I recently watched a video by the School Of Life https://www.youtube.com/user/schooloflifechannel /featured which discussed why most people will end up in unhappy marriages and was surprised to learn something so basic yet so valuable at the same time.
For most people, the first exchanges of a loving relationships are with our parents. As children, our parents are always there for us, tending to our every need. They see us in our worst states and still love us unconditionally. They comfort us when we are sad and praise us when we succeed. Even if we argue with them they will come back to us and resolve things – always wanting to make sure we are happy and loved.
As we move from childhood to adulthood we take those ideals and expectations that we have learnt over the first two decades of our life and apply them to relationships we have with others.
We expect our partner to love us unconditionally even if we don’t behave well. We expect them to be there for us no matter what, to make us their priority and put our happiness before theirs. We expect them to compromise on anything that doesn’t fit with the ideals we hold.
These expectations we have stem from our childhood experience. Our child parent interactions. As such, many fall short of this unrealistic ideal and relationships then break down due to this misguidance of how a person should behave in a relationship.
The reason behind this?
We expect to be treated in the same vein we were in the child-parent relationship when in actual fact an adult relationship is more reflective on a parent- child interaction. The parent has to deal with a child that throws tantrums on a daily basis and learn to grit their teeth and help calm them down. They have to reason with them when they are often unruly and ridiculous in their demands, they have to learn the art of patience and to never stoop to the level of their child. They have to accept the fact that even if they do something incredible for their child, more often than not the child won’t be grateful for what they have done or even thank them. Above all, they learn that the level of love is never equal and the majority of things they do for their children won’t be reciprocated.
P.S. This has also been featured in the Huffington Post! http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/../../giulia-smith/are-londoners-heartless_b_13515648.html