We’ve been watching the Olympics most nights for the past two weeks. And by “watching” of course I mean it’s on in the background as we compete in the nightly Bedtime Triathlon (brush teeth, bedtime story, and a 2 year old insisting on putting his pjs on by himself…yay).
You’ve probably heard about studies that say that bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists.
I mean, remember how unimpressed McKayla Maroney was with her silver medal in the vault?
The there’s Noelle Pikus-Pace who won the silver medal last week in the Women’s Skeleton. And she was overjoyed. Like, barely got off of her sled before she was running into the stands to hug her husband and kids who have followed her all over the country as she chased her Olympic dreams.
It fascinates me that there are so many reactions to getting a medal. And because everything is so intense it’s almost impossible for an athlete to hide their true feelings about what they’ve accomplished.
And when I think about anyone that’s sulking after winning a medal of any kind I think, “Well, that’s just silly! I’d be happy with anything! It’s the freakin’ Olympics!”
But that’s because I don’t have any expectations, especially Olympic-sized ones. Unless, of course, Cheeto-eating becomes a sport.
Expectations. That’s where we lose perspective. It isn’t bad, and it’s totally human, but it’s a great place to start looking when you’re in an unnatural funk.
Marriage expectations are the worst. Because I’m pretty sure that McKayla is pretty much over not winning the gold. I mean, I’m sure it isn’t her favorite memory, but I’m fairly certain she can laugh about it now.
But the unmet expectations of marriage don’t happen just once every four years. No, this can be a daily thing. Heck, on a bad weekend, it can be an hourly thing! And boy can it eat away at a perfectly good relationship.
If you’re going into marriage expecting it to be all perfect triple toe loops and flawless trips down the slopes, um, brace yourself. Marriage is bumpy and ugly and hard. He’s going to annoy you and do stupid things. You’re going to say something hurtful and lose your cool. The best way to not be destroyed by unmet expectations is to make sure the ones you have are realistic.
I married a matter-of-fact introvert that has an aversion to spending money on the frivolous. I’m probably never going to get a diamond encrusted iPhone case accompanied by a sonnet he wrote about how deep his love runs for me. This is ok with me because I know who I’m married to and (more importantly) I love who I’m married to.
If I did expect fancy iPhone cases and sonnets, I need to be really clear about that because my man is never gonna figure that one out on his own. If your spouse doesn’t know what you want he can’t give it to you.
Also, if you’re not being clear with him he’s probably going to assume that he’s doing a damn fine job and will be bewildered when you come to him saying that marriage is not what you expected. Mind reading is not romance, Ladies. TELL HIM WHAT YOU NEED.
Pop quiz: Go ask your husband if you’ve ever been mad at him and he thought (even for a split second), “Why is she pissed? Any other lady would be happy with me. I come home, I pay the bills, I don’t hurt her…. WHY CAN’T SHE JUST BE HAPPY?!?!”
Ok, you’re not in the Olympics, but remember where you are at. You are in a marriage. You are building a life with this person. You have someone to play footsies with on cold nights. You have someone to call when you get dreadful news. You have someone to stay home and eat Chinese with when the idea of putting heels on makes you die a little inside. You have someone that
pretends to cares about your opinion about Syria. You have a guaranteed hug before you leave the house. You have someone’s heart.
So, yes, things probably aren’t going to be everything you want and more. And you might be in a season of marriage where you’re feeling more like 2014 Shaun White than 2010 Shaun White, but that’s ok. Unlike the Olympics, you have a chance to win every single day, not just every 4 years.