Imagine this: A woman, in preparation for bed each night, goes into the kitchen to retrieve two water bottles, one for her, one for her husband. Upon returning to the master bedroom, she discovers her husband has done the same thing. Night after night, the pattern repeats. What is wrong with this picture, you might ask?

In fact, there is nothing wrong with this picture! It is a beautiful mark of a successful marriage, in which both partners continue to consider the other’s wants, needs, and desires, no matter whether it’s been 50 years or 5 minutes. Constant care and consideration for your partner builds a kind of momentum that builds mutual generosity, as well as mutual respect and strength in the relationship and your bond with one another. Unfortunately, the reverse so often happens. We become mindless and forget about the needs of our partner, or vice versa, and it becomes a domino effect. Our needs aren’t being met, so we forget to or choose to forget to fulfill our partner’s needs. The old adage good will breeds good will fits with marriage and relationships perfectly well, even though it may not always seem that way. It sets up a pattern—if you buy him some surprise sports tickets, he’ll surprise you with flowers, just as if he gives you a back massage, you’ll return a similar kindness. Give as you wish to be given to, and you will receive—not only the love, affection and care that you wish for, but you will also find yourself in a healthy, caring relationship!