Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unreasonable Expectations

Taking others for granted is never something we try to do, it just happens.

I think we all like to be comfortable. We like people to act in certain predictable ways, and nothing upsets us more than when someone does something unexpectedly unpleasant.

It is difficult for us to look at things from other people's perspectives and understand why they do the things they do. Even if we are told the reasons, we often still don't understand or empathize with them. It is so much easier to look down on someone and see the right answer when you aren't the one asking the question.

No one deserves to be taken for granted. Even if I'm married to Grig for a hundred years, I still want to be surprised by him and I want to learn more about him. I don't expect him to be perfect, but I often still have overly-high expectations for what I want him to accomplish.

I'm starting to realize that what I want my husband to do doesn't really matter. I should be trying to find out what he wants to do, what his goals are, and then support him in his efforts to attain them. If he's always trying to fulfill my expectations, he will never be happy with himself.

Someone once told me that when a man and a woman go into marriage, they should talk about their expectations for each other before hand. Sometimes we think that we don't have expectations for other people, but that just isn't true. We expect people to behave a certain way in public, and when they don't behave that way, we quickly judge them or criticize them.

People often have extenuating circumstances that we had cannot possibly be aware of. I'm not saying that we should excuse all behavior, but it is important to try and see things from other people's perspectives.

When Grig and I were talking about marriage, we discussed our expectations for each other. I expected him to have a job and to provide for our family. He told me that he expected me to be a good mother and to raise our son in righteousness. We felt like those were reasonable expectations to have.

Then we talked about what we expected from ourselves. My list was much longer than his list. I have very high expectations of what I think I should be doing, and I am often disappointed when I don't accomplish those goals. This can be very frustrating for me.

Grig, on the other hand, had a more laid-back view on what he should be getting done. I don't know if this is a typical man/woman relationship, but I get the feeling that it is. It is probably one of the things that make men and women so compatible with each other. We help to balance each other out.

I like to be very structured and to get things done. Grig likes to have "planned unplanned time" where he can relax and do what he wants. We've worked on getting both thing accomplished. Neither way is the better way, it is just different ways of doing things.

As I've come to understand my own unreasonable expectations for others, I've learned to let things go. People can't fulfill your expectations if they don't even know what they are, and really they shouldn't be obligated to do so. People are too busy trying to figure out what they expect from themselves, and to accomplish those things. I believe that the majority of people are trying to do what's right, and if we gave them half a chance, they would do it.

Though there is a loud group of people who want to do bad things, the quiet majority still continue to try and be true to what they believe is moral and good.

Allowing others to be true to their beliefs while showing love and understanding of their different views and cultures is a way that we can come to understand each other. Don't take those closest to you for granted. Everyone has hidden layers that protect them and things that they are striving to accomplish. Help others accomplish their own goals instead of creating goals for them to accomplish.

It will cause you less stress anyway.


  1. It is true. And as usual I identify with you. To me, things not getting done is almost physically painful. It us particularly difficult when the kids are struggling and need so much of my attention & I end a
    day feeling I have not accomplished much as a result :) & Jeff likes to have his downtime. Though that had gotten less and less over the years. Sometimes we just need to grow up a little....I realuze what is really important & don't think time cuddling my kids is wasted, & he learns to relax by doing things that are more productive. & we grow together.

    1. It's hard not to feel like you're wasting time when you are forced to just sit still with a baby, but you're right. They need that cuddle time. It is definitely not a waste.