Every relationship involves expectations.
When we go to work our employer expects us to do our job and in return we expect a paycheck from them.
Most job descriptions are written out in detail and our supervisor makes sure we understand it by us reading and signing off on it.
The reason being they want to make sure we have a clear understand of what they expect of us.
When parenting our children it’s the same we have expectations of them and they have expectations of us believe it or not.
Parents expect their children to follow their rules and respect them without any back talk.
And children expect parents to give them everything they want.
It’s okay to have expectations it really is.
Because they give us a good idea of what we want, need and hope for.
There is nothing wrong with expecting good things in life and appropriate behavior from others.
It’s when our expectations are unrealistic that causes us bitterness, resentment and anger in our relationships.
Growing up I never gotten into any serious trouble and always received good grades in school.
Through Junior High School until I graduated from High School I believe Moms would buy me my first car after graduating.
Well that didn’t happen and I walked around resentful.
She asked me what was wrong and I told her I thought she was going to buy me a car after graduation.
She asked who told me that?
I couldn’t answer her because at the time I didn’t know.
Today I understand I had put unrealistic expectations on her and I had told myself that.
WHEN EXPECTATIONS ARE UNREALISTIC
We must remember that expectations belongs to us but they have an effect on others.
That’s why it’s important we learn to have realistic ones and express them in love.
For instance I’m a person who place high demands on myself and have always been goal-oriented.
These good traits become a problem in my relationships when I started projecting them on others.
Sometimes I expected my wife to be just like me but in reality she’s who she is.
Just because her individual goals look different from mines doesn’t mean hers are wrong or mine are right.
It hurt me to hear her say to me she could feel my expectations in the atmosphere.
She mentioned before she often felt like she was living with a character inspector.
Nicole lived on the edge fearful of not living up to my expectations and sensing my disapproval more than my acceptance.
Separation was on her mind many of times and would become an option if I continue to not allow her the freedom to be herself and HUMAN.
KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOU
I went into the marriage wrong.
I expected my wife to fix me, make me happy, fulfill my hope and make me complete.
I know, I know I’m the only husband who ever expected that from their wife but stay with me here.
At times I even expected her to be my mother.
Yes you read that right.
I was just an immature grown kid when I met Nicole.
To my defense I didn’t know.
It was when I drew closers to God and He revealed my insecurities and fears.
Needing people too much is poison in any relationship let along a marriage.
When you think your problems and the solution to those problems are external, you need help.
The less good stuff you find in yourself the more you will seek it from others.
I had to learn how to love myself first and allow the Holy Spirit to help me get to the root of my problems.
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘ On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
True love keeps the focus on themself and their personal responsibilities when problems arise.
I began to listen to the complaints my family had about me and took them to God so He could give me grace to change.
Improving myself become my top priority rather than demanding others to change.
When I did this a miracle happens: Everything around me changed when my perspective changed.
WHERE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS COME FROM
People do what they want to do and feel how they want to feel.
We cannot change people.
But our fears, insecurities and low self-esteem cause us to act and believe we can.
This causes us to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others.
People believe the best way for them to deal with these three character defects are by always being in control.
We nag, play victim, give ultimatums, refuse to do things for and many other reactions to get our way and to feel in control.
We do all these things because we’re afraid of what might happen based on our past experiences or what is happening in the present.
When our unrealistic expectations are not fulfilled we react as though everything is a crisis.
We suffer, the kids suffer, the neighbor suffers everyone suffers.
We suffer because deep within we don’t feel good about ourselves and we really don’t know whom we are in Christ so we desperately try to control everyone.
A BETTER PERSPECTIVE
A while back a friend on mine asked me how was the marriage life.
I told him it couldn’t be better.
After pausing for a minute he asked have I ever notice when it comes to having a best friend we show more grace and forgiveness to them than we do our partner or spouse.
I never gave it a thought but I find it to be true.
After praying and meditating on this a while I asked myself what best friends have that keep their relationship joyful?
Nicole and I just came back from Oklahoma City to attend her childhood best friend’s wedding.
They haven’t seen each other for years but you would have never known by the way they acted.
They hugged and cried on each other.
They gave each other freedom to be themselves and to live where they choose to live.
They practiced the first spiritual principle God gave to Adam and Eve: the freedom to choose.
His idea of a marriage and relationships wasn’t for us to be enslaved to one another we were meant to love each other freely.
When we depend on our expectations and ideas of what a relationship should be we are turning away from God and turning to the Devil.
LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ( 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV)
Expectations are a condition of the heart and everything we say and do comes from it.
Understand in our hearts there are two rooms.
One is called a Gratitude Room and the other is called Ungrateful Room.
On the walls of the Gratitude Room are written kind words describing the good attributes of the people closes to us.
Honest, Intelligent, Open-minded…etc.
In a marriage we write kind phrases like “wonderful cook” “hard worker” on the walls of our heart before marriage.
But after being married for a while we began to learn our spouse’s shortcoming and flaws.
We slowly leave the Gratitude Room and walk across the Hall to the Ungrateful Room.
We write our loved ones defects on the walls in the Ungrateful Room.
Cold-hearted, Immature, Insecure…etc.
The sad part we spend most of our time meditating on the flaws of others in this room.
A room where love don’t reside.
I’m sure Nicole and her best friend Tiffany seen each other’s flaws.
I believe because they chose to remember and focus on the things they’re grateful for the other for their loving relationship was never tainted with the poison of unrealistic expectations.
WHAT ARE FIVE POSITIVE THINGS I LIKE ABOUT MY SPOUSE?
AM I PUTTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ON OTHERS?