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MBear

Expectations

20 posts in this topic

Recently I heard a sermon on relationships, specifically romantic ones. But there was something said that really hit me as a good way to look at something in all relationships and how this really, I believe, sets up new IL relationships to fail. 

The topic was expectations and how each person goes into the new relationship with expectations of each other. But the expectations instantly set up this debt/debtor situation. This was eye opening to me in that expectations truly do this, especially non-spoken and non-negotiable ones (in a person's mind). I know that my own ILs had very specific expectations of me and I did not follow those which caused a lot of friction in my early marriage. I also had the expectation they would be more like my family in how they reacted to things, and that really caught me off guard. I now am thinking to the future and am trying to make sure to catch myself when I start setting up expectations for the future with my own kids. Even silly things. Like I am done having kids (after I deliver the one i am pregnant with currently) and I have all boys. My sister is getting married and we were discussing veils as heirlooms and wedding dresses on what can be done with them for future daughters. And I made some comment about I need to come up with an alternative since I have all boys (personally in my head was thinking of donation-- if I could every part with it) and someone said I should keep it for my granddaughters. I agreed in the moment, but then later thought about how horrible of an expectation I might be setting up if I kept the dress and built up the idea of doing something for my granddaughters-- what if their own mother wanted to do something and she felt I was taking that from her? I would never want to do that to my DIL. So it's a good reminder to keep the dress if I want to, but not start building an expectation that I will have a GD and have her wear my veil. And this example is real trivial, but I think it's important to keep these expectations in check and be aware of how they creep in, even as a sincere thing. 

Thoughts on if you agree about expectations basically creating a debt in your relationship with someone? 

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What's that saying....? He who expects nothing will never be disappointed.

It is realistic to have expectations. I expect others to treat me like they want to be treated.

You could look at your example as more of an option. It's available but not expected. Something new, something old....

Then again some folks find every reason under the sun to be offended.

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Congratulations!

Interesting sermon, I generally agree. We all often have ideas in our mind how something will play out - it's wise to try to avoid those ideas/expectations.

I know for my husband and me, we had ideas/notions about our first child to marry and what that union would be like and how we'd be impacted. We couldn't have been more wrong. Since that first go we have consciously avoided any assumptions, I think that's served us well. We did not raise our 3 dils, they are very different than me and our daughters, they never fail to surprise on any and every topic, fine with no expectations.

With no expectations - typically there is a surprise of some sort.   ;)

ETA: We did have a big expectation creep up on us. Our boys wives don't share our taste at all. The boys won't be taking our stuff, stuff from my 2 sisters who have passed, both our parents stuff, my grandparents/great aunts stuff. Nada.

Not a problem, they can donate/throw it all away. But surprising - we grew up assuming we had to take on family stuff, just how it was done forever in our families.

That "just how we do it" bit is a lame expectation.

Edited by JanelleK

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Nice to see you here MBear...hope its all going well...when is the new bundle due? 

I hear you about expectations...and how easy it is to make those assumptions. One of the hardest things for me to learn as a young adult was that everyone had their own way to do things...that worked.

My handmade wedding gown from my first wedding is in storage in my garage...It's a beautiful, simple dress circa 1971...my girls (DD, DsD & nieces) are all taller with wider shoulders so wouldn't be able to wear it anyway. So it sits...who knows about the grandgirlies, it may be back in style then. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit...I'm good. A friend used the veil already, so that's an option going forward. However, I'll make the offer...don't care one way or another. 

 

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Congratulations on the coming baby!

Interesting sermon - and well-timed, I think, w/ the holidays coming up and some people harboring so many expectations about those!

Gotta go now, but will be back later...

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I have two daughters, one lovely wedding dress, and zero expectations LOL. There is a certain style that seems to go with each decade, and the 90s were no exception. Actually, if we're being honest, the 80s/90s style wedding dresses were pretty much across the board large and puffy and mine was no exception. I LOVE that dress. and as far as 90s dresses, it's not over the top. That being said, I can't see either of my girls wanting to wear it, at least not in its original state. They might like it if they altered it. But if oldest dd were to alter it, there is no way youngest dd could ever wear it. Oldest dd is under 5 feet tall and weighs less than 100 pounds. If you'll pardon the phrase, no rear and no boobs to speak of lol. Youngest dd is 5'6", proper weight for her height, but inherited the family propensity towards a big rear end and boobs that will eventually cause back problems. So I have no expectations that my dress will ever come out of it's preservation box. It's there if they want it.

 

As far as expectations in general. Expectations are like opinions. And opinions are like....well....everyone has them. We all have a right to HAVE expectations. But we cannot force that expectation to be fulfilled.  So it is better for everyone if we manage our own expectations instead of expecting others to fulfill them. 

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There is a TLC show that modernizes heirloom wedding dresses.  The alterations and before and after pictures are amazing.

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I have a friend who recycled her gown into a christening gown for her children (her mom actually sewed both the wedding and baby versions). I have all boys too and I have no idea who will take the dress. My GDs are both tall for their ages, no way for them to wear it even if they wanted to. Maybe I should remake it into something the GDs can wear now. I haven't thought about it in a long time.

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IMO, it can be hard not to have expectations. Sometimes they creep up on you (general) when least expect them. You can just be envisioning something for the pleasure of it, and, all of a sudden, it becomes an expectation. Not to mention that anticipation can be "half the fun" - and anticipation often involves some expectations, I think.

If you can go into a new situation - becoming a GP, for example, or seeing your AC get married, etc. - w/o any expectations, great. If not, if you can reframe them in your mind as "hopes," that's good, too, IMO. Most important, though, I believe, is to realize that your expectations might not be met/that the other people involved might have different expectations/hopes/visions of it than you do - especially if these other people are central to the scenario (the child's parents or the bride and groom, etc.).  Also, IMO, it's important to to accept it graciously if your expectations/hopes, therefore, don't come true.

About wedding dresses - Neither of my DDs wanted my wedding gown - and why should they? Styles had changed, etc. But each of them wove part of it into her bouquet (yes, I cut off strips of it for them). YDD saw this idea on a bridal website and they both loved it!  Me too! :)

Edited by RoseRed135
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A very nice book worth reading for people with 'expectations' might be Harville Hendrix 'Getting the love you want"

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On wedding dresses: I've worn mine for two Halloweens now, and will probably continue.

It was Wolf's idea to start with, and he and the kids get a huge kick out of it. Myself, I'm just laughing about the fact that, fourteen years and four more babies later, it still fits. 

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12 hours ago, Mame925 said:

Nice to see you here MBear...hope its all going well...when is the new bundle due? 

I hear you about expectations...and how easy it is to make those assumptions. One of the hardest things for me to learn as a young adult was that everyone had their own way to do things...that worked.

My handmade wedding gown from my first wedding is in storage in my garage...It's a beautiful, simple dress circa 1971...my girls (DD, DsD & nieces) are all taller with wider shoulders so wouldn't be able to wear it anyway. So it sits...who knows about the grandgirlies, it may be back in style then. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit...I'm good. A friend used the veil already, so that's an option going forward. However, I'll make the offer...don't care one way or another. 

 

Literally the baby can come any day now, but it will be here definitely before Christmas. 

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5 hours ago, BlueEyedGirl said:

I have two daughters, one lovely wedding dress, and zero expectations LOL. There is a certain style that seems to go with each decade, and the 90s were no exception. Actually, if we're being honest, the 80s/90s style wedding dresses were pretty much across the board large and puffy and mine was no exception. I LOVE that dress. and as far as 90s dresses, it's not over the top. That being said, I can't see either of my girls wanting to wear it, at least not in its original state. They might like it if they altered it. But if oldest dd were to alter it, there is no way youngest dd could ever wear it. Oldest dd is under 5 feet tall and weighs less than 100 pounds. If you'll pardon the phrase, no rear and no boobs to speak of lol. Youngest dd is 5'6", proper weight for her height, but inherited the family propensity towards a big rear end and boobs that will eventually cause back problems. So I have no expectations that my dress will ever come out of it's preservation box. It's there if they want it.

 

As far as expectations in general. Expectations are like opinions. And opinions are like....well....everyone has them. We all have a right to HAVE expectations. But we cannot force that expectation to be fulfilled.  So it is better for everyone if we manage our own expectations instead of expecting others to fulfill them. 

My stepmom has one of those dresses (I think my mom's is that way too), and we were laughing at the extreme measures that would be needed to turn it into anything someone would want to wear now days. I was married 11 years ago and my own dress is dated in a lot of ways-- especially my bridesmaids dresses. 

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2 hours ago, ImpishMom said:

On wedding dresses: I've worn mine for two Halloweens now, and will probably continue.

It was Wolf's idea to start with, and he and the kids get a huge kick out of it. Myself, I'm just laughing about the fact that, fourteen years and four more babies later, it still fits. 

Well, my dress is definitely not fitting on me anymore, so if I was in your shoes, I would definitely be wearing it as much as I could too. I was right out of college and these babies have definitely stretched and moved my body a lot. I wish it didn't cost so much to get the thing re-sealed because I would love to get it back out and take some trash the dress photos. 

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3 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

IMO, it can be hard not to have expectations. Sometimes they creep up on you (general) when least expect them. You can just be envisioning something for the pleasure of it, and, all of a sudden, it becomes an expectation. Not to mention that anticipation can be "half the fun" - and anticipation often involves some expectations, I think.

If you can go into a new situation - becoming a GP, for example, or seeing your AC get married, etc. - w/o any expectations, great. If not, if you can reframe them in your mind as "hopes," that's good, too, IMO. Most important, though, I believe, is to realize that your expectations might not be met/that the other people involved might have different expectations/hopes/visions of it than you do - especially if these other people are central to the scenario (the child's parents or the bride and groom, etc.).  Also, IMO, it's important to to accept it graciously if your expectations/hopes, therefore, don't come true.

About wedding dresses - Neither of my DDs wanted my wedding gown - and why should they? Styles had changed, etc. But each of them wove part of it into her bouquet (yes, I cut off strips of it for them). YDD saw this idea on a bridal website and they both loved it!  Me too! :)

Your way of using your dress was such a beautiful one! 

 

When I heard the sermon, I just kind of thought about all the expectations that literally destroyed my relationship with my ILs. Before I was married (I dated DH for 5 years), we had a good relationship with ILs. Because it fit the expectations. We were in high school, so ILs were in the center of decision making with DH. Then we went to college and ILs still helped DH with paying for half his apartment, etc and they were still very much in the middle of decison making with DH and all holidays were spent with our own families (we went together if it worked). So it never interfered with the expectations I had for them and they had for me. I followed them. Then the wedding happened and it got a little weird with the expectation that I was suppose to have MIL go with me to pick flowers since they were paying for some of them (ILs wanted to pay by the traditional rules of weddings, so I gave them invoices--- my parents just handed me money and I budgeted for what I wanted). I never thought about MiL wanting to be a part of it and her schedule didn't allow it. I just picked budget friendly flowers and went with the cheapest florist that was on the recommended list. I thought I was giving her what every MIL wanted by inviting her to see me try on and pick out my wedding dress. I am expected her to be happy with the dress shopping and she expected to be a part of the flowers. There was no communication, just assumption and then I felt that my gesture wasn't appreciated and she felt she wasn't consulted. 

And then with holidays. There was an expectation I would put DH's family first like MIL did and there was upset when that didn't happen. 

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I think about the idea of passing things on from time to time, especially as my DB and I cleared out my mom's house. We had quite a few discussions between the two of us about how either of us coped with our grief. I like tangible things - I chose to keep a small portion of her ashes, where DB felt no attachment to that and chose not to. Same thing with her possessions, I kept more sentimental things, while he kept only things he found he needed or were practical. Neither is wrong, but I can see where if it's what one party likes to do they can be offended if the other feels the opposite. 

My MIL kept items from DH's childhood that she liked and thought he would like, but it turns out it's not the stuff he wished she would've kept. It's definitely stuff that is more sentimental to her. She's started giving it back to him, and DH is not very sentimental. He'll just basically say something like oh cool, and then it gets tossed on a shelf or in a bin never to be looked at again. I don't know if this bothers her or not. And I get annoyed at having more clutter that my DH and kids are not interested in. 

I sometimes fall into thinking about putting things away for my boys. Right now I'm finishing up YDS's baby scrapbook. He loves looking at it right now, but I also have to remind myself that someday he may not care or want it, and that I made it because I enjoy it. 

I've been very conscious of my expectations of others when I started having issues with MIL, and to question whether or not my hurt stems from having and expectation and that others are free to make their own choices. 

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We did something slightly out-of-the-box...every year there is a new school pic...we always bought the 8x10, good or bad and it hung on the wall...3 kids in a row...each year we put the new on top of the old in the frame ending with their hs grad pic...My kids are now 37, 40 & 41....with each serious relationship, the two not involved would get down the frame of the kid involved for a little 'show & tell though the ages'....and laugh, laugh, laugh. DS' frame starts as a 2yo...I'm now doing the same with the GK...there was wall space in my dining room...and its unique to me.

DH's mom used to throw his stuff out (comic books & baseball cards from the 50s, yikes!) so he made a point to save DsD's stuff...she thought it was great until she had to sift & sort to see what she wanted to keep when we cleaned the attic. Her first comment was "I don't want anything YOU can just throw it all out"....Me "not so fast, kiddo, your stuff, you sort"...she did and took a carload of stuff with her. All the kids stuff is gone, my attic is empty (other than a few things of DS, but he'll deal with it)

I kept blankets my mom/aunts/friends made for my kids, which were used on their kids, not sure why I have them now, but there will be GGK within the next 15-20 years, so I'll hang on to those.  I have some infant girlie dresses from DD, which I just washed up for the new grand niece. DD has no sentimental attachment to them, so off they go.

I'll most likely appoint DD as steward of my saved stuff. She'll know what to do when the time comes.

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1 hour ago, NewMama said:

I think about the idea of passing things on from time to time, especially as my DB and I cleared out my mom's house. We had quite a few discussions between the two of us about how either of us coped with our grief. I like tangible things - I chose to keep a small portion of her ashes, where DB felt no attachment to that and chose not to. Same thing with her possessions, I kept more sentimental things, while he kept only things he found he needed or were practical. Neither is wrong, but I can see where if it's what one party likes to do they can be offended if the other feels the opposite. 

My MIL kept items from DH's childhood that she liked and thought he would like, but it turns out it's not the stuff he wished she would've kept. It's definitely stuff that is more sentimental to her. She's started giving it back to him, and DH is not very sentimental. He'll just basically say something like oh cool, and then it gets tossed on a shelf or in a bin never to be looked at again. I don't know if this bothers her or not. And I get annoyed at having more clutter that my DH and kids are not interested in. 

I sometimes fall into thinking about putting things away for my boys. Right now I'm finishing up YDS's baby scrapbook. He loves looking at it right now, but I also have to remind myself that someday he may not care or want it, and that I made it because I enjoy it. 

I've been very conscious of my expectations of others when I started having issues with MIL, and to question whether or not my hurt stems from having and expectation and that others are free to make their own choices. 

MIL has taken to sending bits and pieces of Wolf's childhood to us. Unfortunately, thus far, it's all been bad memories for him. Like the report card that talks about parents having the responsibility to 'correct physical defects' in their children (private religious schools that MIL spent her career transferring around the country teaching for). Only a handful of pictures of him, though, and none from when he was first placed w/her. Everything she's sent, he's glanced at, made a few angry comments, and tossed.

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21 hours ago, MBear said:

.I now am thinking to the future and am trying to make sure to catch myself when I start setting up expectations for the future with my own kids. Even silly things. Like I am done having kids (after I deliver the one i am pregnant with currently) and I have all boys. My sister is getting married and we were discussing veils as heirlooms and wedding dresses on what can be done with them for future daughters. And I made some comment about I need to come up with an alternative since I have all boys (personally in my head was thinking of donation-- if I could every part with it) and someone said I should keep it for my granddaughters. I agreed in the moment, but then later thought about how horrible of an expectation I might be setting up if I kept the dress and built up the idea of doing something for my granddaughters-- what if their own mother wanted to do something and she felt I was taking that from her? I would never want to do that to my DIL. So it's a good reminder to keep the dress if I want to, but not start building an expectation that I will have a GD and have her wear my veil. And this example is real trivial, but I think it's important to keep these expectations in check and be aware of how they creep in, even as a sincere thing. 

 

Definitely agree on not building an expectation about this ^^^. IMO, it's not "real trivial" at all, as it could be the beginning of building all kinds of expectations regarding your DSs and their kids (if they even choose to have kids), etc.

6 hours ago, MBear said:

Your way of using your dress was such a beautiful one! 

Thank you!

 

When I heard the sermon, I just kind of thought about all the expectations that literally destroyed my relationship with my ILs. Before I was married (I dated DH for 5 years), we had a good relationship with ILs. Because it fit the expectations. We were in high school, so ILs were in the center of decision making with DH. Then we went to college and ILs still helped DH with paying for half his apartment, etc and they were still very much in the middle of decison making with DH and all holidays were spent with our own families (we went together if it worked). So it never interfered with the expectations I had for them and they had for me. I followed them. Then the wedding happened and it got a little weird with the expectation that I was suppose to have MIL go with me to pick flowers since they were paying for some of them (ILs wanted to pay by the traditional rules of weddings, so I gave them invoices--- my parents just handed me money and I budgeted for what I wanted). I never thought about MiL wanting to be a part of it and her schedule didn't allow it. I just picked budget friendly flowers and went with the cheapest florist that was on the recommended list. I thought I was giving her what every MIL wanted by inviting her to see me try on and pick out my wedding dress. I am expected her to be happy with the dress shopping and she expected to be a part of the flowers. There was no communication, just assumption and then I felt that my gesture wasn't appreciated and she felt she wasn't consulted. 

This ^^^^ sounds like a simple matter of misunderstandings and mismatched expectations.

And then with holidays. There was an expectation I would put DH's family first like MIL did and there was upset when that didn't happen. 

But this ^^^ goes beyond that, IMO. This, to me, seems like a matter of refusing to look further than themselves/of forgetting/ignoring the fact that anyone else has a FOO - w/ needs, wants, expectations, etc. - and just assuming people are going to cater to them and do what they did, etc. :(

 

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On 11/16/2017 at 1:07 PM, MBear said:

And then with holidays. There was an expectation I would put DH's family first like MIL did and there was upset when that didn't happen. 

DIL has no family to share holidays with; what I never expected was to be told we no long fit with how they want to raise their kids; and friends will always come before family. 

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