Men – No, we’re not talking about fairy tales… While we were decorating for Christmas, my 4-year-old daughter’s eyes twinkled brightly as she gushed about how she couldn’t wait until Christmas, when she would get all the things she has always wanted. I asked her what she wanted — hoping the gifts in my closet were keepers — and her response was, “Oh, I don’t know. I will let Santa Claus figure that out. He knows what I want.”
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That was the most frustrating response possible for a mom who wants to guarantee she gives her daughter those fleeting seconds of commercial glee on Christmas day. I found myself wishing she knew that by making me (aka, Santa Claus) guess what she wants, she is setting herself up for some serious disappointment.
Then I realized — her self-defeating communication style is based on exactly the same kind of magical thinking so many of us rely on in our relationships.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from my male clients is this: “I just don’t know what she wants.”
Most of our partners truly want to meet our needs, but we fail to specify what those are. Instead, we hope our partner will magically know what those needs are and how they can best fulfill them, only to leave everyone feeling disappointed when that doesn’t happen.
What’s worse is we convince ourselves that our partner must not really love us or care for us, when the truth is that we simply never made our wishes known to anyone else in the first place.
Here are 4 magical beliefs of this kind that are keeping you from getting what you want, which is slowly KILLING your relationship:
1. “But he should know…”
No, he shouldn’t.
You are unique. Don’t assume that he should magically know that you want him to call you every night before he goes to sleep or that he should turn on the coffee maker when he wakes up.
Don’t keep him in the dark about what makes you happy while you lay in bed crossing your fingers. Just tell him!