Blogs


Notices

Expectation or hope

Old 08-18-2004, 05:44 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Gracey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Expectation or hope

So how do we tell the difference between our expectations, and hope?
 
Old 08-18-2004, 06:03 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
ASpouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sussex, NJ
Posts: 1,331
I don't know if this will help or not but I no longer have any expectations of anyone but myself.

I expect myself to get up everyday and go to work, feed my family and take care of myself. Those are my only expectations. The rest I give to God.

I only hope for the best for myself and my children.

I have no hopes or expectations of my AH. He will be celebrating 1 year of sobriety on September 1st of this year. I am so proud of him for working the program and improving himself.

I have no expectations of him whatsoever and I have no hopes for him. He is responsible for himself and our children, just as I am responsible for myself and our children.

The rest just seems to fall into place. We live a clean fun life and for that I am happy and Thank God everyday.
ASpouse is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 06:20 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Gracey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
So hope is the same thing as expectation..........dont hope for anything from your H at all.......Hoping is setting up for dissappointment also??? Only have hope for yourself and what you can change for yourself........

If we cant expect nothing from them and we cant hope for anything.......THEN WHAT.....this whole marriage thing is built on false expectations and false hopes dreamt up by me?????? Something I knew before I was married right.....
 
Old 08-18-2004, 06:36 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Lorelai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Star's Hollow
Posts: 615
I've been working on this one myself, Breec.

I have replaced "hope" with "faith". Hoping for something implies that I know what should happen. I hope he quits drinking. I hope he comes home. I prefer to have faith that whatever happens is the right thing to happen. I don't have to decide what that is.

I feel that I should have expectations regarding the people in my life. I think that part of reason I am in this situation is that I've continued to downgrade my expectations of what I will accept.

I have to be sure my expectations are reasonable. People in my life should treat me with respect, honesty and decency. I think the important thing about expectations is this: Once we learn from experience that someone is unable to meet our expectations at this time, we shouldn't keep expecting them to do so. We should accept the fact that our expectations will not be met and decide what to do for ourselves based on that fact.

To continue to "hope" for an outcome we have already determined and continue to "expect" what we may never get diverts our attentions from the task at hand - ourselves.

L
Lorelai is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 06:47 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
ASpouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sussex, NJ
Posts: 1,331
Originally Posted by breec3
So hope is the same thing as expectation..........dont hope for anything from your H at all.......Hoping is setting up for dissappointment also??? Only have hope for yourself and what you can change for yourself........

If we cant expect nothing from them and we cant hope for anything.......THEN WHAT.....this whole marriage thing is built on false expectations and false hopes dreamt up by me?????? Something I knew before I was married right.....

I don't know if it's the same thing or not, but it's how I do it. Marriage to me is built on a foundation of mutual trust, respect and love, not hopes, dreams and expectations.

If one is lucky enough, that trust, respect and loves grows and blossoms throughout the years to become a very strong tie that binds.

I can't say if you dreamt up false hopes, only you know the answer to that.

With Jay and I, our trust, respect and love for each other is pretty solid to a point where we can finish each others sentences. When he was drinking the trust, respect and love virtually went out the window.

I tend to agree with Lorelei, replacing hope with faith is much better for any hopes of recovery for you.
ASpouse is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 06:54 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Dancing To My Own Beat
 
Magichappens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: I don't know what kind of state I'm in
Posts: 1,326
I hope that the one's I love find peace and serenity. I don't expect they will. Wishing someone well and expecting them to do what I think is best is the difference for me. I am like Lorelai. I have faith that God is with each of us in our journey. Even if I don't like what someone else is going through, I have faith that God has a purpose for their struggle. It may be that they have a lesson to learn. I know that I can struggle a lot less if I accept the lessons and not fight them. Many people can't grasp that, and continue to struggle. It is hard to stay out of their lessons. I have to tell myself it is between them and God, and let it go. My hope is that they don't have to get beat down to find their peace. Hugs, Magic
Magichappens is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 07:50 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Al-Anon Saved Me!
 
Bellesarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21
Hope, expectations vs. Faith

Expectations are pre-meditated resentments, they are deadly, especially in relationships. Everybody will let you down sooner or later.. typically soon and often. People are people, they make mistakes and these mistakes often impact others.

As to hope.. hope needs to be replaced with faith, faith that your higher power has a better future for you. Misplaced hope can be quite toxic because all too often what we think we want or hope for isn't good for us (remember as a kid how badly you wanted the trainset, dollhouse, bike, [insert here cool thing we wanted and thought would just make our life perfect]. Same principle applies.

Perhaps some of our relationships need to end. Winning the lottery isn't going to make our life perfect, etc... personally, I'm letting go of my dreams and hopes of long life with my now alcoholic wife of 13 1/2 years who left, and replacing them as much as possible with Faith in my higher power (whom I call God). I'm going to trust Him that He knows what's best for me and that if I work on myself, take care of my children, work the steps and cultivate my spritual life, then I will be progressively more open to His small still voice leading me down the correct path. I still have goals and aspirations, but I'm trying to cultivate a sense of mystery and awe about the future.

A very wise fellow in one my meetings said once when speaking of how we all too often over intellectualize life and let the committee in the head run rampant.. "I'm convinced life is really pretty simple, we make it hard." We overthink life. The promises of Al-anon speak of life flowing with ease and grace. This ease and grace comes from letting go and letting God lead us to a better future.

Hang in there, let go, and let God. You are powerless, God isn't, He knows what's best for us and He wants a new, brighter, more fulfilling future for everyone. Work the steps, attend meetings, come back here and post messages, the community is vital to all our recoveries. We need each others support! You are not alone, we're here for you.

Love yourself today!

p.s. If you don't like the term God, substitute your equivalent, I get tired of typing out Higher Power or HP... God is shorter.
Bellesarius is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 08:04 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
ASpouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sussex, NJ
Posts: 1,331
Very well written and very true!

Expectations of others are what hurt us. It took me many many years to figure that one out!
ASpouse is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 08:16 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Gracey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
God is my higher power.....and thank you......
 
Old 08-18-2004, 09:01 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Lorelai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Star's Hollow
Posts: 615
Expectations are pre-meditated resentments, they are deadly, especially in relationships.

I'm trying really hard to understand this and I'm not trying to be argumentative but this sentence is really hard for me to swallow.

I expect a spouse to be human. I expect him to make mistakes. I don't expect him to complete my life.

I do expect him to not hit me. I do expect him to be faithful. I do expect him to have respect for my feelings.

I understand that my husband is an alcoholic. I understand that his alcoholism can prevent him from living up to my expectations. BUT does that mean that I have to give up my expectations of what I believe a loving relationship consists of?

I think that telling people to give up all expectations in life can be harmful.

When I married my husband, I expected him to tell me the truth about where he was and who he was with. I think that is a reasonable expectation. As time went on and he lied to me over and over again, I stopped expecting him to tell the truth. I just settled with the fact that I was being lied to.

If I had the expectation that a husband shouldn't lie to his wife on a consistent basis and I stood strong with that expectation, I would have left him a long time ago.

If I had the expectation that a husband should not be passed out on the couch everynight and stood strong with that expectation, I would have left him a long time ago.

I think that allowing my expectations to dwindle down to nothing is what kept me in this relationship so long. I think that having no expectations is the worst thing I can do.

I think that having expectations and determining whether a person is fulfilling those expectations is an important part of living a good life.

Tell me where I'm off here. I really do want to understand this.
L
Lorelai is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 09:47 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
believer
 
journeygal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: walking in faith
Posts: 1,023
L, I think you are right on target.

The problem comes in when we expect certain behavior from someone incapable of fulfilling those expections.

Let's pretend for a minute that regular milk comes from white cows and chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Say we decide to buy a brown cow. We expect that cow to deliver milk, right? Maybe we even expect that cow to produce regular milk. But he can't - he's a brown cow. He's incapable of producing regular milk. So we can either stay and give up our expectation of ever having regular milk, we can stay and get mad and frustrated every day because we never get regular milk, or we can get rid of the brown cow and find a white one.

Like JT said, a car without a battery will never run, no matter how angry we get, how much we beg, or how long we hold onto the expectation that it will.

L, your expectations are very reasonable. They just may not be available on the model (husband) you picked.
journeygal is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 10:00 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Dancing To My Own Beat
 
Magichappens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: I don't know what kind of state I'm in
Posts: 1,326
I think that unrealistic expectations are what hurt us. To expect a sick person to exhibit well behavior is unrealistic. To expect an alcoholic to be an alcoholic is more realistic. To expect a Brady Bunch life is unrealisic. To expect to face struggles and challenges and learn to meet them with serenity and sanity is realistic. Learning the difference between reality and wishing and how to make the best of it is a realistic goal for me. Magic
Magichappens is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 10:06 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Al-Anon Saved Me!
 
Bellesarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21
Expectations versus Boundaries

Originally Posted by Lorelai
Expectations are pre-meditated resentments, they are deadly, especially in relationships.

I'm trying really hard to understand this and I'm not trying to be argumentative but this sentence is really hard for me to swallow.

I expect a spouse to be human. I expect him to make mistakes. I don't expect him to complete my life.

I do expect him to not hit me. I do expect him to be faithful. I do expect him to have respect for my feelings.

I understand that my husband is an alcoholic. I understand that his alcoholism can prevent him from living up to my expectations. BUT does that mean that I have to give up my expectations of what I believe a loving relationship consists of?

I think that telling people to give up all expectations in life can be harmful.

When I married my husband, I expected him to tell me the truth about where he was and who he was with. I think that is a reasonable expectation. As time went on and he lied to me over and over again, I stopped expecting him to tell the truth. I just settled with the fact that I was being lied to.

If I had the expectation that a husband shouldn't lie to his wife on a consistent basis and I stood strong with that expectation, I would have left him a long time ago.

If I had the expectation that a husband should not be passed out on the couch everynight and stood strong with that expectation, I would have left him a long time ago.

I think that allowing my expectations to dwindle down to nothing is what kept me in this relationship so long. I think that having no expectations is the worst thing I can do.

I think that having expectations and determining whether a person is fulfilling those expectations is an important part of living a good life.

Tell me where I'm off here. I really do want to understand this.
L
IMHOP, you are blurring the lines between expectations and boundaries. Living a life where you don't harbor any expectations of the other person is very liberating, but it's a very different perspective than most of us have been lead to believe. It's about letting go. It does NOT mean you accept violation of your boundaries. It doesn't mean you let yourself be trampled upon and abused or that you should accept your needs not being met.

Let me speak from my experience.. and I am by no means an expert on this. My ex-wife is an enormous flake, she is always late when it's time to watch the kids. I don't expect her to be on time, if my schedule is loose or if I have no other options I will ask her to watch the kids. If not, or if my schedule is tight, I find somebody else. I don't harbor any ill will, my wife is a sick person. I love her, but she is almost totally unreliable so I let it go and accept reality for what it is. Getting angry at her just wastes my energy, and gives her some level of control over my emotional life. Sorry, not gonna do it.

So, what I am saying is, you need to learn where your boundaries are, and these are not external values you impose on your spouse, but your internal values and needs. Then you need to communicate these to your spouse clearly, un-emotionally when the time is right. If he's using, and you've decided one of your boundaries is that he can't stay in the house while using, kick him out. This is you respecting you and your values, not you being a nasty, unforgiving bitch. If your spouse loves you, then he is going to be inclined to respect your boundaries, but it may take awhile. If, however, he continues to violates them, then there are consequences, sometimes you have to impose consequences, sometimes the actions themselves impose their own. Remember, you are not his judge, mother, boss, etc.. this is respecting you and your needs, and everybody needs their boundaries to be respected.

I hope I am making my point.. there is a difference here.. IMHOP an expectation is you imposing your desires on another persons behavior. We all are going to fall short at some time or another.. often repeatably. What then? Well, most people (me included) get pissed!

Versus, a boundary is you understanding and communicating your needs and values. It's up to the other person to either respect and honor them, or not. If they are unwilling to, then perhaps he's not right for you. (BTW, it takes a lot of maturity and recovery for most people to begin to understand where their boundaries really lie. True-self knowledge is a rare commodity these days.. and this especially goes for myself!!!) This goes for friends and family, not just relationship partners. If somebody in your life is violating your boundaries, then you need to communicate this to them gently, but if they continue, you may have to not interact with them. This is your choice, you can choose whom to interact with. Whom among us wants to be a friend or spouse of somebody who doesn't respect their core values or is unwilling to meet their needs (not wants necessarily, NEEDS)... somebody who has very little respect for themselves. So many of us fall into this trap. We want something, or someone so badly we sacrifice ourselves.. and then we wonder why we feel awful. We need to stand up for our own truth and respect ourselves.

Sorry for the long post, I hope this helps clarify what I mean by expectations.

Love yourself, I've read some of your other posts, you are making real progress! Just be gentle with yourself, this stuff takes time.. lots of time.
Bellesarius is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 11:24 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Morning Glory
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Good thread!

I can expect to be treated well, but I can't expect someone to change so they will treat me well. The responsibility for my treatment is on my shoulders. That's where the boundaries come in. If someone doesn't treat me the way I want to be treated I can live with that or walk away. I can take some steps to change it like counseling, communication etc. If that doesn't work there is no reason to expect a change even though change is possible. If I stay and hope for a change I am living in hope instead of reality. That's when I need to accept it the way it is and figure out what I want to do about it. I can stay and fill my needs in other ways or leave and fill my needs in other ways. The result of my choices then become my consequences. I can't blame that on anyone else.

Are we standing on a firm foundation based on the reality of today or are we standing on a shaky foundation based on the hope that something different might happen. I gave up hope one day and it was a pretty shocking discovery, but life is much better now.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...4671#post14671

Hugs,
MG
 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:31 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Lorelai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Star's Hollow
Posts: 615
Thanks everyone. Great words. I think I'm getting there. Of course, I thought I was getting there before - hence, my confusion.

My Expectation:
My expectation of living with a spouse that is willing and able to share his life with me is reasonable.

My spouse is unable to fulfill this expectation.

My boundary:
I will not live with a spouse who does not fufill this expectation.
OR
I will not allow the fact that this expectation is not being filled to ruin my life.

My choice.

I guess I get hung up on words too much sometimes. I am just afraid that people may read a sentence that says "Expect nothing." and use that as an reason to accept anything.

You're all the best. Thanks -
L
Lorelai is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 12:36 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Morning Glory
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You sure made that clear and simple!!

Hugs
 
Old 08-18-2004, 01:18 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Al-Anon Saved Me!
 
Bellesarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by Lorelai
Thanks everyone. Great words. I think I'm getting there. Of course, I thought I was getting there before - hence, my confusion.

My Expectation:
My expectation of living with a spouse that is willing and able to share his life with me is reasonable.

My spouse is unable to fulfill this expectation.

My boundary:
I will not live with a spouse who does not fufill this expectation.
OR
I will not allow the fact that this expectation is not being filled to ruin my life.

My choice.

I guess I get hung up on words too much sometimes. I am just afraid that people may read a sentence that says "Expect nothing." and use that as an reason to accept anything.

You're all the best. Thanks -
L
You are getting it, but I would gently urge you to not use the word expect... I take modest umbrage only because I'm concerned for you, not because I'm trying to be a prig.

To my liking, an expectation presumes an outcome. That's the nut of my protest (and I believe I duth protest to much.. so I'm going to shut up now!)

I love you all,
Cheers
Bellesarius is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 06:51 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
JT
Supply Manager
 
JT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleaverville
Posts: 2,898
L,

You are making me think so I am going to back track to how expectations made me nuts.

I had a preconceived idea of what a marriage and family should be. I expected my son to do reasonably well in school, to be honest and I suppose, be happy. My expectations were reasonable, I thought and I kept my hopes to myself. In marriage I expected to have my needs met, to have an honest spouse who was faithful, who worked, took care of the cars, lawn etc. I expected a spouse to be a bang up father and a supportive husband.
Those were my expectations.

As time went on the Beav began lying, failing in school, he became disrespectful, argumentative and very unhappy. The drinking entered about this time. Ward became angry, controlling and bitter about the Beav's behavior and not at all supportive about how I felt. His drinking became a problem then as well.

My expectations of how things should be are what kept me trying to control the outcome. I kept trying to get my family to line up and meet them. They refused and I went slowly crazy.

Enter Alanon. That is when I first learned the concept of boundaries..of what I will and will not accept in my life. And that I have choices. Expectations are about wanting things to be a certain way and when they aren't a co-dependent like me does not give up the fight. They triggered my need to control.

I still think my expectations were realistic. But they made me a very sick individual for a period of time. If I expect Ward to not drink at night I am setting myself up. If I expect the Beav not to lie....same deal. If I accept reality for what it is and know my boundaries I see a lot clearer.

Make sense?
JT
JT is offline  
Old 08-18-2004, 08:13 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Al-Anon Saved Me!
 
Bellesarius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by JT
L,

You are making me think so I am going to back track to how expectations made me nuts.

I had a preconceived idea of what a marriage and family should be....

I still think my expectations were realistic. But they made me a very sick individual for a period of time. If I expect Ward to not drink at night I am setting myself up. If I expect the Beav not to lie....same deal. If I accept reality for what it is and know my boundaries I see a lot clearer.

Make sense?
JT
Touche'!
Bellesarius is offline  
Old 08-19-2004, 06:55 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
Lorelai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Star's Hollow
Posts: 615
OK guys. I've thought about this a lot over the last few days. I understand what you're all saying but I understand what I'm saying too.

This morning I had what I think is a big realization. I think that my expectations are things that I expect of myself.

I think that I have always expected more of myself. I think that's what has made me so crazy all these years. I am disappointed in myself - not anyone else.

I never expected that I would allow myself to live my life this way. I never expected that I would raise my children in an alcoholic home. I never expected that I would sacrifice my self-respect for anyone.

I know now that many of my expectations of myself were unreasonable. I shouldn't expect to be perfect or to fix everyone else's problems.

In order to be at peace, I need to have reasonable expectations of myself and live up to those expectations. It's all about me - as always.

Thanks Bell for keeping at me on this and sorry, breec, for hijacking your thread.
I really think that my HP has kept pulling this subject up for a reason.

I expect myself to keep trying and I am living up to that one.
Hugs - L
Lorelai is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:12 PM.