Ah, the seasons of our lives. As soon as we get one problem fixed, another becomes so obvious that we wonder how we never knew it was there.
This season? Managing expectations.
It’s not even the overarching idea of marriage that gets in our way, though we do get overwhelmed every time we really sit down and think about it. It’s really the smallest things that make understanding this other human the most daunting task in the world.
Picture a small glass of water, spilled. This is of course completely hypothetical and only for illustrative purposes. This isn’t about seeing the glass half empty or half full, for it’s clearly neither one, but more of how you see the water. Kyle sees a mess to be fully wiped up. Me? I see large puddles surrounded by a few smaller ones. The large ones are an obvious hindrance and must be wiped up immediately. The smaller ones? Will dry on their own.
Without a dishwasher, the dishes reproduce in our sink. Even during the weeks that we really try, they still stack up quickly. To Kyle, doing dishes means washing and drying. To me? It means getting them just clean enough that we can use them again (it’s all food) and letting them air dry on the counter.
To have a discussion over unmet expectations is easy. Kyle gently lets me know that having clean dishes on the counter isn’t as ideal as having them in the cabinet where they belong. I agree and explain that we might as well let the air do the work for us. We walk away, expecting that we’ve solved the problem and brought the other person over to our side, only to find out that we each still think our own way is best.
And we’re left with a counter full of dishes and very small puddles on the floor.
What is one unmet expectation you have struggled with in your own relationships?