I have given a lot of thought about expectations this week. I am not an expert on this topic but I do know how I feel when an expectation isn't met. Is it wrong to have expectations? When we go out to eat we expect to be served a good meal. We expect our spouses to be faithful. Sometimes meals aren't good and spouses fail us in the one major expectation we have for our marriage. I don't think those expectations are wrong but sometimes our expectations are unrealistic or aren't verbalized.
On Wednesday morning my husband and I headed to our favorite beach spot. It was his only day off for the week and the kids were busy with activities. What started out as a beautiful morning enjoying each other turned into an ugly disagreement in the car ride home. As we were headed out for our fun day, I mentioned that I was pondering the subject of expectations and how disappointed I get when I approach certain things with unrealistic expectations. I ask him a couple of questions to get his view point. It was a great time of meaningful discussion. We talked about how disappointing it would be if it rained while we were at the beach but that it wouldn't crush us because we were spending time together and besides this is Florida, it's summer, and showers are in the daily forecast. I finished the conversation with, "I'm much better off if I live my day without those types of expectations." I wish I had taken my own advice that day. The day ended and I felt crushed, not because of the actual storm that blew in, but because of the storm of expectations I allowed to control my emotions and my ability to truly experience a fun day with my spouse.
I will spare you all the ugly details but before I knew what happened, I started this thought pattern in my head about how I wanted him to act. Rather than verbalizing my desires, I allowed myself to stew in my emotions. I think you know what happened next. I felt disappointed. I masked my disappointment for as long as I could then an unpleasant scene unfolded on the ride home.
This situation gave me a fresh reminder that I'm still on the road of recovery. So, I give myself a little slack because I haven't mastered the art of authentic living. I apologized to my husband and pray God will help me remember how to handle these emotions in the future.
The principal of relating authentically with your spouse and appropriately expressing feelings is taught in Principal Three of the LIFE Guide for Spouses. http://www.freedomeveryday.org/spouses-of-sex-addicts/index.php