Are You A Giver Or A Taker?

Are You A Giver Or A Taker

Are You A Giver Or A Taker?

Are you a giver or a taker in relationships? (Go ahead and decide your answer, I will wait….)

Got it? Great!

Now, for the next question. Which one SHOULD you be?

That was actually a trick question. Sorry to do that to you, but stay with me here.

The correct answer is: neither one.

You should be GIVING and TAKING. Think of it as a bank account. You put things in there on a regular basis, then you take things out when you need them. Because you are always adding to what’s in the account, there will always be something in there and the account will never be empty. Relationships work on the same basic principle.

I know this is a very simplistic way of looking at it, but it sort of pares it all down and makes it very clear at the same time.

Every relationship should have a combination of give and take ON BOTH SIDES of the relationship. When one person does most of the giving and the other person does most of the taking, it is a recipe for disaster. This type of situation usually leads to resentment because one person is not getting their emotional needs met (and possibly other needs as well).

No person wants to feel unappreciated or taken advantage of, but that’s what a constant giver feels like.  (If you are a constant giver, then you know what I mean.)

We all become accustomed to behavior patterns that we establish in our relationships, whether they are healthy or not. (He always does this, so she always does that.)

In essence, you are both responsible for the way things work in your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you are the dominate person or if your partner is the dominate one.

Let me give you a personal example. After our children were born, my life became wrapped up in the kids and our family life. It seemed like every minute of every day consisted of taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. As they got older I added chauffeur to my resume. It didn’t help that during this time we were adding on to our house and remodeling two other homes. I felt so stretched that I literally couldn’t function anymore.

But here’s the thing. The kids didn’t mean to take up my life. They didn’t even realize they were doing it. When my husband put so many duties on me that were related to construction and remodeling, he didn’t realize it was more than I could handle.  He didn’t realize so much was being taken from me. For my part, I continued to do more than I was capable of, and I didn’t put my foot down. I allowed the situation to manifest and continue without change for a long time.

So here is how I finally handled my situation and got everything back in balance:

1) I talked to my husband about my issues and how I was feeling.

2) I set some boundaries on my time and energy.

3) I reevaluated things I was doing for the kids and decided some were not necessary and didn’t really enhance their lives. I found better ways to use my time and energy to benefit them the most.

4) I started making sure that my husband and I got our date nights on a regular basis.

5) I established a monthly girls’ night out with my friends.

6) I helped my husband understand that I needed some time alone to work without interruption (mostly on this site).

7) I stopped pushing things aside that were important to me.

Number 7 really sums up the whole thing. I remembered that I needed a life too. I was constantly putting things in (family life), but I was never taking anything out for myself.

Suddenly, it was clear what I needed to do.  For example, I started shopping for myself again. And I understood that did not make me a bad mom. I started making plans to do things that I enjoyed (like before we had kids). And you know what? Our whole family is happier for it. I am a better wife and mother. And now my husband realizes how much he was taking and demanding of me. It was never his intention.

Now, let’s look at you. It might be good to sit down and make a list of ways that you give and ways that you take. Maybe your partner could do this as well, then you can compare lists. You can learn amazing things about each other when you do this. Two people can live under the same roof but still not see things in the same light.

If You Are the Giver…..

It is imperative that you get a balance that is more equal because your relationship can only be healthy if you do. In my case I had an innocent husband and kids who didn’t mean to take so much and suck me dry. However, there are situations where the other person is aware of what they are taking and do it on purpose because they can.

This is a more serious situation and is beyond the scope of this article. I would suggest counseling to help put things into perspective for both of you if you are in this situation. Many churches and employers offer this service for free

However, the majority of people will be able to establish a healthy balance by talking to their partner and setting boundaries as I did. Sit down with your partner and tell them exactly what you need to feel like your relationship is more balanced. “I need you to spend more time with me,”  is a good thing to point out, but it would be better to say,”I would like it if you could set aside every Wednesday night to spend with me.” Don’t be afraid to get specific about what you need. You will get better results if you offer up your expectations.

If You Are the Taker…….

If you take stock and find that you are the taker in your relationship, first understand it does not automatically make you a bad guy. This is just one part of your relationship and it can be changed at your will.

Also, you may have been playing off cues from your partner and not realizing that you were stepping over the line and tipping the balance of your relationship. Like I said before, we all get accustomed to familiar patterns in our relationships and repeat them without even thinking them through.

For example, if your partner says, “I don’t mind fixing dinner,” then you may agree to that every night. But they might now want to fix dinner every night and they may either do it because they think you won’t (or they might be attempting to get an offer from you).

Being aware of the problem is half the solution. Now, the best course of action would be to sit down with your partner and ask them to list specific ways that you can “give” to their happiness and the relationship in general.

This book will help whether you are a giver or a taker (or somewhere in between):

Remember, anything can be changed when you really want to change it.

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Thanks a bunch!

by Angela Christian Pope @ ModernRelationship.org.

How To Get Your Husband To Help Around The House

How To Get Your Husand To Help Around The House

How To Get Your Husband To Help Around The House

How to get your husband to help around the house is probably one of the biggest questions wives face today. When society shifted and women went to work outside of the home, it is unfortunate that most of the “domestic” tasks remained their duty as well. Most men saw no problem with this. This was mostly because they had never tried to hold down an outside job plus be a maid, cook, chauffeur, nurse, and nanny at the same time.

Luckily, today’s average man is a lot more sympathetic to our plight, and many of them are top notch at jumping in there and doing their share. However, there are still those out there who need a little motivation.

Girls, are you tired?

I was too. Like other couples we used to have the normal situation where I did most of the cooking and cleaning even though my husband and I both had jobs outside the home. So, yes, I was tired. But even more than that, I was MAD. After a while, that led to being resentful, and that was not a happy place to be.

It was bad for me, bad for him, and bad for our marriage in general.

I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know how to motivate him. He would say he was going to help me, but then there were many different ways that he would manage to get out of it. Every time he did that it made me a little more resentful. I started wondering if he even cared about me. After all, he was allowing me to work myself to death, and he didn’t seem to mind at all.

Then one day I accidentally stumbled on something that motivated him. There was somewhere he wanted to go (and he knew I didn’t want to go), so I said if he would help me do certain things around the house first I would go with him.

Bingo!

That did it.

He got up and asked specifically what things I wanted him to do – then he did them all! (In record time too!)

I suddenly realized I was onto something. Fast forward several years later and I now get loads of help from him on pretty much anything I am doing.

You see, it’s all about the give and take.

Men and women are different obviously. Women tend to be more able to multitask, while men tend to concentrate on one thing at a time. Nobody likes having to do things around the house over and over (like laundry), but men are able to block it out and not think about it. And you know, ladies, that we cannot not. Sometimes multitasking abilities are a curse, you know?

Since men are able to not think about it, they simply don’t think it’s as important as we do. We think about it constantly until it’s done. They listen to you say it needs to be done, then go right back to watching “How It’s Made” and the laundry never enters their mind again until you angrily slam the laundry basket down beside them.

(You see, life is much easier and simpler in their heads. Sometimes I am jealous….)

So here is my guideline for getting lots of help from your husband (or boyfriend):

1. Decide Specifically What You Need Him To Do.

“Help clean the house” is not sufficient for most men. It would be like them telling us to go rebuild the motor in the car. See what I mean? My husband used to stand in the kitchen and tell me that he didn’t know what to do even thought there was a sink full of dirty dishes in front of him. It used to drive me insane.

So you need to come up with something like: load dishwasher, sweep the porch, walk the dog, set the table for lunch, and put away clothes that are in the laundry room. Be as specific as possible.

2. Tell Them What’s In It For Them.

This will be his motivation, so make it good. Maybe you will go the the races with him tonight if he helps you today. Maybe you could explain to him that you will have more energy at bedtime if you get some help today. You know what will motivate your guy.

My husband will work himself to death for rewards. We joke about it all the time. It’s not mean or devious to set your husband up like this if you both understand what you’re doing and are both fine with the arrangement.

3. Don’t Criticize Their Work.

This is a big one. You have to be kind if you want them to help you the next time. And nobody likes to be criticized, but sometimes I think men take it worse. You want this to be a positive experience for him. He follows through on your request, he gets his reward, and in the end he feels good about the whole transaction and wants to please you again.

For example, my husband used to be really bad at vacuuming. He missed more spots than he hit. Sometimes I would wish I had just done it myself, but I bit my lip. There were times I went behind him and did parts of it again. Then one day he mentioned that he couldn’t do it to suit me because I did it over. So I told him he was right and that I would never do that again. And guess what? He suddenly got better at vacuuming. Amazing!

You are probably thinking, “But I shouldn’t have to “reward” him for things that he should be doing anyway.”

I totally agree with that. But to that I must add, “Do you want help or not?”

It is what it is. But here’s the good news. Over the years, after seeing my gratitude and willingness to help him with things in return, I no longer have to negotiate with my husband to get things done. He actually WANTS to help me. He has done enough of the work around here that he now realizes how much time and energy it takes to keep things running.

Here is a good resource from Amazon to give you more information:

The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework

 

Now that you know how to get your husband to help around the house, I hope you will leave some feedback. I would love to include any other ideas you have.

If this article has helped you in any way, please help a girl out and click the “LIKE” button below or share it with a friend!

You can also click “LIKE” on the sidebar and get new posts from this site on Facebook.

Thanks a bunch!

by Angela Christian Pope @ ModernRelationship.org