Do you ever find yourself in such a frenzy about something or someone you think to yourself I need to end this NOW...?! Maybe it's an argument with a loved one, some critical feedback from a boss or a roommate who has once again moved your stuff around.... regardless, it's annoying and it 'feels' like it's just about put you over the edge.
I was recently talking with someone who's in a new marriage, in fact, in her first year of marriage. She was describing how intolerant she has been feeling about her husbands ways - his needing to have the T.V. on first thing in the morning to catch the football game, eating sugar throughout the day (versus three healthy square meals) and having to sleep with X amount of pillows so he is 'perfectly' comfortable at night. As I listened to her I was empathizing, yet also chuckling to myself because of course, I could relate. Somehow as much as I love something or someone, there always seems to come a time when I find something wrong with it or them - things that IRK me. And, it's usually because something isn't being done "MY WAY". I'm especially 'irked' when I believe my way is the RIGHT WAY or the ONLY WAY. It boils down to control - wanting to be in charge.... be the boss.... be the one who is RIGHT. And, of course, I'm not any of those. Furthermore, I have my own ways that, no doubt, could be seen as annoying (and probably are at times). Like being OCD in my cleanliness, having to make the bed a certain way and having to eat at certain times of the day which can be very un-sexy and un-spontaneous.
What I loved about our conversation was that by the end my friend had worked out enough of her initial lioness frustration, that she came back to a place of love and compassion for this man she dearly loves. She was able to recognize that they are both in a time of transition, especially him given that he'd moved to another city to be with her, leaving his long-time community behind. She began to see her side of the equation and recognize her frustrations were largely due to expectations not being met (those damn expectations!).
Through this conversation I was able to see my relationship in hers. I was able to see how the feelings I experience (albeit different circumstances) are similar to hers. I recognize that often I want what I want when I want it ..... as in NOW! And, if I don't get it, I get annoyed. And, that annoyance gets easily escalated if I fail to see my part of the equation and/or the bigger picture. When there is too much focus OVER THERE (i.e. on HIM) - what he's doing, not doing, how he's contributing or the way he's taking care of himself and not enough focus on ME (i.e. the way I'm taking care of MYSELF or the things I'm doing to fulfill myself) there is far too much pressure on 'something' else to make me happy. Which of course, always leads to disappointment and unmet expectations.
Bottom line - people are people are people. We all come from different walks of life with different influences ..... and then, we get into relationship with one another. Is it any wonder that we're going to have differences, frustrations and disappointments? Of course not. Yet, how easy it is to forget this. This is why it's so important to share our stories, our fears, our disappointments, our relationship woes .... because we get to see that it's ALL normal which is an enormous relief.
Relationships of all kinds are up and down and circular and stale and super duper fabulous and ridiculously amazing ..... they're an delicious blend of everything. And, through all the ebbing and flowing we need consistent communication, patience and ultimately a willingness to let go of our expectations. This is what 'work'n it out' is all about .... underneath the anger, the frustration, the annoyances, intolerances...etc..... for most of us there is a tender place that simply wants to give and receive love.
So, here's to sharing more of our stories with one another and lightening UP! We're all human with foibles and imperfections ..... let us laugh at ourselves and fall back in love with the people we truly adore in our lives.