Expectations, middle fingers, and Billy's parents

Jan 26, 2021 12:36 pm



Read Time: 2 mins

How often do you thank your mate for doing something that you expected him/her to do?

The natural tendency in relationships is to not show any love when someone does something that was expected of them.


  • It happens at work: Your boss expects you to do a report. When you do it, you hear nothing. But, when you don't do it, there's a problem.

  • It happens if you have kids: The kids expect you to pick them up from school or get them to an event on time. When you do, you don't hear one word of thanks. But, when you don't deliver, they remind you how Billy's parents always get him places on time. (Note: If you are Billy's parents—or are like them—two things: a) We're in awe of you, and 2) Settle down. You're making the rest of us look bad!)

  • It happens when you're driving: Other drivers expect you to signal when you change lanes. When you do it, no one is honking at you to thank you. But, as soon as you change lanes without signaling, you're gonna hear a horn and perhaps see a middle finger.

Here's my point: it's not normal for us to show gratitude when someone does something we expect them to do.

I mean, why should we thank someone for simply doing their job, keeping their word, showing up, or being dependable?

Specifically, why should we thank our spouse for doing what was expected?

Because he/she always has a choice NOT to do whatever we're expecting.

Understand this: even if you expect it, your spouse doesn't have to:

  • cook
  • clean
  • pay the bills
  • buy grocery
  • put gas in your car
  • get your car washed
  • get the oil changed
  • mow the lawn
  • spend money wisely
  • go to work
  • come home from work
  • be faithful to you
  • avoid porn
  • play with the kids
  • lead the family spiritually
  • be nice to your parents
  • and on and on and on

Your spouse does these things and more out of fidelity to you, and a commitment to him/herself.

And you know what?

That's worth appreciating.

That's worth honoring and respecting.

That's worth noticing.

That's worth saying, "Thank you."

And who knows? Once you start appreciating the expected, you may find that your mate has a little more incentive to keep doing what's expected.