There was once a Farmer. A foolish man indeed.
He was angry at his crops for staying in their seeds.
He needed food so badly; himself, his wife, and daughter.
The plants refused to grow so he refused them any water.
— James Kennison
I wrote that up to illustrate how the Golden Rule applies to marriage. Firstly, what is the Golden Rule? Do to others what you would have them do to you. Or you could say, treat others how you want to be treated. In the context of marriage you’d say, love your spouse the way you want them to love you.
How many spouses who need to be loved by a husband or wife are like that Farmer? Like the Farmer wants food from a plant he won’t water, they hold back their love and will only give it on the condition that their spouse loves them first. Our goal may be to show a spouse it feels… to give them a taste of their own medicine… but in doing so we’re actually robbing them of the resources they need to even consider giving love in the first place.
If you’ve been holding back hoping to show a souse how it feels… consider changing your tactic and incorporating the Golden Rule into your relationship. Give before it’s given. Treat the other how they should be treating you. Love them how you want to be loved by them. It’ll take time to see the results, just like a seed takes time to grow and produce fruit. Just don’t expect fruit from a seed you won’t water.