Does your partner know what is IMPORTANT to you?

Jane has been married to Ben for two years.  They are the proud parents of a 3 month old girl.  This year was the first time Jane celebrated Mother's Day as a mother.  She was ecstatic with anticipation of her first ever Mother's Day and how Ben would pamper her.  On Sunday, she woke up to their daughter crying, no breakfast in bed, no flowers, just a normal day.  The only acknowledgement of this special day was a kiss and a "Happy Mother's Day" from Ben.  The entire Sunday Jane was thinking of all the ways she was planning to celebrate Ben on Father's Day because she wants to show him how much she loves him.  The more she thought about it, the sadder she got.  Sunday evening Jane was disappointed and hurt, while Ben was clueless about why his wife had become withdrawn.  When Ben asked her what was wrong, she replied "nothing, I'm fine."

What went wrong? In a nutshell: Ben did not meet Jane's expectations.  

On one hand, Jane believed that Ben would be able to give her the day she dreamed of because he loves her; being her soulmate would enable him to know exactly what she desires.  On the other hand, Ben grew up in a household where Mother's Day and Father's Day were regular days; there was no celebration.  He did what he had seen growing up.

This way of thinking is a fast way to disappointment, hurt, and resentment in any relationship.  It leads to fights over little things because somebody ends up feeling hurt, neglected, or insignificant.  Nobody can read anybody else's mind! As a therapist I can read body language and between the lines of what my clients are saying, but I am NOT privy to what they are thinking.  They have to tell me.  

How can you tell your partner what you need or what is important to you?  Just say it: “Honey, it is important to me that you make Mother's Day special to me by cooking breakfast, serving it in bed, and buying me flowers.  I would also love it if you could take care of our baby girl for a few hours while I go shopping by myself.”  Most of the times people are not aware of what is important, unless it is spelled out.  

Maybe you've tried to bury your disappointment and hurt, but that just frustrates your partner and pulls you further apart from your loved one.  Counseling can help you gain perspective, develop new coping skills, and learn how to communicate differently so you get what you need.  You deserve happiness. You can make life better.  Call for an appointment or send me a brief message today.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash