In the last 150 years we have seem something of a revolution in couple relationships; indeed, the very phrase “couple relationships” would have been scarcely used in the past: “marriage” would have been the default description.
When we say “couple relationship” we are introducing a more modern, or postmodern, notion of what a relationship is or could be: relationship that has flexibility and development, no longer confined by the old structures of marriage with its age-old rules.
However, postmodern couple relationships in the informational age, with its access-to-everything-now mode of operation introduces a new problem: that of the couple relationship which expects much more.
I might want or expect my partner to be my
- Spiritual partner
- DIY fixer
- ……and more
And we might buckle under the weight of all this.
This issue of high expectations, what we expect our partners to be and to bring to us creates both sound values in our relationship (we expect to be treat well, we do not expect to be abused and so forth) yet heightened expectations are potentially the ruination of a relationship, since rarely can we be all things to our partners.
So perhaps we need to have realistic expectations, or pursue a “good enough” relationship.
A while ago I conceptualised this under the “7 C’s of a Successful Relationship” see http://relationshipsnortheast.com/the-7-cs-of-successful-couple-relationships-mapping-the-territory/
In short this is about having the expectation of maintaining good enough
- Commitment to a shared life
- Care and compassion
- Capacity for growth, for being apart as well as together
- Conflict resolution
This is about having a value system which is meaningful and reciprocal, but reasonable in terms of its expectations, good enough to be in, good enough to grow in.