Every relationship has its own ups and downs. But there is a thin line between a rough patch in a relationship and a toxic relationship. Identifying that line is crucial. Understanding why a relationship can get toxic is even more important. More often than not, a relationship can turn toxic due to the harmful expectations we include in the relationship. But how do we realize if our expectations are actually detrimental to the well-being of our relationship with our loved ones? Here are some ways to recognize toxic expectations in a relationship and get rid of them.
A surface understanding of relationship dynamics
Many people enter a relationship with just a superficial understanding of the same. These people are not looking for companions. They are looking for someone who can baby-sit them.
Many others enter a relationship with an expectation that their partners will singlehandedly heal their childhood trauma or help them overcome personality issues. A relationship, however, doesn’t work that way.
Your companion is not a magician, who can swing their wand around and evaporate your issues into thin air. Looking at your life companion as the pillar to lean on to is a toxic expectation.
Yes, there is no doubt that your partner will, at many points in life, give you a shoulder to cry on. You might also do the same for your loved one.
However, expecting them to primarily be your support for even the most basic necessities is one of the most toxic expectations in a relationship.
To combat this, try looking at your partner as someone whom you can confide in. But also remember that your partner is as human as you are. You cannot drain your companion with your constant cribbing and nagging at all times.
Your partner is not here just to absorb your problems in life. Keeping that in mind will help you to strengthen the bond of your relationship.
Setting low expectations
Setting low expectations in your relationship is toxic as well. If you expect your partner to treat you nicely only because you do not voice your needs and demands in a relationship – you are heading for trouble.
While you might think that any expectations in a relationship will lead to resentment in the longer run, expecting nothing from your loved ones is an idea that is setting you up for deeper disappointments.
Do not enter a relationship with the idea of expecting lesser than you deserve. Thinking that your partner will appreciate you more if you don’t create conflict in the relationship is a toxic way to about it.
Understand that you deserve to be treated with love and care. Understand that if you treat someone with respect, kindness and compassion, you deserve the same in return. No terms and conditions applicable.
No relationship is free of conflict
Not even the best ones. Every relationship has some or the other conflict involved in it. In fact, most relationship grow healthier because of conflict.
However, this is only true in cases where the conflict is constructive and is resolved through mutual understanding of the issue. The thing is, relationships cannot be devoid of conflict.
If you expect your relationship to be conflict-free, you are unintentionally and subconsciously introducing more conflict in it. Expecting your relationship go forever go on smoothly means you will jump out of it when it hits even a minor roadblock.
The best way to avoid of the most toxic expectations in a relationship is to understand that every relationship has its own share of problems. How you approach them makes all the difference.
A happy relationship, not a perfect one
A lot of people look for the perfect partner, the perfect relationship, the perfect marriage, and the perfect life. These are the people who end up terribly disappointed in the long run.
Expecting a perfect relationship or expecting to be perfect around your loved one is one of the most toxic expectations in a relationship.
Intimate relationships – be it physical, emotional, mental or all combined – require you to be vulnerable. These closer encounters with our loved ones demand that we shed the garb we put in front of the world and expose our true selves.
But when you refuse to do so, you are putting your relationship in peril. If you expect to wake up every morning and be your perfect self (or wish your partner to be forever perfect), you are in for the biggest disappointment in life.
No relationship is perfect. You and your loved one cannot always keep on that mask of immaculate behavior, especially when you are just in each other’s company.
Realizing that it is more important to have a happy and healthy relationship rather than a perfect one is one of the best ways to get rid of toxic expectations in a relationship.
You cannot “fix” everything
If your loved one is suffering from mental health issues, and you are stuck in there only because you think you will be able to “fix” this, you are wrong.
The fixation of “fixing” everything, the obsession with being the problem solver every time, the stubbornness of being there for your loved ones at any cost – these are toxic expectations in a relationship that are sure to destroy it soon.
You cannot, and must not, strive to “fix” what cannot be fixed. If you expect to do so, or are expected to do so by your loved ones, you are setting up your relationship for a tragic failure.
Such ideas simply lead to more resentment and anger. Moreover, the feeling of helplessness that will burn bright inside you when you fail to fix the unfixable will turn your safe space to ashes.
You will continue to harbor negative feelings about yourself and your relationship until and unless you realize and recognize what you can control and what you cannot.
Inculcating toxic expectations in a relationship is sure to break it apart sooner or later. Learn to identify the patterns and dismiss them as soon as possible for a happier, healthy personal life.