"You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations."
"Love puts the focus on personal responsibility and improving yourself rather than on demanding more from others."
How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:4-5
In stead of nitpicking and trying to change your partner, instead of focusing on what is wrong with them, Love encourages the other. Choose to find ways to lift up your spouse instead of tearing them down. Be a positive and supporting partner as your spouse seeks to find their true self, their best self. And by doing it together, through positive encouragement, you both become your best selves, your best couple.
"Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you that you are expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love."
"When you place high expectations on your spouse that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself? What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?"
This one hits home for me and is something I struggle with. On one specific issue. And it's a hard one for me to let go because I feel like I already put a great amount of effort into letting it go and giving him his own time and timeline to figure it out.
Jeff's a packrat and a slob when it come to space. Our bedroom is a disaster area. Our dining room is taken over by stuff. Our garage is almost completely unusable. Our basement... which could be a nice family room... is a massive pile of stuff and garbage. It's unsafe.
Jeff knows it needs to be cleaned up. He knows that this way of living is not ok- especially now that we have kids. But he doesn't change.
Are my expectations too high? From the outside, most would say no.
But I know that there are deep issues for him when it come to his stuff. Deep. And he was like this- and worse- when we met. So I knew what I was getting into.
So this, to me, is exactly the kind of thing that I need to let go and let God, so to speak. And hope that someday, Jeff gets the message and chooses to show his own love by cleaning up our home so that we have more family space and less off-limits space.
So today, I'm going to release it. Take the mess off my shoulders. It's an ongoing thing for me but I need to let it go.