“We all fail at who we are supposed to be”. That is my favorite line from Marvel’s End Game because it feels like the story of my life. I had so many expectations for myself, that I could save my husband, that me being cheerful enough, hopeful enough, resilient enough, around enough, would make things all better. I thought that me just being there would be enough to save him from his depression. So imagine how crushing it was when those things weren’t enough. And it had nothing to do with my spouse. It wasn’t his fault I wasn’t enough and it wasn’t my fault I wasn’t enough. It was just how mental illness works. It isn’t my job to fix it, it isn’t my job to be the end all be all. I am simply someone choosing to love someone with depression. I stick it out on the rough days and rejoice with him on the good days, me being there is enough, even if it doesn’t seem enough to keep the depression at bay. Those were the supposed to be’s I imposed on myself, from myself.
We also face supposed to’s from things we see outside of ourselves that we think we must impose to fit in or measure up to outside standards. We often if not always fail at who we are supposed to be, because our life is not about becoming who others think we should be, but instead about uncovering who our best self is at our core and embracing who we find there.
“Supposed to” comes from external sources, from others expectations or expectations we create because of what we observe outside of us. How we think we should live up to others standards and ideas about our life. So much of the discontent in my marriage came from seeing what others had and feeling that I didn’t measure up. Or came because someone else told me I needed to do something different and for a long time I thought I needed to do it their way. But the longer I put love into my marriage the more I realized our marriage was it’s own unique thing with its own unique struggles and solutions. When someone offers a suggestion I look at it and I consider it (it might be just what we need) conversely, I no longer take it as the end all be all. I no longer feel obligated to do it. What I have learned in my four years of marriage is that my only obligation in my marriage is to cherish and support it in whatever way feels best in my heart. Does that mean I will get it right every time? No. Does that mean it will even live up to my own expectations? Maybe no. But does it mean my heart is in the right place putting my spouse first? Yes. And when I put my spouse above outside comparison or expectations, then we will be okay. As I put need above expectation, then sometimes what I hope can happen does.
Here is a video that discusses comparison: https://youtu.be/b4vjapfQmPo