5 Reasons It Pays To Lower Your Expectations of Your Ex
We hear this all the time. Lower your expectations then you won’t be disappointed. Seriously, who wants to lower their expectations to begin with? Why can’t we dream big and hold the people in our lives to a higher standard? Why is it so difficult for someone to give back what they would like to give to themselves? Chances are you are dealing with an ex of some sort and there are many ways that lowering your expectations of them are very important for not only your healing, but your sanity.
Divorce and Friends – This is a touchy ground of divorce we are already walking on. Rally your support, but also do not expect all of your friends, especially mutual married friends to be on your side. It seems to be another asset lost in the world of divorce. This is why we need to lower our expectations when it comes to our friends. It’s human and natural to seek their approval and want them to be on your “team”. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say or know what to do to help so do not expect much. Your true girlfriends are always going to be there for you just like you would be for them.
Realizing You Ex is Your Ex for a reason – If you are going through or are on the other side of a divorce then you know all too well that lowering your expectations of your ex is the only way to go when dealing with this life change. While this is the person you have lived with, slept with, and created many memories with, they are your ex for a reason or for many, many reasons in my case. So why do we expect things to change when that husband becomes an ex-husband? It certainly doesn’t and there’s nothing we can do to change it. It’s time to move on and allow yourself to get past the disappointments and all the not quite met expectations and start living your life for you. It’s YOUR time now. Take your life back! Live without all the disappointments that come with having high expectations when realizing your ex is your ex for a very good reason.
Less Expectations = Less Stress – Going through a divorce is a gut wrenching experience for all parties involved. Our differences are clearly different, but both the divorcer and the divorcee have pain and it could very well have been there for years. So while dealing with the biggest change in your life let’s try to give ourselves time to breathe without all the extra stress that is involved. There’s no other blood boiling experience than dealing with a difficult ex. Whether it’s about finances, settlements, or child support. Try to take a deep, deep breath and let that stress go. Lowering our expectation that they will rise to the occasion and always do the right thing is just not realistic. (See reasons above!) So have some wine, take a hot bubble bath, and revisit the situation after time to calm down and de-stress.
Dealing with Exes and our Children – We did accept these fellas for who they were and decided to marry them and have children with them. Did we not? And guess what? Just because we are divorcing, it’s not going to change our view on what type of parent they are or even were when we were married. Even more so, it will become very apparent to us that there are huge changes in the way you parent vs. them that will need to be accepted not expected from your ex. In most cases, the dad is the “fun” one during this time of separation and divorce. If your ex is anything like mine, then he will let the kids stay up way too late, eat way too much junk food, and swim in the summers until their heart is content. This leaves me with very tired, very cranky, and extremely sunburned buckaroos at drop off. But as long as I accept it and not expect any different, I’m not that surprised and because I’m the mom and care about those little annoyances (not talking about neglect or parent alienation) I’m able to shipshape these little God given creatures back to the way they were. Viola!
Embrace Where You Are – “I’m divorced and I’m okay.” That should be your new mantra. We are still here. Took a licking and we are still kicking. Our hearts may be broken and some days the tears seem endless most days, but it really is okay. If we expect to be “over” this already, we are only setting ourselves up for more disappointments and more resentment. Take your time. Embrace where you are. It’s ok to have bad days. Do not expect anything less or more. Once a good day comes along you we realize you didn’t expect it and it will feel like the greatest gift!
Remember that high expectations are just planned disappointments. Expecting too much of others and of ourselves is just not possible during this time. Our hearts are already heavy, but they will be light again! I won’t give up and I don’t want you to either.