THE BLOG

Rosamund Pike Is Right, We Do Have Unrealistic Expectations of Our Partners

08/10/2014 13:43 BST | Updated 08/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Decades ago we had a generation of women who solely relied on their husbands for income and physical comfort.

While the rise of the working woman has put paid to that, it seems there may be an unexpected danger: in the words of Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike, we may be relying too much on our partners and husbands to be our entire emotional world.

Talking to press, Pike said: "People have ridiculous expectations of a mate.

"In my grandmother's day, you wouldn't expect your husband to fulfill the same need in you as your sister, or girlfriends, or colleagues at work. You'd have different needs met by different people. Now we want all our needs met by one person, and I don't believe that's possible."

While I wouldn't go so far as to use the word ridiculous, Pike has a point.

Our partners don't really stand a chance against the romanticised version of what love and marriage is meant to be.

In this idealised world, they are meant to be our soulmates - a word that is inherently daft because it implies destiny and if you're thinking on those lines, you might well join the type of people who clip their toenails on a Tuesday because their horoscope said so.

They are also meant to be our best friends, our sounding board for work problems even if they don't work in the same field as you, they are meant to be psychics and understand your every thought and feeling, and they are meant to unconditionally love you, even if you're in a horrible mood.

If you actually manage to find someone who meets the tall and long list list of criteria then great, but the pressure doesn't stop there.

So much emphasis is placed on having the perfect wedding day that anything that goes wrong (and it's a certainty that something will) will feel like a blight.

In your first year of marriage everyone asks you 'how is it going' with excited, shining eyes, and you buy into and perpetuate the lie that marriage is a transformative state filled with unicorns and rainbows, when the reality is that you're two steps away from flinging his dirty socks in his face and he's going crazy at the number of social engagements you've signed him up to.

Figuring out the first year is hard enough without thinking you have to ascribe to some hymn sheet of perfection set by other people.

The fact is that life with a long term partner - married or not - is hard. You're dealing with your own commitments, preferences and difficulties, and then find yourself having to multiply that by two because that's the promise you made to each other.

Don't get me wrong - being in a good relationship is the most wonderful thing but all too often, I see people who, once married, make their spouse their whole universe. No relationship - whether it's your mother, father, best mate, best work mate - can sustain that level of intensity.

My husband isn't my best mate - I already have one, and had one long before we met. I'm not going to ask him for dress advice (he's a punk rocker and until I shave my head we'll probably never see eye to eye), and I know that when I'm sick, although he'll do his best to look after me, it won't be the same as a cuddle from my mum.

Does that mean we have a terrible relationship? No, of course not. He can't replace my mum or my best mate, and rightly so, because there are two people already doing that job.

In fact it's the time we spend away from each other with other people and the difficulties we undergo and help each other through that makes our bond stronger day by day.

You will never find out how much someone loves you via red roses and romantic gestures, rather it's the measure of what they do and how they react when you are down on your knees.

And that's a lesson they just don't teach you in Hollywood.