A good deal of the pain we feel in our day to day lives comes from unmet expectations.
As an example, if my husband doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the hamper I become upset, but only because I expect him to put them in the hamper. The same is true, for example, of my parents: they feel a great deal of pain today because I didn’t live up to their expectations as an adult daughter.
She grew up in a liberal agnostic family, and is today a career woman with a high power job, a successful husband, and a young child.We talked about relationships and my background, and I asked her a few questions.It turns out, like I expected, that she doesn’t feel at all upset by the fact that her husband dated other women before her, or by the fact that he had sex with other women before her.Similarly, he is not upset by the fact that she dated around and had sex before he met her.In fact, they are today still good friends with several of their exes, and in fact, friends with each other’s exes.
When I first started dating the man who is now my husband, I was horrified by the fact that he had dated other women before me, and been physically intimate with them.I felt angry, angry at him and angry at those other girls.I knew one of them – she lived in my dorm – and I have to say I almost hated her. The thing I most regret about that early time was what I did to my wonderful boyfriend because of this. I made sure my boyfriend knew that he had hurt me by dating and being intimate with others before me, and I worked hard to make sure he felt the proper amount of remorse.I felt that she had taken something from me, something precious, simply by dating my husband. And he did, but only because he could see that he had hurt me, not because he actually thought he had been wrong in what he had done.He had given away a piece of his heart, I believed, and now the heart he would give me was incomplete. My cousin never expected that she would be her husbands’ first. He told me that the pain I felt was based not on actual harm but rather on unmet expectations.We could never have the best, all because he had dated before. He told me that he loved me, and that those past relationships did not weaken his love for me. I said a lot of awful things to him, things that I regret.