Great Expectations

I started this blog series talking about love gone wrong and ended up on a side trip remembering about how love had gone wrong over and over again for the Israelites.  False strategies (looking for love and purpose in the wrong venues), delusion (not seeing ourselves, others and even God accurately), and confusion (we just simply don’t know how to love in all situations) are three common problems that mess up our love connections.

 

 

But that’s not all.

 

Expectations can really get us in trouble too. No expectations you ask?  Should we have NO expectations in a relationship? Well of course not. It’s not that extreme.  But my position is this: we have misplaced expectations onto others that rightfully belong within ourselves.

 

I once knew a gal who was always telling a small group I was in about the ways her husband disappointed her.  He didn’t send flowers enough (only twice a week) or to the appropriate location (she preferred them delivered to her office, not at home) or the “right” shade of pink.  Sheesh. The guy was a constant disappointment in her eyes but to the rest of us? He sounded like a guy who didn’t have a chance of living up to his wife’s harlequin romance perspective of marriage.

 

I knew a guy who went through a series of wives and families because, and I quote him here, “I expect my wife and children to obey me and for there to be no conflict in the home.”  His idea of conflict resolution? Get rid of the old family and find a new one.

 

Both examples are of folks who had expectations of how another person was SUPPOSED to make them feel.  The wife expected her husband to make her feel desirable; the husband (of many) expected his family to make him king of the castle.

 

At the end of the day, we are expecting too much of others if we make someone else responsible for our sense of self-worth.  This is our work. Want to feel respected? Live a respectable life. Along the way we invite others to join us in this life.  People can get to know us and we can get to know them and THEN we make an honest assessment: do our lives fit well together? Do we have affinity?  Good questions. But it is not a sustainable relationship model to ask someone else to make us “feel” a certain, consistent way about ourselves. Self-assessment, self-awareness, self-respect - those are all inside jobs.

 

How have you perhaps pressured others to do for you that which you are responsible to work out for yourself?