Learning to deal with our expectations was key to our marital success. Mike and I had very specific expectations of what the other person should be like or how they should treat us. We had expectations about what married life needed to look like and there were many other expectations.
God was most gracious when he gave me a word picture that helped me "see" Mike's limitations; see Mike's humanity. Prior to this time, I was upset with Mike because I thought, "You're a grown man, you're smart, you're successful, why is it so hard for you to love me in the ways I think I need or deserve to be loved? Why is it so hard for you to remember _____?"
Here's what the Father did for me. He showed me that even though Mike and I were adults when we married, in some ways we were still wounded little kids. Significant people in our lives had created "holes" in our lives. "Holes" are created when legitimate childhood needs are not adequately met or not met at all. Siblings, parents, teachers, coaches, fellow students, friends, and others did not love us in ways we needed. I'm not blaming them because most people are doing their best with what they have at a given moment. This is not about placing blame on anyone; it is about legitimate childhood needs going unmet.
Unmet needs tend to create expectations and they set the tone for how we manage life. Unmet needs cause us to be more driven and determined than others. Unmet needs are usually the main culprits in developing our adult addictions. We are running after stuff in hopes of filling a specific "hole."
The word picture God gave me was seeing Mike, as an adult, lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen tent over his head and torso. He was unconscious and so when I entered the room of my visualization, Mike did not get up and joyfully greet me. He couldn't because his "condition." He was not avoiding meeting my expectations; he was in an unconscious state. The fact that he was an "adult" did not matter in the least because the truth was he could not act or perform in the way(s) I was demanding. He couldn't. He just couldn't.
When God showed me that Mike's failure to treat me in ways that I demanded was not a personal rejection of me on his part. He could not be there for me because there was something more devastating going on in his life.
For whatever reason, this visual image totally changed my perspective. I was able to adjust my expectations. I was able to accept where Mike was because "he could not be where he wasn't."
Is there a person in your life that God wants you to "see" them in a different light? God can give you insight and a heavenly perspective concerning some of the people in your life who are most hurtful or disappointing. Just ask the Father to show you.