Healing relationships – expectations, presumptions, beliefs? (part 2)

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

You have gained serious insight to your relationship with this person. You have the story of what happened and you have your reinforcing self-talk that keeps you from changing. With this knowledge you can look at the side that has the willingness of change: yourself. You have committed yourself to changing this relationship, you wrote a great deal about it already, what else can you do?

Observe your expectations of this person. What should this person do? This person should be kind to you / love you / be affectionate / figure out what makes you happy. You can add your own findings to the list. And the other side: this person should not make the house messy / talk to me this way / cause me pain. Be specific and recall the time when this thought occurred to you. All sentences with “should” and “should not” show you the side of the story that you cannot change. Maybe this person should pay more attention – but are you really able to make this happen, make this reality?

Observe your presumptions of this person. “I assume this person loves me, cares for me, is affectionate, accepts me as I am, will never hurt me” – add your own! Are these true?

Observe your beliefs of this person. “I think this person is honest with me, has faith in me or takes care of my wellbeing” – anything else? Have your beliefs stood the test of time?

Now look at your lists and give yourself a pat on the shoulder, for you have come far already in healing yourself. Note that one thing is for sure: the other does not know all this! The other person is unaware of your expectations, your presumptions or your beliefs. Probably you have already spoke about some of them or hinted at them, but your partner surely could not have written down all these. Maybe it is not wise to tell or show all these words, but can you choose one and initiate a conversation about it? If this is too much to ask, write a letter, but do not send it – it is okay if years of pain or untold thoughts are hard to voice in a face-to-face situation. You can also investigate one (or more, or all) and turn it into an accepting and true sentence.

For example:

She / he should not talk to me this way!

I am able to let her / him know how these words affect me.


I assume she / he loves me.

I can recall the times I felt loved by her / him.


I thought she / he is honest with me.

I trust her / him and have not yet experienced dishonesty.

Be sure to summarize your learning points of this exercise! Can you do this with another relationship in your life?


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