Say no to Quid Pro Quo
Quid Pro Quo is Latin for “If you want something from me, you better give me something”. Okay, actually, it means “this for that”, but the common usage today generally means a favour for a favour.
A lot of marriage advice, including I fear some I give here, comes off as little more than Quid Pro Quo. Someone complains about what they are not getting, and the first response is usually “are you doing the following for your spouse …” Such a question is a necessary starting place; significantly short changing your spouse is something that needs to be dealt with, and it may well contribute to them not doing things for you. What’s more, when someone asks for help they are the person you have access to, so changes they can make are the most productive.
The problem with a valid “are you doing …” questions is it can come off as “if you want your spouse to do such and such, you need to do something for him/her”. In other words, a favour for a favour, or Quid Pro Quo. This is a horrible thing to do in a marriage because it leads to score keeping and arguments about who is doing what, who is doing more, and so on. There will be disagreements about the value of certain acts, which can lead to both holding back because they are each convinced they are doing more than their spouse is doing.
“I will do something for you if you do something for me” is a horrible trap in marriage. It might initially get you something you have wanted and not been getting, or not getting as much of as you want, but long term it will end badly for both you and your wife.
A far better plan, in my mind, is to give as much as you possibly can, regardless of what you get back. Give all you can, and work on being able to give more. Only the most selfish or wounded of people can stay stingy when confronted with massive generosity!
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