Giving to Get: Changing the Status Quo in My Marriage


Sometimes you have to turn around to see if you can get where you want to go.

I know it sounds crazy. I’m not talking about going backwards.  I want to go forwards. Desperately.

It’s a rough place to be when your needs aren’t getting met.  You start to wallow in it. It’s easy to get stuck there, thinking about how the other person isn’t doing for you. How they need to do more for you. After all, look at what you are doing for them.

But what if your partner feels the same?

How do you bridge the gap, when you both start to feel that way?


I know things aren’t working in my relationship.  We both know things aren’t good.  But the problem is we’re both stuck, entrenched, in our position.

How do things get better, if no one is willing to shift, but stands firm in their stance? Each wants our needs met before we will meet the other’s. That’s not a good place to be.

That’s when it hit me, to turn it around.

I like to think of myself as a creative problem-solver. That there is more than one way to approach a problem to get to the solution you want.

In this case, I want a better relationship.  Or at least to know there is hope of a better relationship.

I gave it a lot of thought, and the answer was clear to me. I needed to turn things around. Holding back and waiting to give him what he needed until after he met my needs was not working. So, I decided to turn it around. Give him what he needs, in hope of getting the same from him in return.

I spent a lot of time contemplating our relationship. Was the gulf too large? Could it be bridged?  It finally hit me.  Staying locked in my current position, the answer was growing to be a firmer ‘no’ to repairing this relationship. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. So, if I wanted something different, I needed to do something different.

It may not work. We may be past the point of rescue.

But, I’m crawling out of my trench.

Make a Change.

So, that’s what I did.

I’m not sure how well it’s working. We didn’t have much time under the same roof to see if it’s really working. That’s the hardship of being married to a military man.

What I do know for sure, is that I have tried. I tried something different. I can’t just do the same thing I have always done, and expect to get a different result. I’m certain that staying focused on what I was not getting and how that made me feel wasn’t helping me in the long run.

So, I’m letting go of that. I’m going to reach for something different.

It may not work.  We may be past the point of rescue.

But, I’m crawling out of my trench.

Let’s hope it’s enough of a start.

Anyone else feel like they may need to change the status quo of their marriage? How so?

Contributing Sister Site and Author

About {Kristin}

Once upon a time and in another life, Kristin graduated from the University of Michigan with plans to teach high school math. But then, life happened when she wasn’t looking. She ended up married to a soldier, and 20 years later they now have got three kids and a dog. Along the way, she made seven different places home, lived on two continents, volunteered for the Army, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and several schools; managed volunteer organizations, coached judo, trained to be a whitewater rafting guide biked down Pike’s Peak and even managed to teach some high schoolers math! She never knows what’s coming around the bend, but she’s learned to handle whatever life (and the Army!) throws her way with a smile and a laugh. She’s pretty sure you can get through anything with those, even if you have to fake it occasionally.

Kristin is a contributor for Colorado Springs Moms Blog, one of our Sister Sites.