I was just musing yesterday night before turning in on expectations. We all have them but where do they come from? Do we spend time thinking about their validity? An expectation is an anticipation but what is the basis for what we anticipate. It isn't bad to have an expectation, I expect that after I have put my time on a job and fulfilled my targets, the terms of the contract of my job that I will be paid a salary. What are my expectations of marriage? What are my expectations of SO?
I used to have this long list of expectations, I expect him to be like this and that. Things like 'I expect him to be faithful to his vows to love, honour and cherish me above all else, I expect him to be committed to our relationship....not bad but a wise friend told me to start with the expectation that he would be himself..actually I and SO were not in a relationship at the time and I didn't pay her much heed but somewhere down the line I actually realised the supreme wisdom in her words. It doesn't matter how much I expect from an individual, water can never come out of a stone. You need to know your partner, really know them. There's no point expecting faithfulness from the unfaithful when you know they are unfaithful and not willing to work with you. You can't expect patience from the impatient.
When discussing with SO recently, I shared about how I felt about some expectations I thought he had of me. Trying to live up to someone else's expectations can be stressful but as always I was blessed by his wisdom. He said 'No one is perfect, be yourself and make decisions as you see fit, to have expectations is natural but one does learn to adapt their expectations to situations'..this is not to say we should be complacent and get into a 'this is how I am and I can't change mode'. I have noticed some changes in the way I do some things since I and SO got together. For us to be happy together, we both are learning new habits, doing things differently just for peace to reign. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't burden people with expectations that they are not designed at that moment to fulfill. Also an important part of communication is expressing what your expectations of your partner are. I asked SO at the beginning..'what do you want?' If your partner has no idea what you want, how can you be angry with them when your anticipations are cut short? Expressing what you need to your partner can nip a lot of issues in the bud in my humble opinion.
We usually underestimate the importance of expectations, what do we expect of our partner emotionally, spiritually, financially? Some women expect that their husbands will sort out the finances, but what if he isn't gifted in that particular area. Some men expect that their wives will cook all the meals and do all the household chores but what about if she grew up in a home where her dad cooked most of the meals and she expects that its normal that you a grown man will do most of the cooking?...or am I stretching that too far! Lol! I had a recent similar experience with SO, I just naturally assumed he would do something because my dad usually handled it. I'm not perfect and I'm still learning. Relationships are about give and take. There are some foundational rules but people are too unique to fall into some particular boxes and couples must find what works for them. But I prefer to base the expectations on the man and always remember he isn't perfect just like I'm not.