5 Expectations that Women Have of Men that Can Destroy their Relationships
One of the most consistent elements of my life coaching is hearing about the expectations that women have of men that can destroy their relationships.
I hear from women who have these sky-high expectations for their men, and when they aren’t met, they are devastated. And they treat their men horribly as a result.
And the relationship fails, which nobody wants.
Let me share with you expectations that women have of men that can destroy their relationship.
Knowing them is very important so that you can understand how you might be able to shift your expectations and keep your relationship healthy and strong.
#1- That men know what they are thinking.
I think a baseline cause of why women might have certain expectations of their men is because of their women friends.
I think their expectations of their men are borne from aspects that naturally occur in their female friendships. And this tendency can be very destructive.
Why? Because women are women and men are men, and their skill sets are very different.
How many times has a friend looked at you and known exactly what you are thinking? How many times have they, because they know what you are thinking, given you exactly what you need now?
How often have you been so thankful that they are your friend because they can do that?
Now, is having your husband be able to do the same thing an expectation that you have? Do you believe that they should be able to look at you and know what you are thinking?
Well, I am afraid that, if this is something that you expect, you will be sorely disappointed.
One of the magical things about women is that we are intuitive and we have been practicing these skill our whole lives. Men aren’t usually as intuitive or intuitive at all, and, as a result, they can’t be mind-readers.
As much as they want to be able to do, it because they know it makes their partners happy, it can be virtually impossible for them to do so. And expecting them to do so will only let you both down.
So, know that your man most likely can’t read your mind. If you need something from him, ask him. I know that he would be happy to do whatever you want him to do if you tell him what it is!
#2- That men anticipate their needs.
This one is very similar to men being able to read our minds. Much like in our friendships, we want the men in our lives to anticipate our needs. To know what we need and make it happen.
We want the men in our lives to reflect back on what we have needed in a similar moment in the past and act accordingly.
We want to believe that the men in our lives should know us well enough to know what we might need, and because they know us so well, they can act on it.
Unfortunately, much like mind reading, men aren’t great at anticipating their partners’ needs.
Men tend to live in the moment, so asking them to harken back to previous behavior can be futile.
I know that, with my ex-husband, I needed him to be home in time for dinner. I told him that regularly and he had a 70% success rate at doing what I needed.
And then, I stopped telling him. I felt he should know what I needed because I had told him many times. I felt like my reminding him was treating him like a child.
Unfortunately, without me reminding him, my husband’s “get home from work on time” success rate fell to 40%.
Instead of relying on past experience and anticipating my needs, he figured my needs had changed and acted accordingly.
To be clear, I know that men would give anything to be able to anticipate our needs, but I know that this isn’t often a skill that they have developed over the course of their lifetime and that they just aren’t good at it.
So, know that men being able to anticipate your needs is an expectation that women have of men that can destroy a relationship. Again, if you need something from them, tell them. That is an expectation you can have of your man – that if you ask him to do something and he agrees to do it, he will.
#3 – That men must do things the way they do.
I hear a lot from women who have kids, who work and shop and drive and cook and clean and do all of the other mundane things that must be done.
And women are generally pretty bad at asking for help to get these things done, usually because if they ask their man to help, and he agrees, he doesn’t do it the way they want it to be done.
No matter if the outcome of the request was a positive one, I often hear women tell me that it wasn’t done the way they wanted, so they won’t ask their husbands to help again.
“If it was me, I would do it (this) way” is something I hear from clients and friends over and over and over.
Because we see a certain way of doing things and believe that those actions would meet the proper ends efficiently and effectively, when we see someone else doing things differently, we get extremely frustrated, especially when it’s our partners.
And when we get extremely frustrated with our partners, we get angry, resentful, and rude, and that is not part of the recipe for a happy relationship.
So, know that expecting your man, or anyone, to do things as you believe they should be done is futile. We all do things our own way, and those ways work for us!
#4 – That men’s actions should be born of love.
“If he loved me, he would…” This is another thing that I hear all the time.
A client of mine was very frustrated because she wanted her husband to look at some windows they needed for their house renovation. They agreed he would stop at the store on his way home.
And, unfortunately, he forgot. He was distracted by work and life, and he just forgot.
How did my client react? She took it very personally. She believed that his inaction around the windows was directly related to how much he loved her.
And she told him that. And he was stunned because he loved her madly and he had just forgotten to stop and look at the windows.
For many women, every action they take for their partners is born of love. Women are natural caregivers, and we look at what our men want and need and move heaven and earth to get those things done. Why do we do this? Because we love them.
If we were truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that if we didn’t get these things done, it wasn’t because we loved our men less. Something would get in the way and wouldn’t get done. And our men don’t take it personally.
But, this expectation that women have of men can destroy a relationship because she doesn’t feel that way about her man – she truly believes that, if he loved her, he would read her mind, anticipate her needs and do things the way that she wants them done.
#5 – That men will always be there, no matter what.
Unfortunately, when women’s expectations aren’t met, we often don’t react very well.
I know that when my ex-husband didn’t do things the way I wanted him to, I would treat him very badly.
I would berate him for not doing what I wanted or give him silent treatment. I would be crabby with him and snap easily. I would withdraw from his touch. I would treat him like a child and be very contemptuous.
It never occurred to me that if I continued to behave this way, he would eventually get sick of me and leave. And, ultimately, he did.
He told me when he was walking out that he was sick of not being seen by me. Of me not approving of the way that he did things. Of me refusing to touch him or have sex with him. Of the long silences that happened when he let me down.
In retrospect, it was all obvious to me that the way I behaved was terrible, but because my expectations were so high and he was continually letting me down, I thought I was justified at the time.
But I know now that expecting a husband or boyfriend who is treated badly by their partner to stay is silly. They have the right to walk away anytime; if pushed far enough, they will.
So, there you go, 5 expectations that women have of men that can destroy their relationship.
The critical piece is how women treat their men when they let them down. Instead of talking to them and letting their men know how they feel, they shut down.
And shutting down does nothing but keep the whole cycle of letdown and anger repeating itself, over and over.
If you can make an effort to recognize that your man won’t behave like you or your friends, if you can modify your expectations to something that you know will work for both of you, you will be way more likely to keep your relationship strong.
You can do it!