We were recently interviewed by Michael and Jacqueline for The Intimacy Connection Talk Show. One of the topics that came up was belief and intention. Maude wrote about this last week in her own voice, and this week, it’s me. We hope this stereo signal adds depth to the subject.
Software developers use an ugly acronym, WYSIWYG, meaning What You See Is What You Get. It applies to user interface design, and there’s no need to explain it here. I want to rewrite it for relationships and say What You Expect Is What You Get.
People have a variety of expectations about relationships, even when they are not aware of them:
- The man is in charge of finances
- The woman is responsible for emotional maintenance
- Cheating is always to be expected
- They always fall apart
- They are a power struggle
- Problems and the ensuing arguments are inevitable
What you believe comes to pass; change your expectations, change your relationship #relationships Click To TweetWhen you bring one of these into a relationship, they tend to come true because a) you act in such a way that it comes to pass, and b) you see it because you expect it. Ideas like these come from what we learned from our families, our fumbling steps in early relationships, the media telling us that all relationships are hard work, and a culture that says that the law of the jungle rules and competition is king.
But life is far more cooperation than competition, nowhere more so than in a relationship. Maude and I were graced by a peaceful quality from the beginning, and as we experienced this manifesting in the harmonious way we were together, we felt an obligation to explore the reasons and tell the tale of its existence. We knew that believing in the very possibility of such concord was a challenge; that was why we wrote several books, and continue to write this blog – to say that such a relationship is possible. Because without that image to believe in, you may settle for less.
Imagine that Maude and I know about a wonderful but obscure State Park. If you haven’t heard of its existence, you won’t go and visit it. But even when you do know about the park, you have to make the effort to get there. And so it is with relationships; even when you believe good ones exist, you have to intend to have one yourself, you have to want one, you have to change what is currently not working for you. It should go without saying that your partner ne
eds to also hold a similar belief and intention.
It may take a while to get used to such a different experience, because existing misery has a comforting familiarity, but the results are so rewarding that you will rapidly want nothing else. A successful relationship is like a bicycle; once you can ride it, you never lose your balance and fall off.