How do you keep your expectations of your spouse realistic? Do you sometimes expect more than you should? I feel that most of the time I have realistic expectations. As a matter of fact, in most cases my wife far exceeds the expectations I have.
When she does not live up to those expectations, I often realize it’s because I have set unrealistic expectations. Because she does such a wonderful job the majority of the time I sometimes take it for granted and don’t realize that those expectations are not realistic.
For instance, she is working her way through nursing school right now. She has times where her class load gets busy and overwhelming. Because of this, and being a mom, sometimes there are things that she can not realistically get to that she normally would. In these cases if she is not living up to expectations, it’s not her fault. It’s my fault for not adjusting those expectations based on the increased work load she is experiencing.
Another time I find my self at fault for having unrealistic expectations is when she is sick or suffering from migraines. I very rarely get sick and when I do it’s not sick enough to really change what I do day in and day out. I am lucky to have a strong immune system. I have never suffered from migraines.
Because of this I can not truly know what she is experiencing in these situations. When you have not been in someone elses shoes, it’s hard to be realistic of what they are or are not capable of doing.
Unfortunately because of this I will sometimes find myself thinking why was this not done or why did she not want to go to this event with us. Especially if I see her acting reasonably fine around others. I then end up feeling guilty afterwards when I realize that it’s me being unrealistic about the situation when I have no way to know what she is experiencing.
In order to prevent having those unrealistic expectations set I need to be more observant of what is going on. The first scenario is the easiest. Schedules can be viewed and calendars can be looked at. Communication of when the busy times of the semester are going to be. The second scenario is a little more difficult. But still something I need to be aware of and understanding of.
In the case of spouses not living up to expectations, it’s not our spouses who are at fault. In most cases, it’s our fault for not setting those expectations realistically to begin with.
How do you avoid setting unrealistic expectations for your spouse?