ID-100175191.Stuart.MilesHaving been wounded by betrayal by the one whom I gave my heart to (my husband) I am finding that I am reacting to actions of others and exaggerating the hurt when they act below my expectations, although they would never intentionally cause me pain.

This is compounded by my mother’s death as my mother was my rock and I am expecting others to be a substitute rock for me. When I discover that other people are not as strong as she was or not as supportive of me or accepting of my limitations, I am seeing that as betrayal, rather than me accepting other people as flawed individuals who try their best but do not always achieve the strength of wisdom that my mother had.

So minor incidents with loved ones upset me and I begin to hear those annoying voices in my head again ‘you are not good enough’, ‘you do not matter’, ‘you are are hopeless’. However, after brief reflection I realize they are voices springing back from the betrayal and are not the voices of disappointment at this time.

I recognize the difference.

Disappointment is when others voice displeasure at something I have done or not done. This is different from betrayal where there is a lack of respect for me as a person.

Disappointment is when a loved one cannot put my interest first as they have other obligations, goals and loved ones as their priorities. This contrasts with betrayal where my interests are completely disregarded.

Disappointment is when I realize that a loved one does not share all my values or beliefs, rather than betrayal when a loved one does not accept me for who I am.

Disappointment is when someone cannot eliminate my pain and discomfort. This is not betrayal which is broken trust.

Disappointment is when I am expecting loved ones to be strong for me.
Acceptance is the slow realization, that it is I who must be strong.

In dealing with disappointment, I have come to accept my loved ones for who they – both their strengths and weaknesses. Disappointments stem from differences of preferences or unrealistic expectations. Preferences can be negotiated or compromised. Expectations can be re-framed into something more realistic.

Acknowledging my disappointment, and with it sadness at the loss of my expectations, provides me with an opportunity for personal reflection. I may then accept the situation for what it is, accept others for who they are, and focus on realistic goals for my future.




39 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. So true Elizabeth. Once I changed my expectations of those around me, my disappointed almost disappeared! Why do we continue to expect so much from others? I think it’s human to want this and yet, I began to understand that only I could bring the love, the support and joy into my life that I searched for in others, the gift in practising this, was that I then received more from those around me! It’s quite amazing how this happens?

  2. Lovely post Elizabeth. Having lost my parents in recent years I once commented that I had not only lost someone I loved, but someone who loved me. I still miss that.

  3. “Disappointment is when I am expecting loved ones to be strong for me. Acceptance is the slow realization, that it is I who must be strong.” Oh boy, that has been a huge lesson for me in the past, and I still need it as a reminder today. Thanks, Elizabeth for your wisdom and insight. ❤

  4. You are coming to know yourself Elizabth and seeing others through new eyes. There will be disappointments and shifting expectations.. And forgiving them for not knowing any better. It really isn’t about you, they see you through their own unchanged filters.

  5. Excellent analysis, as usual (my expectation of you 🙂 ) – knowing that a feeling we have (“I’m worthless!”) is based on a lie we believe is a great help in tracking the lie down to its source and eliminating it once and for all. Otherwise, we let every experience reinforce the “false” feeling. And it also makes forgiving so much easier!

  6. I think you did a fine job of separating betrayal (which includes some forethought and premeditation) versus human frailty. Your family members love you, Elizabeth and will be there for years to come. Thank goodness for them, I am blessed with mine. They are what I like to call “in the midst of things, up to their necks or eyeballs!” I frequently hear disappointed parents in my work place. It us a common thing snd not yo be ashamed of wanting some kind of regular visits or commitments from them. I offer a short visit at their home, I take grandies out to give them time to breathe. 🙂 In turn, they call me and say if I text them, they will run a plate of homemade food out to my car on my wsy home from work. So, there are ways you will “find your way” Elizabeth.
    Funny way to look at it, my guy friend, Bill used to call the years from 30 to 40 ( his kids are a little older than mine) “The hunter and gatherer stage,” which always made me smile and be glad I got through those hectic years! You got some great suggestions here in the comments section, Elizabeth. Nicely written and opened up a discussion. 🙂

    • Distinguishing between the intended hurt of betrayal and unintended lapses that makes one disappointed is such an important lesson. You are correct in that my current supporters love me for me and I know they will be there for me always. I am glad that you too have such a supportive and caring network of family and friends.

      • We are certainly lucky to have those we can count on and others who may grow and change. Some may have to adapt, learning to help and mutually respecting each other, too. Elizabeth, you get me thinking and evaluating my own relationships. I may need to nurture some a bit more. 🙂 Thanks!

      • It hard in close relationships when people unintentionally disappoint. However, I have learned that is not a breaking point and we can heal quite quickly from disappointment if we don’t let ourselves see it as betrayal (which its not). But you are right, we need to nurture close relationships so those people know that we are there for them and also that we appreciate them for who they are, not for who we would like them to be.

  7. I think this post was meant to make its way into my life. I am blinking back tears of sadness/relief. I carry disappointment around me like a Louis Vuitton suitcase (well one must remain stylish in all circumstances). I feel so betrayed, and honestly, you have done such a great job of really defining them both in proper context that I had that “A-HA” moment (as Oprah would say). I think though that I’ve carried the disappointment around for so long that it will take a while for me to get used to traveling without my designer luggage. Thank you for this.

    • Thanks for coming to be blog and joining me on my journey. I am just discovering that I am over-reacting to disappointment and taking things personally that need not be taken personally. It is something I am working on. I am glad this post resonated with you. Thank you for your kind words.

  8. Another beautiful reflection of yours, dear Elizabeth, which shows great understanding. I especially like the very last bit: ” . . . accept the situation for what it is, accept others for who they are, and focus on realistic goals for my future.”

  9. Your self-reflection inspires me Elizabeth! You have dug deep, dug hard, dug honestly within yourself. I don’t know many who can do that. I am learning to do this in the face of disappointments. Thank you and sending you love and courage as you live greatly. Hugs, Sharon

    • Greetings! We do not celebrate thanksgivings here in Australia. With Christmas coming up, the thought of having two such celebrations within a few weeks of each other is enough to make my head spin!
      Have a great time.

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