Having expectations leads to disappointment when those are not met. Even more so when there is an exact expectation. “My spouse knows exactly what I want for my birthday and I didn’t get that from them. I’m so angry at them.” “My spouse should know that they should be doing [that] for the family (or me).”Ideally, you’d live with no expectations and then you’d be grateful for anything that does happen for you. When you have zero expectations, everything else is just a pleasant surprise.
As you work to that ideal, widen your expectations. You might have an expectation that your birthday will be celebrated in some way, but don’t have a specific vision of the how it will play out. Firstly, remind your spouse that your birthday is coming up. But have no expectations or vision about how it will be celebrated.