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When Tit for Tat is Good in a Relationship

November is National Appreciation Month

Have you ever done something for someone and they barely said thank you? Or, have you ever done a lot of something’s for someone and they just never seemed to appreciate it? Wouldn’t you love for them to return the favor?


I remember how I used to complain that I’m always doing stuff for people such as, calling them up just to check on them, or picking people up to ride together or sending them a card in the mail for their birthday or holiday, or attending or donating to an event or cause that they were having and my favorite, always giving an encouraging and uplifting word. But, it seemed like no one ever did the same for me. Someone said to me, ‘Cynthia, you have to remember. Everyone is not like you. You can’t expect people to be like you. That statement gave me a whole new perspective on people and relationships when I was younger. It didn’t stop me from continuing to do those things, but it did stop me from having such a high expectation of return from people. It also helped me to choose who I hung around more. I wanted to be around people who supported me as much as I supported them. It did not stop me from reaching out a helping hand to those in need either.

Oftentimes, our spouse does little things for us or around the house and we just take it for granted or we just think of it as something we expect them to do. I want to challenge you to look at things a little differently. If our spouse never did anything for us and only thought about themselves, we would be complaining big time. So, let’s rethink this. Let’s start reciprocating and responding more, to the things we see and know that our spouse does or has done. Let’s give tit for tat. Here are some examples

  • She cooked a new dish. You go into the kitchen and put everything away.

  • He washed and dried the laundry. You start folding them as they come out of the dryer.

  • She got the kids up, dressed and fed them, and got them off to school. You pick them up and give them a snack.

  • He filled the car’s tank full of gas. You take all the mats out and throw them in the washer.

  • She planned a great date night out. You plan a great night out the next time.

  • She’s wearing a fresh, cute hairstyle. You tell her how nice her hair looks, smells, or shapes her face nicely.

  • He puts on cologne. You tell him how sexy he smells


When you compliment your spouse or do a small deed for them, it creates some special emotions. It can cause them to smile, feel appreciated, feel noticed, feel warm and fuzzy inside, or feel more loved. It can move them into action. It can cause a shift in their attitude. They may start complimenting you more or preparing more special meals or date nights. They will start noticing all the things that you do to make great home life and marriage. It could generate more positive conversations and help you grow closer. It could even lead to better intimacy.


Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t focus on imperfections. Those things can change and disappear over time. Some will always be a part of their DNA, but it won’t stick you like a thorn. Your goal is to reinforce the positives. Show your spouse some extra attention this month during National Appreciation Month and let them see, feel, and hear how much you appreciate the little things that they do. Tit for Tat can be a good thing. Do the little things. Pile the praise on. Let’s get to work!



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Don’t be stingy on the love. Love comes in many forms. You get to choose how you share it. Compliment your spouse in some way EVERY single day this month and watch it become a regular habit for the rest of your life. Life is short. Make it a great one!!

James and Cynthia Greene

Marriage Built 2 Last

Be ready for 2022! Don’t get ready, be ready when the opportunity rolls around. Here are ways that Marriage Built 2 Last can help you.


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