Marriage is not ‘give and take’

The phrase “give and take” seems to infer reciprocity or negotiation and compromise. All important in a relationship.

The ‘give’ part is wonderful.

It’s the word ‘take’ that is somewhat problematic. The word ‘take’ is often used interchangeably with ‘receive’. However, there is a subtle but important difference between the two words. It’s a small nuance in semantics, but the mindset attached to it can be huge.

When you ‘take’ something you are pulling it towards you. The primary action is on your part, not the other person’s.

When you ‘receive’, the action is on the part of only the giver. The movement is from them to you.

Notice the difference: “I received birthday gifts” vs “I took the gifts”.

‘Taking’ has a connotation of ‘I am entitled and therefore I can demand or manipulate and take it’. It has less of a sense of gratitude and reciprocity.

‘Receiving’ implies a sense of humility, gratitude and care. All important for a marriage.

The phrase ought to be “give and receive”.

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