[Relationship] Expectations & Fairness

ExpectationsYou might have already guessed that I am a mediator and practice yogaregularly as my self-care routine (and running, too). Meditation helps me calm down my inner voices. Meditation shuts down my inner voices so that I can listen to my clients to the best I can empathetically. It also helps me to set my emotions back to 0 at the end of the day so that I can be as clear as I can for every client the following day.

I like to go to the meditation retreat once in a while. You might wonder why I attend the retreat and sit quietly with a group of people without talking to each other would be something fun. The exciting thing is, when I sit with a group of people without speaking, I actually feel at my most peaceful time and very connected with human beings (in spite of them all being strangers to me), without being judged by anyone’s words.

During those quiet moments in the meditation, when no one but me peeking inside my head, I see my “judgment” coming and going, judgment about people, about the world, and about myself. Being able to see these judgments in my head helps me to maintain a sense of compassion in my life, especially in my line of work.

So, you might not be surprised at all when I also realized that not only do I have “judgment” about human beings in my head, I also have “expectations” about human beings in my head too.

Before I go into the length of the wisdom of the “expectation” and the impact on the relationship with others and self, let me fill you in with the background story. Continue reading “[Relationship] Expectations & Fairness”


Gender Schema Theory, Gender Role Expectation and Couple’s Relationship (Part I)


Last semester, I taught a class called “Human Sexuality.” In all the classes I have taught so far, this is probably one of my favorite classes to teach. This is probably not a surprise considering I am a couple’s therapist.

Most of the psychology classes start with the theory. So is the Human Sexuality. One of the theory, Gender Schema Theory, catches my attention again and I think it is worth mentioning for all of us to think about how our “gender schema” impact our expectation in the couple’s relationship.


Introduction: Gender Schema Theory

Gender Schema Theory was developed by Dr. Sandra Bem in 1981. What is “schema”? A “schema” is a framework for certain knowledge or information that a person has about a specific topic. For example, when we think about a medical doctor, we expect them to have a certain set of knowledge or information about human body and diseases.

The Gender Schema Theory proposed that there is a specific cognitive structure with attributes that we associate with male or female, such as behaviors, appearance, etc..These attributes associated with gender is also associated with our biological sex. An individual is “gendered” to his/her gender role through learning these gender-specific expectations, values, belief, and behaviors through the members of the society, such as the family, the church, the media, etc.

Continue reading “Gender Schema Theory, Gender Role Expectation and Couple’s Relationship (Part I)”