Striking a Discordant Note in a Tune of Marital Bliss/Unrealistic Expectations
Yesterday morning I awakened with the ill effects of my autumnal seasonal sinusitis following a night of insomnia. My energy level was low and I wasn’t feeling particularly hospitable, despite the fact we had some photography lovers coming by to play in the darkroom. Taking a cue from Roy Scheider’s character in “All That Jazz”, I put on my “It’s Show Time” persona and faced the audience.
But something unrelated transpired that knocked me off my equilibrium and I needed to vent. I needed solace. I needed my spouse to turn on his aluminum foil antenna, pick up on my angst, give me a hug and provide the pandering I wanted right then. He did not. He was preoccupied and failed to pick up on those telepathic signals I was directing towards his husband brain. So naturally, I got mad. It made sense at the time. And because I didn’t want to bring up the topic that was causing my distress because there really was no immediate solution, I decided since I was already disgruntled, this was the perfect time to point out a different issue about which I was annoyed. That was the discordant note. And I knew it was when I said it. But such is human nature.
I knew that I was having unrealistic expectations of my spouse. Even if he could have picked up on my telepathy, he was otherwise engaged and not in a position to play therapist. But that didn’t matter at the time. I wanted to wallow in my angst and blame somebody else and he was handy. It wasn’t fair. And from my years of learning various tools through Al Anon recovery, I know that most disappointments result in having unrealistic expectations of others. That is why in general I try to remind myself to have low expectations and high tolerance.
At the end of the day my dear spousal unit came into my hiding place, asked the real reason for my temper tantrum, acted completely reasonably, took away my excuses for behaving badly, and then told me to get over it. So I sulked a bit, had a couple glasses of cabernet, slept peacefully, and woke up to the sun shining, the wind chimes chiming, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a positive attitude for the new day. He, of course, was grumpy this morning. But – he is entitled. And fortunately, we are both grateful for our blessings.
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