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‘When you trade disappointment for discovery, even small, subtle actions create unimaginable results’ – Rachel Macy Stafford

Supporting each other to be the best you can be, individually and together. Sound like what you wanted when you met your partner, fell in love and made a commitment to be in a long-term relationship?

Somewhere on the journey, that changed and you no longer see the potential in each other, only the pain. You can’t see a happy future of possibility, only disappointment in what’s not done, not heard, not appreciated. Your partner no longer measures up. The relationship is falling short of what it promised to be. It seems to be a dead end.

So what on earth does a different way look like?

A recent blog from Hands Free Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford, offered one such way, encouraging parents to ditch Outcome Love in favour of Discovery Love, to improve their relationship with their children. In her words about her daughter, I heard the echo of my neurodiverse relationship with my husband, who’s autistic, and I didn’t want you to miss out on such powerful wisdom.

Everything I thought I knew about relationships stopped working when neurodiversity became part of the story, after we’d already been married for 15 years. The path I was walking then was paved with frustration, resentment, anxiety and pain.

As grief whispered its final goodbyes, my neurodiverse relationship invited me to create new terms, new rules of engagement from which love could begin to flow again. I was the Disappointed Partner (versus the Disappointed Parent in the blog) and my journey with an autistic partner slowly and unexpectedly led me to limitless love as I exchanged disappointment fuelled by expectation, for discovery fuelled by love.

Expectation is the nursery for disappointment

Disappointment is the child of expectation. The more you focus on expectation and whether its met or not, the more frequently you nurture and experience disappointment in your relationship and your life. Read this again, several times if you need to, so it sinks in!

Letting go of expectations, especially ones you’ve held on to for so long, is not easy – what the relationship should look like, what a harmonious home looks like, what should be happening, who should do what and when, how it should feel – all of these outcomes are filled with pain.

Take a moment…. What’s that costing you, in your relationship and in your life? When do you want to stop feeling like that?

The beautiful reward, what you let in, when you let go, is a new future of possibility. It’s a future that replaces disappointment with joy and resentment with peace as you discover you and your partner with fresh eyes.

So, here’s the invitation…

Let go of the disappointed YOU you know, to discover and let in the YOU you don’t.

Let go of the disappointing partner you know, to discover and let in the partner you don’t.

Begin again…. small and subtle actions from you will create unimaginable results in your relationship.

Trust me, when you change how you show up, from a place of discovery and love, everyone else begins to change around you!

I know you are all beautiful souls, all full of love to be gifted and shared…. no more withholding, it’s time for discovery… and Rachel’s simple mantra ‘only love today’ can be a hesitant but decisive beginning.

Letting go of expectations DOES NOT mean letting go of what’s important to you or what you value. It’s about letting go of exactly how, when and with whom it happens. This isn’t an easy thing to live into but the experience we have is actually more expansive not more limited!

Where are you at with the invitation today?

  • Are you willing to step onto a new path?
  • Ready to trade disappointment for discovery?

I know how daunting it can be to decide to walk in a different direction in your neurodiverse relationship, not knowing where the new path will lead. Why not chat it through with me? It won’t cost you a penny and booking straight into my diary is easy – simply click here. I look forward to speaking soon. Coaching in Community is another option, with transformational and surprisingly fun coaching adventures that support your step by steps to reverse the impact of unknown neurodiversity, be YOU again and flourish – in your relationships and your life.

You can read Rachel’s blog in full here.

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Natalie Roberts

Author Natalie Roberts

Natalie Roberts is an award-winning Master Coach and Mentor supporting individuals and couples in neurodiverse relationships in the UK and around the world. She coaches individuals and couples to reverse the impact of unknown neurodiversity and thrive so that they can be true to themselves and feel empowered to make decisions about their present and future that are positive and hopeful.

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