But you can't BEGIN to change if you don't accept that THIS is how much baggage there is in your marriage.

Hold's problem is that both went in to the marriage with high expectations and little understanding of WHO it was they married. It has been said that expectations are premeditated resentments. And they are living the truth of that statement.

Neither of them WANT to change because BOTH of them want the other to live up to their HIGH expectations. Expectations that were set so high, the other couldn't reach them. Now were they too high for a typical marriage, who knows. But for these two people, in this marriage they WERE too high.

Why were they too high? Because NEITHER of them actually KNEW the other when they married. They didn't marry one another, they married their HOPES of one another.

This is why radical honesty is so important BEFORE marriage.

If I had gone into my marriage expecting my DH to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 I would be miserable right now, because that is NOT who he is. That is something I discovered about him through dating. If that was important to me, I would have left.

Instead I married someone who has less earning potential than a CEO but to whom family is paramount. That is who he IS, and that is what I like, thus my expectations of him meet what he can reasonably achieve.

Hold's and his wife harbored unattainable expectations for one another, creating this hole of resentment in which they continually stew. They both have high needs for something the other just cannot provide in an acceptable fashion. Because there was no honesty and no acceptance for who they are and thus, what they can achieve.

Maybe they can't accept the baggage they have accumulated between them. That is also a result of their initial dishonesty. (And I'm not saying they lied to each other, but it seems they didn't reveal their true selves to one another before marriage)

When one spouse cannot meet another's needs, a negotiation must ensue. A negotiation requires a Giver along with a Taker. Hold and his wife have never been able to POJA a satisfactory negotiation of their needs in this marriage because their EXPECTATIONS of one another created a fog which kept them from TRULY seeing one another and goals they could conceivably reach. Thus they weren't able to give and find mutual enthusiasm. Each held too tightly to the Dream they had of each other and EXPECTED their needs be met. The couldn't give and thus no negotiation was possible and no POJA was achieved.

Maybe, now that the fog of their expectations is trying to lift, they can see ACHIEVABLE goals, which may not be as high as their expected goals when they entered into this marriage, but may be high enough to provide mutual enjoyment, happiness, and even love.

For so long they've been married to the mirage of one another. Now, maybe, they can see their real spouse and find actual, achievable paths to their happiness.

I see it as a hopeful start.

Me & DH: 28
Married 8/20/05
1DD, 9 mo.
Just Lookin' and Learnin'