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Give and Take in a Relationship
Give and Take in a Relationship
Are you a giver or a taker… or do you even know?
I am sure that everyone would like to believe that they are a giver. After all, who wants to think of themselves as being selfish. The fact is though that some people by nature are “takers” and some people by nature are “givers”.
I personally believe that in order to be happy you can be neither one or the other but must be both at the same time. How much can you give of yourself, without taking in return, without feeling as if you are unappreciated and unloved?
On the other hand, how much can you take, without giving anything in return, without feeling as if you never have enough and as if the person you are with is just there to make you happy?
There is defiantly a fine line between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship when it comes to this subject. Unfortunately for me… while I understand the concept… I haven’t done very well at putting it into practice.
Some of the best advice that I ever received was from my ex-fiancés father. I had just proposed to his daughter. He pulled me aside one evening while I was waiting for his daughter to finish getting ready to go out to dinner and he said, … son, “A relationship is never 50-50, it’s usually more like someone taking 60 and giving 40… make sure that you’re the 60.”
At the time I never understood how important this was… and it wasn’t until recently that I realized that when it comes to relationships that this was probably about the most important piece of advice anyone has ever given me.
I never could figure out why my ex-fiancé’s father was encouraging me to take more in the relationship than to give… with his own daughter. I think that I do now.
I believe that a person can give too much… to the point where it is not healthy for that individual or healthy for the relationship. I believe that my ex-fiancé’s father saw that I was spoiling his daughter, giving her everything that she wanted… without setting boundaries… and in his wisdom he knew that a relationship like that could not survive.
Sometimes if you give too much, the person that you are giving too starts expecting even more. They start to realize that they can take advantage of the situation.
Now I am not saying that it is not important to give… I don’t believe that at all… what I am saying is that I believe you need to make sure that you are getting something positive out of the relationship as well. I believe that you need to be getting something positive in return that is at a level that is comparable to what you are giving.
Someday I hope to find that kind of relationship. I know that a 50-50 relationship is not likely… but it would be nice to find one that was close enough to that to be balanced.
Actually I shouldn’t say ”find”… I believe that this is a learned behavior. I believe that if two people care about each other that they can learn how to give in a way that meets the other persons needs and at the exact same time respect themselves enough to not let the other person walk all over them… to hold them accountable to meeting their needs.
Of course both individuals have to care about the other person to begin with. They must also care enough about themselves to believe that they deserve respect. If not this type of relationship is not possible.
I guess that in my mind I have never felt like I deserved that kind of respect… I believe that I see my own faults and put so much emphasis on them that it makes me feel as if I am unworthy of respect and love. That is changing however…. .
The problem is that now that I am starting to realize that I need to have respect in return… it is creating a lot of conflict between me and my wife. She is use to being able to just treat me however she feels depending on what mood she is in. Since I am standing up for myself (not in a hostile way, I’m just setting boundaries) she seems to believe that I am not trying to make the relationship work… oh well Rome wasn’t built in a day… we will see where this goes.
Just some of my thoughts this morning… take it for what it is worth.
3/2/2005 10:34 am
I have to tell you before I say anything else at all that you are something else. I dont even know if I can find words to characterize what I truly even mean(if that makes any sense). You are definitely learning a lot, and what blows my mind is that you and I have much more in common then I originally thought, and as time goes by and I continue to read your blogs it seems to expand each time.
Thanks for writing your thoughts on this. You just really opened my eyes to a part of myself that I knew was there but didnt really want to deal with. I'm a major giver, that also thinks and feels that i'm unworthy of that respect. Actually its more of a conflict within myself but dont need to go into that here. I just really wanted to say thanks for your thoughts. They mean something to me.
3/2/2005 4:44 pm
sheree... thank you for your kindness and friendship. I am finding that as I write these things down it is helping me to see things as well... things that I never even knew about myself. |
One thing that is for sure, when this is all over and done with... no mater what happens... I will be a much stronger person for it.
I look forward to hearing from you again...