expectations = resentment

so the boy came home this morning, ate leftover spaghetti from last night, had a shower, and went to bed after his overnight flight.

he took the garbage out before he went to bed, and i thought “for 9 days that’s been me, doing everything, i’ve been on garbage duty.” it’s nice to share the work.

but i’m going to (try to) remember the independent girl i’ve been for the past 9 days and i’m going to continue to do for myself and not EXPECT him to do things, because as we all fucking know (and i cannot seem to remember), is that expectations is how we prepare ourselves to be disappointed.

It’s like we plan to be disappointed, and then working backwards we realize we need failed expectations to be in place to get our desired result.

you’ve heard this before, right? this isn’t new, oui?

we utilize unfulfilled expectations as justification for righteous indignation.  except we’re the one who created the wacky expectations in the first place.

this must be a trait of boozers. it must be something we share… Like, have you ever done this, been in a crappy mood and pretty much looked around to FIND something to be snarky about? yeah. me too.

So while he has slept most of the day while i worked (he’s on nap #2 now), and while he continues to be unable to say “what can i do to help” but instead waits to be asked and then happily will help, i am – for today – remembering that i’m capable of doing all of this alone. i can focus on being relieved and happy for any and all help. but i must remember that i don’t require help. i’m not a dependent child. and i can’t demand help. (to be fair, the catering – unlike child rearing – is my project, not a shared effort… and the ways that kid-less couples share household work is completely different from couples with kids, though resentments can grow in either case).

i’m not saying that Mr. B doesn’t help. I’m saying that i’m in charge of how miserable i make myself when it comes to failed unrealistically ridiculous expectations.


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I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • “Righteous indignation is the brother of wolfie”- love this!! We do get so involved in the fantasy world of expectations and reactions that we have built that we accept it as our reality. My experience with this is similar to Belle’s- except my husband has been working in a city 5 hours away for almost a year now, coming home about2 weekends a month. It is amazing what I have discovered about myself and my capabilities for taking care of myself, daughter and the dogs! And amazing what I’ve discovered about things I thought he wanted, thought, cared about- that turned out to be mostly constructs and expectations in my own mind with little relationship to his realities and desires. I guess living sober and independent has also allowed me to let him be his own self, rather than projecting my issues onto him. Which makes, of course, for a healthier relationship!

  • righteous indignation. boozers nickname… btw, I LOVE this phrase and I believe righteous indignation is the brother of wolfie…

  • Great Expectations have dangerous consequences. I am one week sober (again). It has been easier to stay sober because I have taken Belle’s advice and not tried to fix my life all at once. No extreme exercise program, vegan juice fast, or whole house renovation (how did she know?). So the house is unfinished and the garden is not weeded. I just got the credit card statement and we spend more than we make. I cannot create a budget now – it is not the time for that either. I guess the bills, paint, and weeds will still be there in 90 days. I must say it is easier staying sober without the pressure of fixing my entire life at the same time….I don’t think they send people to jail for being over the credit card limit so at least I will avoid Pip’s fate…..at least….

  • A big congrats to all you sober folks!!! I love seeing so many of you with solid days behind you, it’s hard work, but so worth it. Belle – I’m happy your husband is home. It sounds like you took great advantage of his time away. You seem to have a wonderful relationship, and paying attention to your expectations will surely make it stronger. Thanks for sharing your insights, spot on as usual! Xoxo – Hana

  • I find it freeing to realize that some of my bitter mood towards my husband has to do with unrealistic expectations such as the ability to mind read. It makes me fall in love with him a little bit more and realize that I am lucky to have him. But sometimes I don’t realize that the problem is me until some time has lapsed….

    • even saying something after the fact goes a long way. most hubbies are happy for a “god what was i thinking” even if it’s after the event : )

  • I got home yesterday and as the day moved on I could tell my husband was disappointed, his expectations were not fulfilled and he was bitchy. Tables turned, it’s just human nature. Glad Mr. B is home safe, will you talk to him about your new old self discovery? Or would it make him feel a little not needed? I get that kind of feedback from my Mr. I’m sure it’s some male ego stuff.

  • “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking doth make it so.”

    Good advice from Shakespeare, the latter day Stoic.

  • ONMG this post is so me…… this line I love…..I’m saying that i’m in charge of how miserable i make myself when it comes to failed unrealistically ridiculous expectations.

    Your right, only we or I are in charge of our own miserable-ness!

    He is moving into the new office now, right???

  • Hello… Still here still no drinking! Just read your post….glad your man is home! Remember the only thing we can be guaranteed are death and taxes…so make the most out of life!



  • I always look forward to my husband’s home-coming following a business trip. Within the hour I’m wanting to stick two fingers up at him behind his back as the disappointment sets him. Should take a leaf out of your book and try to manage my own expectations.