How do you become more giving in your marriage without feeling like you are a maid?
Are you happy doing things for your spouse? Do you also believe that being a giver would help your marriage?
The main difference between the words "work" and "labor of love" is work is doing something when you'd rather be doing something else. A "labor of love" is (work YOU choose to do) because you value the end results.
One example often sighted is "being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world" and yet people line up in fertility clinics and doing whatever it takes to become parents. They know there will be late night and early morning feedings, crying, diaper changing, back and forth doctor visits, helping with homework, parent/teacher conferences, and thousands of other things as well as additional health insurance and auto insurance expenses...etc However this is "work" (they chose).
The same thing applies when we live with our significant other or get married. We do so by (choice). If your other half has no problem with laying things down around the house you only have few options. You can plead, nag, or beg them to "change" (their habits), leave the items there, pick up after him/her, or decide it's a "deal breaker" and end the relationship.
The majority of people learn to pick their battles, not sweat the small stuff, and keep their eye on all the great things that their mate contributes or does. None of us are perfect!
You said it: I do believe being a giver helps your marriage. I even wrote a hub about it few weeks ago.
I believe love it's like a garden, it requires nurturing and dedication, without expecting instant gratification.
Fruits will ripe with time, so keep giving without expectations, and you shall indeed receive.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many people will get married without figuring all this stuff out beforehand.
I guess the simple answer, for all those who are about to get married or who are thinking about it, is to talk about marital expectations beforehand. Studies have shown that when people discuss things prior to marriage and reach certain agreements, that they are likely to make good on those agreements throughout the marriage.
I have found that most surprises in a marriage can give one an ulcer, so the more that is planned and discussed before marriage, the less anxiety one will have to suffer later on.
Having said that, I think if someone is in a loving marriage, their attitude should be one of warmth and adoration, not servitude and resentment. I think how we define what we do, has a lot to do with how we end up feeling about it. If you feel like a maid, you will feel like an employee within the marriage and that can lead to resentment. But, if you feel like a loving and conscientious spouse, then perhaps you will not really even notice those extra little things you do for a loved one.
If sparks are beginning to fly, I would definately sit down with your husband and talk about this issue. It's always better to get things out in the open than to let things fester.
Who, say you have to become more giving. My attitude towards marriage is as following "It is my way or the high way, this is how I am like, take it or leave it." if they choose the high way, "an early break up or divorce, is always better then getting stuck in an unhappy relationship/marriage or a late breakup or divorce."
Think about what your husband does towards the marriage instead of always just what you do. Husbands may not always cook or do housework but they may maintain the car and do all the heavy work. As others have said, pick your battles and do not worry about trivial things.
However, things like men leaving dirty clothes on the floor 2 feet from the laundry basket are simply lazy disrespect.
Object lessons work better than nagging. One husband who would put his dirty sweaters back in the wardrobe rather than in the laundry basket. On asking his wife, why he had no clean sweaters, she said sweetly that when she had done the laundry there were none in the basket and that she had asked him whether all his dirty washing was in the basket.
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