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Expectations Ruin Relationships : My Story

Expectations Ruin Relationships

 

 

“Expectations Ruin Relationships”

 

These words rang so true when I first heard them come from the beautiful Melissa Ambrosini, just over 12mths ago and I thought I had done really well implementing this divine idea. Don’t get me wrong, with my man, I did and we are so much better for it. But I hadn’t thought about the impact it was having within my friendship groups, mainly in one, very painful area.

 

My Dad.

 

More specifically what happened around the time he died.

 

Not one of my friends came to his funeral. Not one. (In full transparency my beautiful girl Ali, who I have known her whole life did come, but she is more like a sister and I am grateful for that every day). But the people I considered to be some of my closest friends, the ones I had supported through babies and sick parents and break ups were nowhere to be found. I EXPECTED they would support me in the way I would them. And there lies the obvious problem. I expected.

 

There is a scene I love in Sex and the City when Miranda’s mother dies. Carries says in the narrative “There’s the kind of support you ask for and a kind of support you don’t ask for. And then there’s the kind that just shows up. “And sadly, much to my surprise, no one showed up for me.

 

And it hurt me deeply.

 

Truth be told, it still does, I have let it fester, I haven’t said a word about it, until now. 

 

I have let it distance me from them. I have pulled away for fear of being hurt and let down again. One of the most painful things I have ever experience was overlooked by those that I thought loved me the most. Please understand, they sent me messages of support, they didn’t forget me all together, but they weren’t there. I needed to look around and see them and know that I was supported; I needed them to walk past and squeeze my hand. I needed them there.

 

Why are we so afraid to tell those we love, the way we feel?

 

I guess in this instance, I just didn’t know if they would get it. And are they going to be angry that I chose to blog about it rather than raise it directly? Probably. Possibly, I hope not. But this is my truth, my safe space and I am sick of carrying it around with me. It is no good for me, it has me stuck and angry and I don’t want to be either.

 

So today, I let go of that expectation, the one that says we show up for one another no matter what and understand that life gets in the way sometimes, that all I can do is own my anger, pay attention and let it go, because, truly, life is too short.

 

Which is what I should have remembered in the first place.

 

Much love, em x

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Naomi Arnold
    December 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Oh wow honey, thank you for baring your heart in this way. I’m so sorry that your friends weren’t there for you on this day.

    It has also helped me in a big way – as I would have held the same expectations as you. Thanks to you, I know now not to expect that my friends will know that I’ll need them in this way, when my Dad passes. I will make a conscious effort to ask those who I need to be there for me in this way.

    Much love and so much gratitude for sharing xx.

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Naomi,
      I am so glad it illuminated this for you, if I could go back, I would ask, as you know I was so lucky to be surrounded and embraced by my then new BYCA friends online and that truly meant the world. Sending you lots of love x

  • Reply
    Georgia
    December 17, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Oh Em, I can feel your hurt here and it’s beautiful to see that you can finally let it go. You’ve actually made me think about how I was as s friend for my girlfriend when her mum died recently. I didn’t show up because I thought that she would just want to be with her immediate family and even though I’ve spoken with my friend about it since, I didn’t ever consider things from this perspective. So Thankyou for your story & sharing it’s given me a very good arh-ha moment and shows me yet again, how important good communication is.
    By the way hon, I dont believe in should so please scrap that notion from your head – you did the best you could at the time, as I’m sure your friends did.
    I truly hope that with the writing of this, your pain and hurt has eased. Loads of love and hugs.
    G xx

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      You are so welcome beautiful Georgia, we so often worry we will be in the way don’t we. It was certainly a lovely lesson in asking for what I need, I have done so much work around that area with my partner, I just had never thought about applying it to my friendships, we all most definitely do the best we can with what we have. Thank you for being here x

  • Reply
    Claire Baker
    December 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    One of the most important lessons my Dad taught us as kids was not to run away when our friends and family were grieving. It seems to make sense in our rational minds that they might ‘need some space’ to deal with their loss, but it was really only when I needed that kind of support and love IN THE FLESH that I realised how true my Dad’s words were.

    It’s a gift to be able to sit with someone in their pain, and just be there; yet unfortunately it’s not something that we are taught to do. When I feel confused about this one, I always try to come back to: ‘We’re all doing the best with what we have, at the time.”

    Big love to you, I hope sharing this brings some healing x

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Your Dad was definitely on the money babe. There is nothing like that in the flesh support (although I was pretty darn lucky to have beautiful online support from darling friends like you, who I wouldn’t have made it out the other side without!). Thank you so much babe x

  • Reply
    Bettina
    December 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Love reading your blog miss Em xx so truthful

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks Bee, that means the world to me x

  • Reply
    Sarah
    December 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    When things like this have happened to me, I always remember something I read once… ‘Life goes on around us when bad stuff is happening to us, not in spite of us, but for us…’ Friends first, sister-in-laws second… Love you xxx

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks beauty, I love that xxx

  • Reply
    Lisa Humphries
    December 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    OH this post is so close to my heart and my own experience.
    It is one of the hardest things in life, to let go of expectation.
    My shouldn’t we expect our friends to be at the funeral of our parents?
    I am in a constant internal struggle with this, and other expectations.
    I want to let them go, but something in my heart and soul is telling me that those who are the ones we need in our lives, our true soul mates, forever friends, will be aligned with our own values and they will be there for us when we need them most?
    Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal xx

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks so much Lisa, I certainly share the struggle with that. I was so lucky at the time that I had just met a few wonderful ladies that were totally aligned with me and I remember and cherish their kindness at that time when they barely knew me xx

  • Reply
    Keri Krieger
    December 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Ah darling. This is such a hard one. And you know, having been through a significant death and a divorce in the same year what I learnt (the hard way a bit like you) is that it wasn’t about me or how my friends did or didn’t want to be there for me (or love me). It was actually about whether they were able for the emotions and ‘stuff’ it bought up in them. Their fears of loss, unresolved loss, discontent in their own partnerships. And it reaaaaally hurts when the support doesn’t show but I hope writing about this helps your heart open back up again. Big and bold! We just get to be choosy who we do the big scary stuff with. Not everyone is equiped. So much love to you. Grief is one big ball of string xxx

    • Reply
      Emma
      December 17, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much beautiful. It is so true. When I think back to my divorce, I remember feeling the same way with certain people and you are so right in the fact of being selective with those we share the big stuff with. I had completely forgotten feeling that way at that time. It’s almost like it is the same damn ball of string. I so appreciate your support, so glad you drifted on into my life via the farm! x

      • Reply
        Keri
        December 20, 2015 at 8:27 am

        Me too!! Those girls are the bomb xx

  • Reply
    Emma
    December 18, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Thank you for writing such an honest, open post. I could relate so very much to your words. I lost my Dad to cancer earlier this year, and like you, my friends were no where to be seen at his funeral. It hurts. It’s strange.

    I have managed to let go of any resentment I felt towards my friends, much helped by reminding myself of the wonderful things that they HAVE done during our friendship. And reminding myself that maybe they just didn’t know what to do?

    I hope sharing your feelings in this blog has helped you begin to let go a little too

    Much love,

    Emma x

    • Reply
      Emma
      January 4, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Thanks so much Emma and I am so sorry to hear you went through the same thing, both with your Dad and your friends.It is such a challenging time and I guess we all do the best we can with what we have. Loved that this resonated with you xx

  • Reply
    Deborah Chalk
    December 29, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Thanks for sharing this heartfelt piece. I can see how you moved from fighting what happened and the fact that people didn’t turn up to a place of more inner peace about i,t which meant that you were able to write this. You were able to get on while still acknowledging your own feelings about this. I commend you for that.

    • Reply
      Emma
      January 4, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Thanks Deborah x

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