Chaos + Growth = Change

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bad Expectations

In a normal and healthy marriage most expectations we impose on our spouse work to the detriment of the marriage. Think about when you started dating your spouse. You could not wait to see them or receive that phone call ( I know I'm dating myself, it's Facebook or a text now.). The call, although anticipated, still caught you by surprise. There was excitement and you wanted to know everything about them. Now, some of this was because the relationship still had the bliss of ignorance, but part of this euphoria was also due to the few expectations you had, you simply accepted what your new love gave. Now think about the times you have been angry and/or had a fight with your beloved. Odds are that it boiled down to one of two reasons, money or your spouse failed to meet one of your expectations. Go ahead take some time to ponder this. Don't get angry all over again, just analyze why you were angry. I'll wait..... Back, good, hopefully the trip down memory lane did not get you all worked up again. I would feel bad if the dog had to make room for you in his house because of this post. For a little help with the money issue see my post The Budget. Onto the expectation part.

Expectations are fickle things. They are like bushes. They start as seeds in our minds that we like things a certain way. We share these seedlings with our future mates who also share their seedlings with us. We indulge each other and at some point those seedlings start to branch out and become full blown expectations. With no pruning they grow wildly and start to reproduce. If left unchecked they choke out the love that started the relationship in the first place. Think about what an expectation is. You are imposing some duty on another person. Certainly the expectation could be reasonable and even justified, but it still is some duty you are imposing. The other person might not even be aware of the exact nature of the expectation. It is easy to see why expectations cause so much trouble.

Must you get rid of all expectations, no, plus a few expectations are for our own good. We must though strive to impose the fewest possible expectations onto our spouse that we can. This is a journey, not a destination. The reward will surprise you. You go back to the early part of the relationship, where you accept the love that your spouse gives freely and you once again see your spouse as the beautiful person you first fell in love with.
Try it and let me know how it goes.

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