In a popular TED talk titled “The secret to desire in a long-term relationship,” psychotherapist Esther Perel, who has counseled hundreds of couples who are having trouble in their marriages, notes how we tend to expect too much from our husband or wife. Dr. Perel says,
Marriage [used to be primarily] an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition, I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise.