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Anniversary Blues

Have you ever had an Anniversary, Birthday or Mother’s Day be a huge disappointment?Anniversary My husband’s worst fopa in this regard was the year that he asked me to buy cards and presents for Secretary’s Day (which happens to fall shortly before my birthday) and then he forgot to even get a card for my birthday. That was years ago and it was the only time he “forgot” my birthday. Most of the pain resulting from important day disappointments comes from the meaning that we attach to what has or has not happened. In my case the meaning I attached to what happened was that my husband cared more about the secretaries than he did about me. In reality he had been bombarded with reminders of Secretary’s day from the secretaries and on the radio; there were no such reminders for my birthday. And although it should have been important to him make that day special for me, there was no mal intent on his part.

Things to consider: Have you set yourself up to be let down?

Instead of waiting and knowing that he will forget, choose to be proactive. Do what my daughter does and circle the day in red and write in a reminder. It may, in some distorted way, be satisfying to be proved right that he would forget, but what is the price of being right. Sometimes it is wiser to choose to be happy rather than right.

Do you have unrealistic expectations?

Are you expecting your partner to do something far beyond their inclination and ability? If for example you love to entertain and create fun parties, but your partner will not or cannot pull that off, then hoping that he is going to throw you that special big bash may only lead to disappointment. I know a woman who badly wanted a nice party for her 30th birthday, but she knew that her husband would not have time to plan it. Instead of being hurt and upset, she decided that she was going to have an absolutely wonderful birthday and planned the day herself with the help of her children. The result was that she had a great birthday because she was realistic about what she could expect.

Do you have secret or hidden expectations?

If there are certain things that you would really like, whether it is ideas for presents or activities or whatever, SHARE THEM with your partner. Some of you may think that if you have to ask then it doesn’t really count. Again the question: is it more important to hang on to a romantic notion that somehow he will figure it out or do you want to be happy? If you want to be surprised, give him several options to choose from; but the reality is that the more information that your partner has about your expectation, the more likely you are to get what you want.