Episode 008: Communicating Expectations with Your Partner
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If you listened to previous episodes, you’ll recall that we “theme” our discussions by calendar month. And for the month of June, we’re talking about Relationships – specifically, marriages or romantic relationships that might be headed there. But a lot of what we talk about this month is applicable to other family and friend relationships as well. We started this series last week with Episode 007 and the suggestion to Craft Your Dating Story as a way of answering the question, How to Know If Your Partner Is (Or Is STILL) The One. That exercise helps us re-live what made us fall for each other in the first place, which is where you can start to uncover examples of the expectations you have of your partner.
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Updates: We’re gearing up for a big home renovation at the Dorman house, to include a new home office and podcast recording studio! In preparation, we are using Marie Kondo’s method from her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to purge the inordinate amount of excess (clothes, books, papers, toys, tools, etc.).
I also started working with Beautycounter this week! — a beauty products company dedicated to getting safer products into the hands of everyone. They have everything from sunscreen to makeup to kids and baby products, but my current obsession is the overnight resurfacing “no-peel” peel — all with ingredients I feel great about.
And Haley is going on a girls trip weekend with some childhood and college friends this weekend — sans baby!
Here’s what we discuss in Episode 008: “Communicating Expectations to Your Partner”:
Communicating expectations really just helps you understand each other’s value systems.
Keep in mind, just because we communicate an expectation does not mean they are not already fulfilling it.
This week, we’re suggesting each partner comes up with a list of 10 expectations you have of each other and then go over them using the format we discuss in this episode.
As you discuss, as your partner “What do you think about that?” Understand that anything we sign up for is based on our understanding of what the other partner means. So, make sure you unpack the context of what you’re asking, including real-life examples.
There are three possible responses to expectations:
- Compromises (in two forms):
- I’m willing to do that, but I’m not going to be very good at it, so I will need your help …
- I’m willing to do that, I think I can be good at it, but I’m gonna need to see you walk a little bit …
Here are some tips or strategies to improve the productivity of this conversation …
- When YOU are going over your expectations of a partner, use prefacing language to set the stage, to help disarm them, and hopefully prevent them from feeling attacked, especially when you’re engaging in a more difficult topic (where there might be baggage or trauma from the past, etc.).
- When your partner is going over THEIR expectations, provide empathy and validation statements in response. We often go back and forth in conversation, re-explaining, over-explaining — because we don’t feel heard or understood.
- Take ownership. (“First, step back,” reference from the episode) A lack of ownership is a breeding ground for DEFENSIVENESS and the “you” battle.
- Ask questions. Get clarity on what the person is asking. This can include some “reflective listening,” like “Okay, what I’m hearing you say is …”
- Make requests, not demands. “It would be helpful to me if …”
- Make sign-ups. “Here is what I’m willing to do.”
So, this week, we’re suggesting you make a list of 10 expectations you have in a partner, ask them to do the same, and schedule a time to go over it together. Let us know what you think about this process over in the Nourish Joy Podcast Community on Facebook. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We SERIOUSLY love to hear from you!
Haley’s Highlight: She had a bunch of clients discharge this week, which means they have met their goals! It is her greatest joy to advocate for people so they can learn to advocate for themselves.
Meghan’s Lowlight: A flare-up of vocal cord nodules led to actual sickness — some kind of cold or viral or bacterial infection. And as much as I would give nourishing protocols to anyone else in my life who gets sick, I did nothing for myself. No vitamins, no broth, no action. Silly, arrogant rebellion. But heading to get some colloidal silver right after this episode!
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Have a Nourishing and Joyful weekend!