Unmet Expectations

The other day, scrolling through FaceBook-I came a cross an article that caught my eye. “One Man’s Take on the silent killer of failed-relationships-Unmet Expectations”. http://www.upworthy.com/one-mans-take-on-the-silent-killer-of-relationships-unmet-expectations?c=ufb2 Well, I had to go into that one.  It had some good points, although it was a fairly short article.   But, it got me thinking.

What are my “unmet expectations”?  At first, I looked at the question in terms of my relationship and my life with my SO.  Now, I have a pretty nice life-especially when I start thinking of so many who are suffering in this world.  But, having said that there are some things in which I feel are unfullfilled.  For example, we live in a condo.  That we rent.  We have been here 12 years.  The unit is really nice and has a beautiful view over a canyon.  We have great neighbors within the condo community and the neighborhood is really nice. I’d say upper middle class.  We rent for a couple of reasons-the main reason being that my SO has two houses in London that he rents out and doesn’t want to sell. He will not buy a property with a mortgage.  Where we live, while it needs upgrading after 12 years, is comfortable.  and, again, better than probably most people worldwide live in.  My SO is perfectly happy with this situation. I, on the other hand, want a house-or at least a duplex.  I want a little yard-to garden in, hang my hammock in, let my dog play in.  I want a garage for storage and an extra refrigerator.  I want to own or be buying a house instead of putting money in someone elses pocket.  And so, at times I get really resentful about not having all of that.  I have realized that it’s an unmet expectation of mine.  When I started thinking on it, I asked myself where did this expectation come from?  The honest answer is that it did not come from my SO.  He has never opined on having all of the above-or indicated that it’s really important to him. We never had a talk at the beginning of our relationship setting out like-minded goals and values in this area.  Yes, if we had the spare cash (who the fuck has that laying around?) we’d buy a place.  And again, I do know that he will not buy something unless he can pay for it all at once.  So, my expectation did not come from him. It’s not like he led me on.

I suppose this unmet expectation came from my parents.  From the cultural and societal way that I was raised in.  Although I do know that many people-an aunt and uncle of mine-have rented all of their lives.  Especially if they live in cities like New York or London.

So this then led to me questioning what other unmet expectaions do I have in my life?  It also leads to the question about the difference between unmet and unrealistic expectations.  The fine line between the visualization process necessary to create and obtain a goal and outright unrealistic fantasy..There’s the expectation that if you keep your head down, work hard and are honest, a person will make a decent living and have a decent retirement income.  There’s also the expectation that if you lead a healthy lifestyle you won’t get sick. These things are true for some and unfortunately not for others.  Of course then I also had to consider that Kharma is involved as well. (this is my own personal belief).

What I concluded-in my ongoing analysis of this-is that yes,  I can see why unmet expectations can result in the breakdown of a relationship.  At the same time, I also see that, at least in my case, it’s about projecting these expectations onto someone else-without them even knowing about it.  Someone who may have absolutely no idea that they are expected to fulfill these expectations. It’s about assumming that someone else has the same desires and values as I do. Back to the “illusion is for disillusion” thing again.

Of course then I had to look at this whole thing in terms of alcohol and my relationship with booze.  Whoa!! Talk about unmet expectations!  Not that I ever particularly or consiously thought about what I actually expected from booze or that bottle of wine other than to relieve the stress or take the edge off or enhance the situation (I’m feeling great!  Better have a martini to celebrate!) or whatever… Not much consciousness going on about what kind of expectations I had in that area of my life.  Except when things got to the point that I knew booze wasn’t fulfilling anything in my life except for creating a huge bottomless pit of guilt and self hatred.  Yes, at that point, I knew to what to expect after drinking a bottle of wine or a couple of cocktails. Did I say a couple of cocktails?  As if it would only be a couple! Even so,  knowing what to expect, I  kept on doing it-for years. Torturuing myself on a daily/nightly basis.  Until I stopped. Now, knowing what to expect is what keeps me from drinking.  When I do have a thought or a passing urge-which is seldom- I can take myself through the whole process-realistic visualizing-and know that I no longer want to get caught up in the whole downward spiral that I was once in.

My objective now, in terms of unmet expectations, is to try to be conscious and aware when something comes up.  To ask myself if I am in fact, being let down by another person-or if I’m being unrealistic in my expectations ofsomeone else.  Am I expecting something from someone who isn’t even aware that they are supposed to be in sync with me?  Expecting someone to be a mind reader in a sense as well as having the same expectations and desires as I have.

What are your unmet expectations?  Are they valid or unrealistic?

With love

 

 

 

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Changing Evolution

Couldn’t sleep last night.  Not sure why! Maybe because of the kind of violent, too true to life TV show I watched before going to bed.  Probably too much time on my device after 6 p.m. Maybe because my best friends’ sister is in the process of “actively dying”-as they say in Hospice.  I do know it wasn’t because of alcohol.  Whoopee!  So awake, tossing and turning, trying to meditate and praying.  Praying for my friend and her sister.  Praying for everyone in pain and in war.  Praying for me.

So, this morning, as I was writing about it all in my journal, I wrote something about wanting to change my life.  But then, wait!  I have changed my life!  I quit drinking over 9 months ago.  And then I just got this kind of vision of this whole spectrum- kind of like when you see a color spectrum.  But this one was of my life with all of the changes I’ve made all through it.  I didn’t go through each one since I was young. It was more of a big glimpse into what is.  This is hard to put into words.  But, what I realized is that our lives are a series of changes-hopefully for the better.  You go from primary school to high school-then to either college or enter the working world.  Some get married.  Some get divorced. Dietary changes.  Exercise changes.  Sometimes the change is either so gradual or so organic, we don’t really even notice them. One day, we realize we’ve been eating much healthier than in the past or that we’ve gravitated away from people that may not be the healthiest for us to be around.

Of course, there’s also all of those painful changes.  Like the breakup of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, a health scare. Quitting alcohol falls into this catagory for most of us.  In part because it makes us find a new way to live.  It also presents us with situations that are no longer tolerable now that we’re sober.  Which in turn, may propel us to make other necessary and painful changes in our lives.  And sometimes, these not only feel painful, but feel as if the pain will never end.  That the intolerable situation will just go on and on and on…

Things are always changing-in either direction.  My mom (who I used to think had a handbook of trite cliches for every occasion hidden in her nightstand) used to say, “This too shall pass.”  Giant eye roll from me!  But it’s true. Everything passes.  The ecstatic feeling you get from great news eventually turns into a good feeling and then an awareness.  And the same with the bad stuff.  It dulls. Even grief.  It may never entirely go away, but it changes.  It’s not so sharp.

I think what started this train of thought was the results of my Wellness Exam that I had a couple of weeks ago.  A+.  For my age, I’m great.  The words were, “Continue following your healthy lifestyle and we’ll see you in a year or two.”  Healthy Lifestyle!  Me!  Jeez! But in thinking about it, I realized that over the course of the past few years I have gravitated that way.  Gave up meat and poultry about 5 years ago.  Try to eat only organic. Try-kind of -to regulate the sugar thing. (It’s that damn Gelato!!!)  Have always been active and worked out. No processed foods…blah, blah, blah… And so, aside from the drinking and now, in spite of it, I’m healthy!  I have a healthy lifestyle.

I have been changing and shifting my whole life.  You have too.  We still are.

Namaste

PS if you have a sec, please send a quick prayer for my dying friend-that she go quickly and peacefully.