Letting Go of Expectations

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    You just blew my mind in the most glorious way.

    Not only have you provided very insightful metaphors, but you have some actual quotes that I will memorize and use when the time is right. I have felt so wounded, but my impulsive reactions are working against my interests. I know I embrace Western impulses to keep score and view difficulties in a relationship through a zero-sum lens.

    But figuring out how change this is very difficult. And that is my challenge, though you’ve helped a great deal, especially with this last post of yours.

    @aMatt said:

    Even the most loving lioness roars when a thorn is in her paw. Her motive is the same as it always is, she’s trying to find happiness. Said differently, there is a big, huge, difference between having afflictive motives, and trying not to take ownership of her own thoughts, feelings, and actions. “I hit you from love, I swear it” is garbage of course, but it doesn’t mean she wants to hit you, perhaps is afraid that if she exposes her imperfection, you’ll do terrible things with it. How much fun would you have, for instance, were she to say to you she lashed out in anger. “I knew it, you have bad motives!” Rather than “of course, my love, your anger makes sense, come to my arms and find comfort”.

    I don’t know about good Buddhists, but perhaps letting go might be “set aside your fear that she intends harm”. It seems more like she is afraid herself, perhaps that you don’t love the real her, warts and all. So she tries to hide them, and can’t.

    You’re right to notice she doesn’t fight fair… but consider that you perhaps seem much stronger than she feels, and so any tool to do the needed job. Like, Toddzilla looms over her, and she kicks at your balls. Perhaps the lesson is less looming? Less “trying to ferret out the truth”, and more “invite her to love you.”

    With warmth,



    Thanks for sharing your story. I think the whole American (which i am) concept of marriage is very much we-share-all-our-pain-and-joy, which may lead to expectations. I’m struggling with that right now, trying to come out the back side in a more enlightened state.

    A lot of this will involve re-hashing my childhood, which while mostly joyful, has its influences that linger to this day.


    @practicingpatience said:
    Hi Todzilla,

    I struggle with this too. Our situations are a lot different, but I have recently made the realization that my expectations are getting in the way of my happiness and ruining my relationships. So I am trying to release them as well. I’m sorry I don’t have any advice, but am grateful that you posted this because of the responses it’s prompting!

    Matt – thank you so much for sharing your insights with us! I am frequently blown away by your perspective and I really can’t tell you how much you’ve helped me deal with my daily struggles in a much more peaceful and positive way. This topic in particular I am loving your responses to. I love your analogy of the King coming home to his Queen and not rehashing stories of the battle. BUT what I continue to struggle with (albeit less and less frequently!) is the worry that by not sharing things that are bothering me (little things that happen at work, etc) there is a distance that is created between me and my boyfriend. Like I’m not sharing my day with him, so this must be a bad thing. I think the more I just let myself be present and enjoy moments with him and not poop in his face, the more we BOTH enjoy each other and THIS is what strengthens our relationship, not the constant-sharing-of-shitty-moments-of-the-day. But, I am just curious about your perspective on this?

    Maggie Black

    Great post here! Thanks to everyone for the interaction. Very helpful on many levels.
    Glad to see some healing going on for you, Todd.
    At some point I would have said that she is passive aggressive and ?? what do we do now?
    Matt stayed the course and held out to make this Todd’s responsibility as far as handling it from his end.
    Instead of pointing blame on another, responsibility was taken to heal things by loving MORE.
    It gives me great hope that this approach is working.
    Blessed be to all.


    I honestly don’t think you need to lower your expectations, if this is what you need, this is what you need, you just need to come to terms with the fact it needs to come from you. Being in a relationship you can hope for certain aspects, like; affections, kindness and thoughtfulness etc but you have to be able to give this to yourself in the first instance.
    If your partner wanted you to make her a perfect hot chocolate exactly the way she wanted without any instruction it would be near impossible to do. To have this knowledge means it reinforces an inner belief, no one can make me the perfect hot chocolate. Who do you really want this comfort from, where has it been missing in your past? This is where it stems from and the route of your true expectation. As an adult I have had to learn what I need and give it to myself. Sometimes I need to watch a sad film to cry or go to the top of the hill and scream or give myself a warm bubbly bath. As simple and perhaps unpleasing as these may be to you, these give me comfort. If I want outside help I need to fully explore inside help first because without this knowledge I can’t tell someone else how to help me. If i’m tired I’ve learned to tell my partner ‘I’m tired’ and ‘Please can I talk to you/please can you help me with this’. When that person says ‘What do you need’ you need to know this. From what you have said, you want unconditional love, real love. If your partner behaved in a similar manner would you feel open to express your love? Why have these behaviours become habit, when have they worked in the past to get what you want? The main question is where does this negative state originate and where in your history have you learned it is ok to dump it on anyone? Who taught you this? Could this stem from a fear of abandonment?
    My honest feeling is although you have been together for a long time, people change and right now you need to explore your pathology, not hers. Once you can connect with this inner struggle as said above so beautifully, the explanation makes no difference, asking for a head rub or a cuddle when you need one becomes the focus. She may not know how to diffuse your anger but giving a hug is easy when asked for x

    I hope since the start of this post you have found peace xx

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