My three-year-old son suffers from asthma. A few nights ago, he woke up, unable to breathe and I had to rush him to the hospital. I am a single mother, so this involved waking up my five-year-old daughter, rushing down the stairs, loading everyone in the car, and speeding to the hospital. I was panicked and it was stressful to say the least.
On the way to the hospital, I called my ex-husband, asking that he come pick my daughter up from the hospital. He came straight away but once he arrived, he wasn’t able to leave. My son cried for his father every time he got up to go. And I was angry. I wasn’t angry that my son wanted his father, I was angry because my ex wasn’t doing what I had asked of him. I had created an expectation of him that he could not fulfill and in return, I punished him with my anger. Looking back at that moment now, I ask myself, “How could you ask a father to leave his son, crying in the hospital, just so your expectations could be met?”
My son was treated and released from the hospital in good health, but in the days that followed, I was the one in desperate need of help. I was in pain and I felt that I had entered into darkness. I didn’t understand what it was all about. I cried and I prayed. Literally, on my knees, asking God for a miracle. I got my miracle today…in the form of a change in perception. An acknowledgment of my contribution to the death of my marriage. You see, my husband was unfaithful in our marriage. And the tendency for those of us who have been betrayed in that way, is to put all of the blame on the spouse who “did you wrong.” After much prayer and introspection, what I came to realize today is that I had a part to play too. I was controlling in my marriage. I set expectations for my husband that he could not fulfill and so he failed me time and again.
This insight was powerful, life-changing, and transformative. What this means to me now, is that I never have to be that person again. I can move forward in a new relationship, aware of the damage that can be caused by loving with expectations.
The pain I went through was meaningful. It took me going through the darkness in order to transcend to a better state of emotional awareness. And today, my spirit has been lifted.
A TDL Reader