The Worst Thing

My husband once said that the worst thing anyone could do to someone else was to fail to meet that person’s expectations.  I didn’t understand it at first, but the longer I thought about it the more valid it seemed, with a few exceptions.

If I expect my husband to send me flowers on our anniversary or Valentine’s Day and I don’t receive them it isn’t the end of the world is it?  So – not the worst thing.  Of course I’ve never expected flowers so the lack of them isn’t a failure in my mind.  There are times though I wouldn’t mind receiving something at work if only to show other people that I am loved damn it!  But, I digress.

Similarly, I’ve grown to accept that JD isn’t likely to hold a job outside our home ever again.  However, earlier this year he started putting applications in with some of our local stores.  I’m a little ashamed to say that my first thought was he wanted to go to work so he’d have an excuse not to help chauffeur his Mother around to appointments.  Am I bad or what?  But as he continued the search, the possibility of a second income became siren-like, calling me to my doom.

I still wasn’t giving the idea a lot of space in my brain, but late in the summer our daughter suggested he apply where she worked, as part of a call center.  She explained they take just about anyone, there would at the very least be four weeks of paid training, and it wouldn’t begin until some time in November.  Let me just say that I didn’t expect to hear any more about that prospect because she works for the IRS and JD loathes them.

K then pointed out he could get a paycheck from The Man, and her excitement was contagious.  With her assistance he got online and navigated the initial application process.  When they sent him the assessment package K helped him figure that out.  Just a few weeks ago he received an email which gave his rating as “superior” and all we were waiting on was the notification telling him when to show up for orientation.

That excitement mentioned above?  I got caught up in it myself and ignored, for a while anyway, the little voice in my head which said “this way lies disaster”.  I started believing we would soon be a 2-income household.  We might not have to rob Peter to pay Paul!  Maybe we could even afford to make repairs to the master bathroom so I could use the grown-up shower again!  So many possibilities filled my thoughts.

Yesterday JD received an email with more forms to fill out and, presumably a date to show up.  When I arrived home last evening (after my third night of over time this week) he said there was something he was afraid to ask me, and that quickly, the bubble burst.  I knew immediately he wasn’t going to work next month, at least not at that job.  But what exactly could I say? Grow up?  Grow a pair?  Get a job or else?  The reality was that he was meeting my expectations because I’d never genuinely believed he would go to work.

I don’t feel that I can legitimately complain because over the nearly two decades we’ve been together my behavior has allowed this situation to develop.  For what it’s worth, it began slowly.  At first he was merely taking a “leave” to work on the farmhouse we were remodeling.  It was cheaper than hiring a contractor and I agreed to it.  Then he let his CDL lapse and finally, his health deteriorated so that he felt he could no longer safely operate a big truck.  When his dad passed he sank into a depression which lasted for what felt like years (and very well may have been; I stopped counting).  He occasionally sinks back into that morass, but it’s not as often or as deep these days.

So eighteen years later here we are.  One income, a mountain of stress squarely balanced on my shoulders and I have only myself to thank.

Have I mentioned this blog is about therapy?  I am a wuss, hear me vent.

heavy-sigh

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18 thoughts on “The Worst Thing

  1. If you enable someone to let that behavior continue then it will. I don’t know what he does around the home and if he cleans and cooks. If he does then at least he is helping. Does he do the laundry, cooking, cleaning, food shopping, repairs, etc. Possibly you are comfortable with the situation and if so Kudos to you. If not then only you can change your expectations. Good luck in any case. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so tempted to go all snarky on this comment, but as you’re a new commenter I’ll just say thanks for stopping by. (FYI, I know I’m an enabler. Comfortable with it? Probably, but apparently not unhappy enough to blow up my marriage over it.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Neither you nor your comment hurt my feelings. I think I was tempted to snark because, as my regulars know, I post my whines just as a way to get it out, rather than letting it fester and become something darker. That’s largely responsible for my being (mostly) happily married.

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  2. Ok first, I heart you. Second, you & my Hubby probably have this issue in common. And Third, Mr. Janey is a lucky man for not only do you support him financially, but you are loyal to him beyond measure….

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  3. Marriage is a strange thing. Your expectations are completely reasonable and why not vent? On occasions I have tolerated something I shouldn’t have and at other times been completely unreasonable about nothing at all. I hope your post helped you feel, better or differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I disagree with your husband. When I put my expectations on another and they disappoint–and they will disappoint–it is not the other person’s fault they didn’t live up to my expectations. As someone once said, there is only one person responsible for my happiness. And that person is me. I think that expectations are what causes so much unhappiness in marriages and so many failures. The movies are partially responsible. We seen a couple on the screen and they live happily ever after. We turn to the other person and say, “Why aren’t you like that?” Or our relationship is not like our parents. Or other marriages. We think the guy should fix the car ’cause Dad fixed ours. Or we think the wife should cook when the wife hates to cook. I’ve come to realize that each relationship is a planet of its own. And one planet may have gravity so heavy you can barely walk. Another the people there fly. Each is its own world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate in a few different ways. I’m glad venting helps. I do it too usually in poetic form. Best to keep life un-violent as possible right? Right.

    Though I must admit after reading this I am a bit nervous about your countdown. I hope it is not anything dire. If it means you’re heading out, do take my email and say hey sometime okay?

    pleasant.street@outlook.com

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