Uncertain if it's because I feel like I've heard it so much lately or because it just seems to irritate me so but, I think it is worth discussing and clarifying so that we can all raise the bar.
When I first heard, "allow him to rise to the occasion," I thought she meant it in some sort of weird sexual way. I thought this was a suggestion for foreplay and I didn't want to go there.
She meant that when you have needs you put them out there and you allow you partner to meet the need by rising to the occasion or you get to understand that they are unable to do so. This is entirely different from expectations... .. . later.
So when I'm watching Brothers and Sisters- which is rare so the re-run was nice, one of the characters is talking about her fathers infidelity. She makes an off the cuff statement and says something along the lines of, "all men do it."
All men do not cheat.
All men do not (habitually) look at porn.
All men do not objectify women.
All men do not fall painfully short of meeting minimal expectations.
All men do not hit.
All men do not lie.
All men do not fit into an unfortunate mold that makes it OK to rationalize one's paternal mistake and use that an excuse to legitimate the low ambitions they have.
. . . and this is where it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When we, as women, say- they all do it and refer to men. We somehow say they all do something in an attempt to make whatever our beloved member of 'they' does seem less painful, more normal, even benign.
I'm tired of this. I'm tired of seeing inappropriate behaviors normalized so that we can feel better about staying with someone that we have been hurt by when they let us down. When they fail, fail to rise to the occasion.
Now, having said that- I have heard a friend so eloquently say that expectations are just disappointments booked in advance. So, while I'm learning, in much the same way I learned my core adult-values, by establishing first- what I do not like. I am learning what I do not agree with or desire in partners, lovers, friends.
Some call that shameless- I call it my best.
It seems as thought the more I allow others to rise to the challenge, take in information when they do not, I open myself to great peace that no longer demands me to excuse any ones behavior by saying crazy things about 'everyone' doing 'it.' I find I break fewer things and cry far less!
That being said and done. I hope (not expect) that the holidays are kind to you and that you, in turn, are kind to another.