Addicts aren't the only ones who have trouble with expectations. We all struggle with them, whether they are overt or those unspoken. You know the ones. Those landmines we plant to make sure we really blast our loved ones for not being able to read our minds and letting us down.
Having said that addicts don't just suffer with expectations, we use our unfulfilled expectations to justify fixing; using our drug of choice, whether that drug is illegal or something as common as food. Be honest here. Do you work as hard on our your relationship as you expect your partner to work? It's either that, or we don't love ourselves enough to expect to be treated as an equal in our relationship. No matter which one you are I guarantee that your partner is left feeling lonely and trapped in all those expectations.
Valentine's Day (the be all end all day for expectations) is the only day of the year when a simple bouquet of flowers can destroy everything, all because it was carnations instead of roses!
Here’s my advice on all those expectations: Get rid of them!
Gifts are not promises. Giving something doesn't give you the right to expect something in return. That's not being giving. A gift is given freely and without any expectations.
Coming to recognize that you count on unfulfilled expectations and disappointments to give you a reason to do something destructive is a huge step in anyone's recovery process. Learning how to live without expectations isn't easy, but it is freeing.
This year, instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, surprise someone you love with an unexpected gift. If you don't get something in return, then love yourself enough to treat yourself special. Me, I’m going to surprise myself with either a massage or a manicure and pedicure for Valentine’s Day. I intend to be very grateful for whichever one it is.