ex⋅pec⋅ta⋅tion – noun
1. the act or the state of expecting: to wait in expectation.
2. the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
3. an expectant mental attitude: a high pitch of expectation.
4. something expected; a thing looked forward to.
5. Often, expectations. a prospect of future good or profit: to have great expectations.
6. the degree of probability that something will occur
Relationships fascinate me, which makes perfect sense since people fascinate me. I guess it’s only right that the way people interact and treat one another would be fascinating to me as well.
I love to see how people react to others, the tones of voice they use with different people, the things that get under their skin, which people they pull out all the stops with (setting their personality dial to HIGH and turning their humor dial all the way up to HILARIOUS), how they treat those they say they love, etc.
Ironically, it’s often the people who mean the most to us who often forget just how charming or funny we can be.
Quite a few years ago, we were going through lean times, financially. My husband was working at a job he didn’t exactly love and we were feeling the stress of a large family vs. a small income. We didn’t fight or bicker – but he was seldom in a charming mood when he came home from work. Then, when he sat down at the table to pay bills…. Even the cats hid!
One day after church, he was talking with some of his friends. One of the guys walked over to me and said, “Mike is such a funny guy, he must keep you in stitches.” I smiled and said “Sure does!” but, on the inside I was thinking, “He’s funny? Him? Oh, yeah, wait… I remember now. Yeah, he once had the best sense of humor in the world.”
He still had it, the people who lived under the same roof as him just didn’t see it as much as others did.
This is actually pretty consistent with relationships. We EXPECT our family to love us, we EXPECT our family to think we’re the bee’s knees, we EXPECT them to think we’re funny, charming, intelligent, etc. We don’t EXPECT everyone else to, so we work a little harder on them – turn the dials up as high as they’ll go when necessary. Only to turn them back down when we get home.
Needless to say, that’s not how it should be. We all know that, right? Can you imagine how few arguments and divorces there would be if husbands treated their wives as well as they did their best client, their boss, or their closest friends? What if the wife treated her husband as sweetly and patiently as she did her son or daughter?
Let that sink in for a minute and think about the beautiful relationships that’d be enjoyed.
We get comfortable. That’s one of the biggest factors. Think of it this way: I’m sitting in my husband’s computer chair with my legs folded in the chair with me. I’m barefoot, I have my hair pulled back into a topknot, black and pink polka dot pajamas on, without a stitch of make-up on. In fact, I just washed off a facial mask, so there may or may not be white clay-looking stuff in an eyebrow or two. As an extra dose of lovely, I’m chewing on a Starbuck’s straw. (Are you turned on yet?!?!)
Would I go to Applebee’s like this? I wouldn’t even go through a drive-thru like this!
But I’m home. The only ones who see me tonight are my 3 daughters and my cat Alexa. It’s home. It’s comfortable.
The people in our lives – especially our spouses – become home for us. They become so comfortable, in fact, that a couple who has been married for a lot of years can ride along in a vehicle without saying a word for over an hour, just enjoying the togetherness. We’re home.
We should all pay more attention to how we treat those who we love the most. They should get our best, not our worst. Being comfortable is one thing, but being neglectful is another.
I think we also have problems in our relationships when we expect too much. What would you say if your co-worker told you that her son got a B+ in College Algebra? If you’re like me, you’d think, “Wow! Smart kid.” You’d think how proud his parents must be of him. However, if your own child got a B+, be honest, one of the things you’d think (if not immediately, at least a little later) is, “Aww, man, so close to an A!”
We expect the world from those closest to us. We females expect our husbands to lavish us with compliments, rub our necks, and be as attentive as they were on our first date.
Males expect pretty much the same, but throw in a tall glass of iced tea and a couple of sandwiches. Often, when what we’re EXPECTING doesn’t measure up with what we GET, we’re disappointed and it’s written all over our face.
Mothers expect their children to get straight A’s, keep their room spotless, mind their manners, and always make them proud.
Fathers expect pretty much the same thing, but throw in a tall glass of iced tea and a couple of sandwiches.
Perhaps it’d be beneficial to our relationships, and to our families, if we occasionally tossed out the expectations. Nine times out of ten we’d be blown away by how wonderful these people are who we often take for granted.
Always look for the good in everybody, then when you find it – never let it out of your sight. This is never more important than when we’re dealing with our loved ones.