What if I told you there was a principle that can help your relationship with your wife that will help you to have a more harmonious life? Your marriage life often has many tight twists and turns and we end up with a big case of the victim mindset. This mindset is one of the big killers of marriages because it often creates grudges, hurt feelings, and a lot of resentment.
There are points in the relationship that resentment can form if you have the wrong attitude. I was told an interesting piece of advice about marriage. That advice that I have tried to implement in my marriage is to give 100% and expect 0%.
Now, I get this first sounds a bit far-fetched but bear with me. You will see how this concept can actually help you to stop feeling like you are being taken advantage of and make your marriage run better.
It can be hard to comprehend
I know this concept is very odd for people when they first hear about it. I consternated a marriage counselor with a couple of sessions because she was wanting to know what I expected to get from my marriage with my wife. I know from the examples she was giving that she wanted to know how often I expected to have sex. What condition the house was supposed to be in. Things like that. Yet all I kept telling her is that I don’t expect anything from my wife.
The therapist kept telling me that I have to expect something and from the marriage, I really didn’t expect anything. I was going to give 100% to the marriage and I was not going to expect anything in return.
I know what I wanted from the marriage but to expect that from the marriage would cause problems. If I expected sex multiple times a week. My wife would either not do it out of resentment of being expected to perform a duty or would meet my expectation just to get me to shut up. It wouldn’t be in an atmosphere of intimacy and connection as I would like.
To expect the house clean and spotless would put undue stress on her and the kids. So our house is a bit on the dirty side but it is up to me and my wife to make the house a place of peace and happiness.
Don’t you get taken advantage of?
In all reality no. Now I often found myself in the heart of the victim mindset. That is where I feel as if I am doing everything and my wife isn’t reciprocating. You see, The law of reciprocity is at the heart of the 100/0 concept.
There are times in my 25 years of being married to the same woman that I was deep in the victim mindset. I would even start to have resentment when I believed that she didn’t reciprocate. Yet if I wanted to resolve that victim mindset it was good to lean into the problem and talk to my wife about what was going on. Often I would find out that she did reciprocate it was just in her love language. She may have made my favorite meal or in her own way.
The 100/0 concept forces you to first make yourself happy because if you are expecting your partner to make you happy it will not happen. That feeling of happiness is only felt by you. It cant be created by outside forces. So, if you can’t make yourself happy how are you going to make your partner happy?
If you can give 100% and expect 0% in return you often find that you are actually making yourself happy.
Now there are expectations in marriages
Now just because I practice giving 100% and I don’t expect anything in return doesn’t mean there are expectations. The expectations are not implied. Now for whatever reasons we like to assume the other person should just know what we expect. You know what assume is right? It is you make an ASS out of U and Me. So first stop assuming.
Like a puppy, you have to keep at it. You cant train yourself out of thinking others can read your mind overnight. It takes time and lots of it. When you are doing something and expecting some type of reward for your taking out the trash that is where the problems start cropping up.
There are expectations in the Goodwin house. The bills are expected to get paid. Food is expected to be fixed. Those expectations are voiced. So If there is something you expect to be done voice it. Don’t make a silent contract they are actually doing more harm to your relationship than most other actions. So, if you are expecting a certain outcome voice that expectation.
Be OK with no reciprocation
There are times that the person won’t reciprocate your actions. We can let our minds go while as to why they didn’t return the favor but again that is us executing 100% back and that goes against the whole concept of giving 100%. They may reciprocate in a way you are not expecting. Or they may be waiting for just the right time.
The biggest and most difficult part of this whole concept is the not expecting part. You want to get an atta-boy for emptying the dishwasher, or you may be a little something-something for the backrub but if you expect it in return, you will only have sore feelings. Because humans are messy and we don’t do things the way the other person wants us to.
Sometimes people don’t see that the actions you performed and if they do that doesn’t mean they believe you need a reward for it. So other people’s reactions and responses are theirs. How you respond and react to those actions can help those just learning about this concept.
If you want this concept to work it helps if you do the actions you hope to get in return. Just display those actions. The gratitude for a kiss. The feeling of love when she runs her fingers across your shoulders. Know that if you are just starting this it may take a bit for the other person to trust that you are not going to expect something that has not been spoken.
So take your time to expect nothing and grow your love by giving. The more you give the happier you become.