What’s her secret? She’s given up all expectations in the relationship.
“Marriage is about managing expectations. If I expect nothing from him, at least I’m not disappointed. I am so tired of opening myself up, only to be hurt again.”
I wonder, is she faking the pain?
While I don’t want to discount her pain – and I know firsthand that unrealistic expectations (or even reasonable expectations) can cause more hurt and pain when people disappoint us – I’m just not ready to subscribe to the theory that one can “manage” pain by giving up hope.
Numb the pain? Maybe.
Ok, I realize there are seasons when we’re in survival mode – when numbing the pain is the best we can do. But hear me out. Have we missed the boat on this whole “pain management” theory?
We say things like, “People are always going to disappoint me. I only need God to make me happy.” We marginalize our relationships with other people so the pain doesn’t hurt as much. We put up walls. We pretend it doesn’t hurt. Then, we tell ourselves we are spiritually mature for “managing expectations.”
Is this the best we can do? Doesn’t God have something better in mind? And hasn’t he put us in relationship with other people – people who will give us joy, hope, and even pain?
While expectations can kill, life without hope is sterile. Lifeless. Sure, I’ve heard it said, “Hope is in God. Expectations are in other people.” But in practical terms, the lines are a bit gray. Which is why I’m constantly struggling to balance these two seemingly competing sisters: Hope and Expectation.
How do you reconcile the two?