One of the greatest parts of being married is learning all sorts of wonderful things about yourself and life in general as part of the process. Here’s one…
Giving is not always fun. Sacrifice of any size isn’t easy. Even things as simple as being interrupted in your morning reading to do a quick favor or having to unexpectedly stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up an ingredient for dinner can be obnoxious. When the interdependence that accompanies any relationship becomes a game of endless asking to give, it quickly becomes tedious for both the “asker” and “askee.”

Ironically, perhaps the best and easiest way to avoid this “giving fatigue” is to start doing more offering. I find that the more I anticipate needs and offer to do things for others, the better I feel about actually performing those tasks, even when they are exactly the same favors that I found formerly irritating.

I’ve found the same to be true in my philanthropic giving. Those times when the idea to give has been my own – when it has been unsolicited – I’ve found the giving not only more gratifying but far more memorable.

I could say the same about work. Taking initiative and volunteering to do is much more fun that being delegated to.

So, again, lesson number 5,143 from marriage… Being asked to give is tiring. Offering to give is
empowering and enjoyable. So anticipate needs, offer help, and watch your relationships be transformed.