Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Blinding Effect of Unrealistic Expectations
Do you remember when you first met your husband or wife? Remember the butterflies? ...The crazy things you would do just to see them?
Then comes the engagement with all of it's excitement, and even more so with the actual wedding which then launches you into the honeymoon phase of life together. Everything is great, irritations are generally overlooked and freely forgiven. When he doesn't put the cereal in the right cupboard, you giggle to yourself and put it in it's proper place. But, then weeks turn to months and months to a couple years and you find that you couldn't be bothered to leave the room to relieve the gas that has been building up since dinner, his forgetting to clean up his mess is no longer cute or passed off as an accident and dates start to default to a trip to the nearby Redbox.
It's subtle, but somewhere we begin to get lazy. We start putting our immediate needs before theirs and become dissatisfied. And when our needs are not being met, often times we look to our culture to tell us what he or she should be doing. We forget that we equally play a part.
No matter the strength you think you have and may have, deception can so easily seep into your thinking and tell you it's okay to set unrealistic bars for your significant other to reach. Certain books and movies can contribute to this if you do not keep your heart guarded. As women it can be as simple as watching a romance movie. You like what you see and begin to create the storyline of how your husband is going to woo you in and romance you like you've never experienced. You make the plans, you take charge. You are in control, making sure that you are loved just the way you think you need to be loved.
And then one morning, your husband brings you a cup of coffee as you read in bed. You are far too immersed in your own world that you holler out "Thanks!" and as you reach for your fresh cup of coffee, you see a spider. You yelp (even though you don't normally get scared by spiders, you're just feeling a bit more high maintenance this morning because well, your tired and really couldn't be bothered to get up out of bed, grab a tissue and walk all the way to the bathroom to throw it in the trash) So, your husband does it for you as you fall back into the 14th chapter. You take a sip and notice it's actually a latte and he even put a little chocolate syrup on top in the shape of a heart. You think "aww that was nice" and fall back into your book instead of joining him for breakfast out in the dining room. Of course the characters have just met and discovered their intense connection just before they go off and save the world. Why isn't your husband saving the world with you as his sidekick? Why isn't he sweeping you off your feet, flying in to save you from a rouge robot. (Oh the dangers of loving comic book cinema) And feeling rather strong from the confidence you gleaned off the characters from the book (or movie) you decide you are going to be the bigger man and just tell your husband what you want. I mean, a lot of wives would try and make their husbands guess, so you'd be doing him a favor if you just told him straight out that he wasn't meeting your needs. But as soon you see his facial expressions take on the look of someone deeply hurt and you quickly try to fix it with a bandaid "Well, your not all that bad, I mean you DID make me coffee! You should feel good about that!"
Then he looks at you and says, "Yeah, I you-tubed latte art to learn how to make a heart out of the foam for you!"
Ouch! I'm a little embarrassed to say that that quite literally happened to me a few months ago. What a good healthy slap in the face to quit being so self-centered. I had let myself entertain selfishness and got so focused on how he was "supposed" to love me that I completely missed his spontaneity and creativity and by the way....he learned how to use my espresso machine!!
It's like this, real life, full of moments you wish you could disassociate yourself with and take back, but the truth is, we can use these moments to rebound us back in the right direction. We all struggle with selfishness at some point in our relationships with others. Let's be honest, no one is perfect, you can't be expected to be and you can't expect your spouse to be perfect either! Take out a piece of paper and write down all the little things he or she does for you through out each day and the next time you are tempted to think they aren't loving you, just pull out the list. Our fickle minds can be soo forgetful.