"My partner and I have different expectations about our relationship and we both tend to make assumptions about how things should be. What should I do?" -David, Washington.
Hi David. Yes, it's important to address that and do a couple of things...
The first thing to do is read this blog post on Relationship Destroying Assumptions. As you read it, pause and think about whether you might be doing any of these things and making your own assumptions. If you are, you definitely want to acknowledge that to your partner.
I recommend that you print out a copy of the article and ask your partner if you guys can sit down and chat. Share what you realized when reading the article, then apologize and promise to do things differently.
You can ask your partner if he'd like to continue chatting about this topic and go over the article together or if he'd prefer to read it on his own and talk later. Either way, circle back and follow up... ask for what you'd like to make things better, ask him what else you can do to make things better.
The next thing to do is have another conversation about expectations and how you can both be supportive of each other. Remember, our partners should feel (and act and talk) like our best friend. So be very kind and gentle and warm as you start to talk about what you hope for in the future, what he hopes for in the future, and what challenges you guys have right now.
Try to keep the tone of the conversation positive and loving. The best conversations have a 5:1 positive to negative ratio, so really do your best to keep things optimistic and positive.
You might also like to download a copy of my Rules for Fabulous Communication, so you can keep these in back of your mind as you talk. Hope it goes well!