Thursday, July 24, 2008

We're Expecting

Not a baby, silly -- I've been asking myself lately Why do we expect more of our spouse than we do anyone else? I know I've referenced our thinking we married our local super hero, but it's more than that --

I was a single woman for 29 years of my life and in my mind, I had exactly what I wanted in a man -- Funny how this amazing man doesn't have a face, until he has a face -- It's all over from there -- When I met Dan there were no expectations -- none -- In fact, I totally forgot that he even existed... Until a week later I heard my phone ring and when I looked at the name I said to myself Dan? Who's Dan? and then the trip over his feet came flooding back to me --
When we started dating, expectations started to rise -- He said he'd call, so I'll be sure to have my phone on me -- Of course he was right on time and all was happy in Anna's Land of Expectations -- As time went on, expectations went up -- Flowers, calls every day and night, dates twice a week, my parents better love you and the ever anticipated ring -- I'd been around the block a few times with other relationships and knew precisely what I wanted and clearly didn't want in a man -- Dan was who I wanted and within 4 months, I had my ring -- all was happy in Anna's Land of Expectations --

At that point, I raised the bar -- I explained to Dan that I knew I wanted to marry him, but the time line was 4 seasons before we walked down the isle -- He happily agreed -- Well, now that things were serious, expectations started busting at the seems -- # 1 on my list, will he be faithful? (hadn't had too much luck in that area) -- is he a hard worker, is he a family man, does he communicate well, how does he cope/resolve conflict -- what are his moral and ethical beliefs, is he good to his mother -- Oh my God... the list goes on -- (yes, I'm tired, too) -- But all was happy in Anna's Land of Expectations --

Four seasons and 6 days later I hear wedding bells and the expectations have swollen to the point of if you aren't the perfect man, I may just die -- (OK, it wasn't that bad, but I'm making a point, right?) -- Dan passed all expectations with flying colors, gold stars and was at the head of his class -- Yet, after 9+ months of marriage I realize that while my spouse lives up to all those expectations, it's no fun to constantly be assessing him! Poor thing, he must be tired, too... living in the Anna's Land of Expectations --

Truth is, Dan has a land of expectations, too and this is why I sometimes feel tired to the point of exhaustion -- Often times we don't even realize we're doing it -- Did you clean the kitchen? I thought you were taking me out? Do I have clean clothes for work? Did you even think to bring me flowers?

The greatest place in the world to be is in the land of acceptance -- I'm not talking about complacency and letting your marriage fall to the way side, I'm talking about letting your guard down and just feeling the safety that surrounds you in your marriage -- I mean, you grilled this person enough during your engagement, right? So it's time to start trusting they are who you thought them to be --

My new motto is Stop Expecting and Start Accepting...


Mike Snapp said...

Such a good point. "The Land of Acceptance." We aren't going to change them at this point, let's just learn to love them and instead of asking them to fulfill our expectations, lets enjoy the relationship.

I enjoy your blog. It is a lot of fun to see you "think" about this stuff outloud.

Shannon said...


Anonymous said...

where's the love? forgiveness and acceptance is the love.

This kind of conditional judging like the workplace is the new kind of social intrusion into the home space - I am continually amazed how women have appropriated the worst of male attitudes at work and home in the past 30 years. It's tragic. Now the men live in the expectation ghetto and have more acceptance while women relentlessly reference their standards.

Of course it happens both ways, but this reversal I believe is a cultural phoenomenon of note.

Anonymous said...

ps. once I learned that the onus for my wife's comfort was that I jump through hoops whilst she has no obligation to find it in her heart to accept me - and puts little effort into my emotional well being - well then...

I jumped from her sinking ship of personal unaccountability happily. Now I am really enjoying not spending time with her and I will happily end this nightmare with a divorce that keeps her cold judging heartless assessments away from my feelings and care for the rest of my life. It's basic self-preservation.