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expectations are my downfall

Old 10-31-2004, 10:19 AM
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expectations are my downfall

Just felt like talking about my latest thoughts.

I think one of the things I must work on about me next is to get a grip on my 'expectations'.

I definitely know that all my life I have been one of those people that pictures how things will be in my mind, then I am disappointed when they don't happen that way. That lead to my being one of those people who tries to manipulate things to get to my desired outcome. Codie to the core.

I've certainly had that one issue cause strain in any relationship I've had. Since it is unlikely another can be expected to behave in a way that always lives up to my expectations, or my vision of how things should be, you can bet I am going to be disappointed often.

Yes, I can see that this is something I can't change about others, but I can change about me.

But there are two sides to this coin. I can also be guilty of setting expecations too low. I eventually did this with my AH. I simply did not expect good things of him.

So, for now, I am simply going to work on recognizing my expectations, and then trying to determine if they are fair or appropriate. Baby steps.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I once had high expectations of what that would mean. A cake, thoughtful gift, singing, lots of attention and a day all about me. A card carefully chosen. Dinner wherever I wanted, or simply cook for me. Or breakfast in bed. Take my daughter out so she could have the joy of picking something for her Mommy. A cake they surprise me with and sing.

I was hurt and let down each year after the first (the year of charm to win me). I found myself SAYING what I wanted, which in iteslef felt wrong. Why should I have to tell him? Yet I knew if I didn't he simply wouldn't do it.

I'd find myself progressing to asking if he'd gotten me anything yet, or taken Jessie to get me something yet. I began nagging that he was running out of time. Next thing you know, when my next birthday would roll around, I was conditioned to be angry and disappointed before it even got here!

My own birthday became a time of stress and anger. Good grief.

Now this year I am not with him. I have really no expectations. Maybe some cards from family (which have come - yay!), and Jessieandme would go out to eat Chinese. I am happy and calm, and I feel no sense of looming disappointment. It is so nice.

I was invited to dinner on Friday with my inlaws and a few of their friends. We are remaining friends after the divorce, which is nice. It was for one of their birthdays so I got him a card and gift. Imagine my surprise to find it was for me too, and they each had gifts for me! I had NO EXPECTATION of anything like that happening for me. When they brought out a slice of cake with a candle and Jessie was there singing to her Mommy I nearly cried my eyes out.

A beautiful outcome, like I'd always imagined, and I hadn't expected it or manipulated it to happen in anyway. I had just been giving love and saw it come back to me in return.

Is it really that simple?

I suspect it is supposed to be, and all my years with my AH has made me forget. I like this way better.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:32 AM
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Heya Spunky,
I fall into the expectations trap sometimes. I think it's human nature to expect people to act in certain ways in certain situations. The problem is, they usually don't act in the way we are expecting them too.
I spent a lot of years expecting people to treat me like I treated them.
Bad move, since I was surrounded by self-absorbed people.
I'm better off when I expect nothing. Then anything I get is icing on the cake.
I don't know if that's setting my expectations too low, and it could just be a defense mechanism.
As in if you expect nothing, and nothing comes your way, you aren't disappointed.
Alrighty then, now you've got me thinking.
I'm glad you had a nice birthday celebration with your friends.
Hugs,
Gabe
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:36 AM
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Melody Beattie says "Nothing is more frustrating than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give." I understand your frustration, and expectations are hard to stay away from.

But when you surround yourself with healthy people, friends and family, good things happen naturally, and expectations have nothing to do with it. I'm so happy that you got such a nice surprise, and that this birthday will be special in a good way for you.

Hugs
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jessieandme2003
Is it really that simple?
Dunno Spunky.

I'm now thinking about Lorelai's thread about being a good girl and expecting the good to come back just because she'd done what she was supposed to. Seems like it should be that simple. But I do think that you've hit on something really important. Not having a lot of preconceived notions of how things should be let's us be open to appreciating the good things that do come. And I hope you have a wonderful Birthday "very loosely planned" for yourself!

Big Birthday HUGS!
Smoke
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by smoke gets in my eyes
Not having a lot of preconceived notions of how things should be let's us be open to appreciating the good things that do come.
Oh yeah, that's it.
Thanks Smoke.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:52 AM
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Jess -
I get into a lot of trouble with expectations of others. Not really expectations of what a particular person should do but expectations of how a person playing a particular role in my life should behave - like a spouse.

I realized that the person I was disappointed in was me. I had expectations of how I should behave, what I should tolerate, etc. I wasn't fulfilling my own expectations of myself.

My happiness doesn't really come from gifts or cakes anyway. It comes from the acknowledgement that I am important and I am a fantastic person who is loved.

Since I know I am a fantastic person and I know that I deserve to to be loved, I don't need anybody else to confirm that for me. It's nice but not necessary.

You have a great time on your birthday with your daughter.
I think you're a fantastic person and I know she does too.
L
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jessieandme2003
Just felt like talking about my latest thoughts.

I think one of the things I must work on about me next is to get a grip on my 'expectations'.

I definitely know that all my life I have been one of those people that pictures how things will be in my mind, then I am disappointed when they don't happen that way. That lead to my being one of those people who tries to manipulate things to get to my desired outcome. Codie to the core.

I've certainly had that one issue cause strain in any relationship I've had. Since it is unlikely another can be expected to behave in a way that always lives up to my expectations, or my vision of how things should be, you can bet I am going to be disappointed often.
Are you my long lost twin or something?? Seriously, I am exactly the same.
I am floored! Thankyou for putting into words what has been bouncing around in my head...
My expectations are both realistic (if you say you are going to do something, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect you to do it) and unrealistic (after a long and convoluted history of NOT keeping your word, WHY would I continue to expect you to keep it?) I always seem to end up in relationships where I am accused of expecting too much... Do I? Probably.
Hmm, more food for thought.
Thanks
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