So, I went to the source… the bible. I read ever scripture on marriage, relationships, the male role, the female role… everything. I became the Proverbs woman. I needed more. I need all the “proper” skills, sure I could cook but… I needed more. Cooking classes. I cooked, and I cooked, and I cooked. I’m ready for Top Chef! More. My house is clean, but is it “clean”? Okay… cleaning is not my favorite thing, but I made it my “thing”. Bring on your white gloves!
Cooking. Cleaning. That’s all good, but it isn’t 1955, I needed more. I continued to pursue every interest I had… piano, dance, foreign languages… whatever my heart desired I did. I was ready. I’ve done most of what I want to do; the only big goal left was starting my family. Sharing my life with that one special, awesome King God made just for me. He was nowhere to be found, but I wasn’t discouraged, he was coming. Then I noticed I was acquiring a lot of male friends and a lot were in or just getting out of bad relationships. It took awhile for me to put it together, but most had the same complaints: She didn’t want to work. She was lazy. She was ghetto. Had too many kids. She wasn’t this. She wasn’t that. Okay… cool. Then I noticed, these same men were getting into multiple relationships like that.
We can all make a mistake. Most of us have at least one relationship we regret, but when you are dating the same person, in different bodies, over and over… it isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice. It is what you like. No one wants to believe that they “want” someone that isn’t going to call, keep a clean house, not work, or has a lot of drama… but there are too many women out there like that, and too many men dating them for there not to be a demand. No woman wants to say “I want a thug” “I want a man that is going to be dependent on me for his shelter, food, and transportation; however, there are too many relationships like that for there not to be a demand.
I was talking to a male friend that I was really starting to “like”. Very intelligent. Hard-working. Goal-oriented. I was impressed. Then I just randomly asked the question: “So, what are your expectations for your mate?” I was expecting the stereotypical answer I normally get: Sexy, intelligent, funny, good cook blah blah blah, you know the things you’d expect a man to say just because it sounds “right”. Well, I was in for a rude awakening, his response: “I don’t have any expectations.” Huh? I had to have him repeat it. No expectations at all? If you don’t have any expectations, then how do you know what you want? If there are no expectations then you can’t be disappointed in anything that you get. My puzzlement seemed puzzling to him. I, admittedly, was almost irate. You mean to tell me, I’ve prided myself on becoming “wife” material, and no one is really looking for that. No one cares if you cook, keep a clean home, have outside interests, and most importantly have a relationship with God.
It suddenly all became clear. Most of my friends, of course, share similar interests. Most of my friends are also single… except the ones who oddly enough, are a little “looser” with their values. Unbelievable! How did I not notice that before? My mind started to spin… this man told me he had no expectations for his wife. Divorce rate is 50%… that is NOT a coincidence. I remembered having a similar conversation with a few male friends, that are divorced, and they made mention of things their ex-wives didn’t do that they ASSUMED a wife would. When asked if it were discussed that would be her role in the relationship prior to marriage they all said “no.” You can’t fault someone for doing… or not doing… what you “assumed” they would. One man was disappointed his wife didn’t fix his dinner plate. His mother fixed his dad’s plate. The wife of his friend’s fixed their plate. It was his assumption she would automatically do that. She didn’t grow up in a household like that, and it was HER assumption he would fix his own plate. Expectation not expressed, disappointment ensued.
When you expect nothing… that’s exactly what you get. If you have no expectations, you don’t know what to look for. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know what their expectations should be until it’s too late. There’s nothing wrong with expecting your spouse to perform certain tasks… as long as it is discussed with them prior to marriage. The problem is not the expecting… it’s the assuming. We should all be looking for the things we need to make us happy, no matter how small. No one can tell you what you should expect. Going into a relationship of any kind with assumptions is never a good thing. What’s worse is going into a marriage with the thought if it doesn’t work there is always divorce. Think on what you want. Think on what you need. Find the person that meets those qualifications, and has expectations of their own, because you never want to be on the receiving end of someone’s assumption.