Expectations crack me up. We all have them, for pretty much EVERY situation we encounter, or plan to. When your dating, contemplating marriage, most everyone’s expectations have some form of living happily ever after included in them. Why would you contemplate marriage if you were expecting it to fail? When your thinking about having kids, you expect there to be “some” trials (Ha! I laugh now that I even write some in quotations), but for the most part you expect to correct the mistakes you felt your parents made, visualize yourself rolling on the floor playing with your beautiful, well behaved children because your house is already clean around you, and dinner’s already been made and cleaned up.
It’s how people react when their expectations aren’t met that’s not so funny. I’ve seen a fair share of melt-downs and blow ups to know this is true. Setting realistic expectations seems to be the ticket, coupled with CONSTANTLY re-evaluating them to see if they still pass the sniff test of being realistic.
Last night was a rather amusing example of my need to review some of my expectations of Kevin, and him representing to me a vast majority of guys in general. You see, Kevin and I operate on VASTLY different wave lengths when it comes to communicating. When I ask him questions about his day and the conversations he’s had, I want to know EVERYTHING. When I say everything, I mean every exact word that transpired over the course of the conversations. If he could keep them all in order, even if it was an hour long conversation, I would be thrilled if he could recant it exactly back to me.
Kevin… not so much. He can sum up a multi-hour dinner, event, discussion, etc… in probably 5 words or less. I want to pull my hair out sometimes. I’ll ask follow up questions, come at it from a different angle, bring it up a couple different times, JUST to see if I can squeeze out some more details. Usually those efforts leave us both frustrated.
Knowing how much I would love EVERY single detail, my expectation is that even though he wouldn’t dream of asking for it, Kevin deeply desires that level of detail as well in my conversations with him. Again… not so much, as I learned last night.
I got the chance to catch up with my Aunt over the course of a FIVE HOUR dinner. Yes, we sat and talked for five straight hours! We had a great time, and I was so excited to get home and tell Kevin ALL about it. After about twenty minutes of me talking a million miles a minute, in exited animation, I asked him if he’d like me to let him go to sleep. His response, “Yes, please. I was wondering when you would be done, I kept telling myself it had to be soon, but when you started rounding the twenty minute mark without stopping I wasn’t so sure.”
I poked him teasingly, and said “just think I talked for 5 hours just before this and still I’m not tired… you’re pretty thankful for my girlfriends now aren’t you?”, to which he responded “Extremely. I love you, good night”.
I feel like I have an alright handle on this expectation, as evidence by my need to cultivate MANY friendships, so I can reach a likely inordinate word quota for the day, without exhausting any ONE. I still have to review it from time to time, when I suffer from girl amnesia, and think again that with Kevin being my best friend, HE is the one that wants to hear it ALL. He does want to hear it… he just wants to hear the condensed version. He appreciates its MUCH more when I work out the multiple hour long conversation with a girl friend, and bring him home the cliffs notes after having worked out my crazy.
For any ladies out there reading this, that might be suffering from the expectation that their husbands are their one and only sounding board, and end up often frustrated when their not. Try branching out a bit, hit up a girlfriend or two (or if your like me, and you would still likely overwhelm even two), figure out what your threshold is and then cultivate the friendships to make it work. Bring the cliff notes home to the hubs so he stays up to date, and see if ya’ll don’t end up just a little happier in the end! 🙂