Relationship Destroyers – About Intimate and/or Sexual Relationships:
PART 8 – DEPENDENCY – UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Expectations, unrealistic expectations are a major relationship destroyer. No matter how you look at it, no matter which half of the relationship you stand for, expectations are a killer.
This section could be a separate book in and of itself because it’s complex. complicated and sensitive material yet at the same time, if you look at the dynamics of ‘expectations’ through clear, unbiased, objective eyes, it’s not difficult to understand. I will explain it as I see it.
This blog will only deal with one aspect of it, and it’s getting clinical, but we’re all adults here, so you can handle this.
If the truth were told in equitable terms, we all have certain expectations of the person we share a relationship with. We expect this, we expect that – we wait for this, we imagine that and all of these expectations serve to fulfill our needs and desires or to compensate for what we feel we lack and deserve. Some fair, reasonable and appropriate depending on the situations at hand. Effectively or should I say
Some expectations are normal, fair, reasonable and appropriate depending on the situations at hand. Effectively or should I say Consequently, our personal expectations are commonly driven by our boundaries, beliefs, security status and sometimes an overall dependency. This is where it gets tricky and interesting for some of us or sticky and horrific for others. You say, what gets tricky and sticky? Now, I’m going to take this discussion up a notch or two.
Let’s talk about ‘unrealistic expectations’.
You knew that was coming and I hate to be the messenger of bad news, as they say, but here it is. Put your hip high latex boots on, okay, or rubber goulashes, and let’s begin to wade deeply into the mire of unrealistic expectations and why they are.
Let’s suppose Mary has a 9-5 professional job with a busy accounting firm. She leaves for work at 8:30 AM every morning and gets home around 5:30 PM if there are no errands, or stops to make on her way home. John worked as a computer tech so his job took him out on the road about town. They have been married less than a year with no children, yet. The couple has breakfast together most mornings unless Mary has to prepare something for work, and skips breakfast to get to work on time. After dating for several months, they decided to marry, their professions were in place and each one of them knew what type of schedule and demands came with their professions. John usually called Mary during her lunch hour, or Mary called him. Occasionally John text Mary. All was well at first.
After a few weeks into the marriage, John lost his job and ended up with a career of ‘looking for a job’, so his time was his own. John didn’t have a boss, no time clock, no daily structure, no hobbies, so he had a lot of time on his hands in between submitting applications for jobs over the Internet, or occasionally applying for jobs in person. John became bored, lonely, frustrated and irritable. He started calling Mary at work more often and wanted to know what she was doing and who she was with. He began texting her several times a day and received a reply from Mary only when she was able to respond during her busy workload. When Mary arrived home in the evening, John started interrogating her about her day’s work, or if she was later than expected, why she was late getting home? Question: Do you see something wrong with this scenario? Of course, you do… if you don’t, you should. This is describing a major relationship issue.
We all have heard the saying: ‘Idle hands are the devil’s workshop’.
No truer words have been spoken. John was home alone every day while Mary was at work, but all John had to keep him occupied was the television, his computer, and his cell phone. He started getting more insecure without a job and started imagining Mary cheating on him. He became obsessed with calls and texts to Mary while she was at work. The longer this went on, the more paranoid and insecure he became which made him more suspicious and distrustful of Mary.
John’s psyche change from a proud, secure husband to a husband who was angry and short-tempered. His behavior appeared to shift from jovial, good-natured and fun-loving, to nasty, unreasonable… to irrational. In short of time, John started calling Mary at work in the late afternoon to bitch and complain that he hadn’t heard from her. He was enraged, disrespectful and offensive on the phone, telling her she didn’t love him, respect him or care about his feelings because she didn’t call him, answer all his calls or reply to his barrage of texts. His continued and escalating, bad behavior upset Mary tremendously and it immediately started affecting her work. She loved him, but their relationship had become unhealthy and detrimental to her profession and job status.
Mary explained to John and tried to reason with him on several occasions that he was the one being disrespectful and insensitive to her, her job and it was fragmenting their relationship, but he insisted it was her fault and her responsibility to respect his feelings if she loved him.
This relationship was in a stalemate, a deadlock. John has probably been co-dependent most of his life, but since this couple was married after a brief dating period, the extent of his dependency wasn’t noticed by Mary immediately, especially because he held a job in the beginning.
Why did this happen? Who was right? What was the reason for John’s unrealistic expectations of Mary? This is only one example of where I see unrealistic expectations: John’s behavior was displaying an ‘unhealthy dependency’ in his relationship with Mary. He needed to have constant and close communication with her. For readers who are interested in a detailed definition, read below at Wikipedia.
This is just one perspective, my perspective of why it’s difficult to main a successful relationship and how the emotions involving “dependency” can be relationship destroyer. I welcome your opinions. (to be continued in Part 9)
Wikipedia: Understanding Dependency (I edited it for this blog article)
It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with co-dependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.
- Emotional dependency is when a woman allows others (like a significant other) to affect her feelings and emotions, and depends on them for happiness, etc. This is giving complete control to others over a woman’s own emotions. This is unhealthy and can negatively impact self-esteem since self-esteem is dependent on others. This is different from having a balanced relationship, where two people have interdependence and allow other to affect them only slightly emotionally. According to one relationship site, it is impossible to love others and not give them some control, but there needs to be a balance.
Mental Health America, a nonprofit association, defines co-dependency as “an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.”
Co-dependency as a broad definition is “dependence on the needs of or control by another,” according to Merriam-Webster. However, in the psychological sense, it is “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition.”
Emotional dependency can also be found in people with dependent personality disorder, “a long-term (chronic) condition in which people depend too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs,” according to Medline Plus, a service of the National Institutes of Health.