrealistic and leads to disappointment and resentment. This works for both men and women equally. Life would be very tedious indeed if you had to anticipate what others wanted. “It would be like treading on eggshells, worrying about upsetting everyone. It is far simpler, and healthier, to walk around assuming you have done nothing wrong until someone tells you otherwise.
Further, not having to rely on someone else to read your mind and be responsible for your happiness is liberating. Just think about it: you are upset about something. You have to wait until, first, your partner notices that you are upset and then rely on them being able to read your mind and know what you want them to do about it. You will probably spend your life waiting – and it will not be a happy wait. Or, once you know you are upset about something, you take responsibility for the problem and set about looking at how to resolve it. Owning the problem in this way leads to a much healthier sense of control. You become responsible for having your needs met, making specific requests and for expressing your hurts and disappointments.” (“Side by Side” by Jo Lamble & Sue Morris)
Even I couldn’t have said it any better. Let alone that when you try to read your partner’s mind, you are very likely to be incorrect.
It is imperative that you maintain a healthy sense of who you are as this ties in closely with your self-esteem. Being too dependent on your partner can erode your relationship. Again, this goes for both men and women equally. Looking into ways to change your behaviour and applying them into your life can have a positive effect on the sequence of events that often leads to conflict.
The positive domino effect – changing a small part of your behaviour can effect a positive change in your relationship.
The importance of saying ‘sorry’ – be aware if either you or your partner has difficulty apologising. Successful relationships require both parties to accept responsibility and say ‘I’m sorry’.
And, of course, the lighter side…
Q. Was there anything that first put you off your partner, but you now see as a strength?
A.1. I was worried that he was immature. I can see that he is just young at heart, and great with our children.
A.2. I didn’t really like the way she was so obsessed with being on time everywhere we went. Now I appreciate the fact that she is always reliable and that it has rubbed off on me.
A.3. It seemed to me that she used to worry more about her friends than me. Now I know that she is wonderful at maintaining friendships, which has benefited both of us.
A.4. I always used to tease him about his cleaning fetish. When I listen to my friends complaining about their husbands’ failure to help around the house, I take it all back.
A.5. I used to think he was really tight with his money. I now see that as a positive. We are now on track to get rid of debt and relax a little bit more.