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A Thanks Giving Marriage Is Marriage Really Give and Take?

November is seen as the month of giving thanks for everything and to everyone in your life. This is why the Thanksgiving Holiday was created and why families and friends love to gather together to share a meal on that day. To celebrate one another and to share the things they are thankful for. That’s what my family does around the ‘Thanksgiving’ table. It’s tradition. And…..It’s one of my favorite days for cooking and gathering with my family. We always hear the term, ‘life (or marriage) is give and take’. Is this true? Do you feel this way? Let’s take a look at the vows that we made to each other at the altar. 'I , ( Cynthia/James ), take you (Cynthia/James ), to be my lawfully wedded ( wife/husband ), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.'  Is there anywhere in the vows where it says, if you do these things, then I will do these things for you? No there is not! The vows are you stating your agreement of how you will keep the marriage sacred and do your part. And you promise this to each other! If every time you did something for your spouse and then sat back and waited for them to do something for you, some of us would be waiting a VERY long time. Most people aren’t wired that way, to automatically reciprocate. Especially when what our spouse does for us may be a daily occurrence. For example, if your spouse cooks dinner EVERY day, they may expect you to clean the kitchen ‘EVERY’ day. Is that unrealistic? No it’s not. Some spouses do agree on it. But it should not be conditional, that I will only cook if you’re going to keep your promise and clean the kitchen. My spouse and I happen to have made a similar arrangement. I cook. He washes the pots. However, sometimes I wash dishes as I cook and sometimes all the dishes end up in the dishwasher or in the sink until the next day. I don’t harass him or even ask him if he’s going to do the dishes (pots). I leave that process up to him. WE believe that Marriage is give and give. It’s 100/100, not 50/50 as some would have us believe. It’s about giving and giving your all. Giving 100% will look different for each individual. It may be respective to your individual love language. The key is not expecting something in return. Yes, both spouses should be doing their very best, but don’t hold them hostage to your expectation. Have a heart to heart conversation about it. That’s the only way that you are truly going to have a happy, prosperous, successful and fulfilling marriage.  So how do we give and give in our marriage without any expectation in return and have a really, great balanced marriage? Let’s talk about give and take in a marriage.

  1. Evaluate what you are giving. Some things we give out of survival (we must feed our family in order to live) or we give out of necessity (we do laundry because we need to wear clean clothes) or we give because it comes natural (daily hugs and kisses)

  2. Evaluate what you are expecting in return. If there’s something you ‘want’ your spouse to do in response to something that you do, there’s nothing wrong with discussing it. The key is to come into agreement whether it’s mutual and agreed upon.

  3. Appreciate what’s given. Taking doesn’t always come natural and some of us take what our spouse does for granted. Show appreciation by your body language, Responding verbally or by simply greeting them with a hug, kiss or a smile.

We should give from our heart and from a place of unselfishness and unconditional love. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4. Discuss it with your spouse. Share what it means to you. Meditate on it. Pray about it. Learn from it. Marriage is not give and take. It’s you give, your spouse receives. Your spouse gives, you receive and you both do it wholeheartedly, without regrets.

When is the last time you thanked your spouse for EVERYTHING? Have a thank you date night and share everything that you are thankful for that your spouse has done and does for you.

Do you and your spouse have a vision for your marriage? Do you know how and what to give them that will help make a difference and your marriage and cause you both to grow personally, spiritually and financially? Join the party that has couples raving about the value it brought to their relationship.


We give you fun date nights, strategies and assignments as well as connect with you live each and every week. Join successful powerful couples who are on the move in love, life and business. 

Learn more by going to In Love and Loving It.  or schedule a free appointment, click here.

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James and Cynthia

Your Marriage Strategists


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