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Relationship Tips? How Over-Giving can Cause Relationship IssuesHave you ever felt like you are doing everything in your relationship while your man sits back and relaxes on the couch?

Do you feel tired, exhausted and almost resentful at how increasingly passive he is becoming while you do all the heavy lifting in your relationship?

Do you ever feel frustrated about why he doesn’t care and appreciate how much you are giving to him?

In other words, are you giving too much in your relationship and feeling tired at the end of it all?

If you have said yes to any of those questions, please know that you are not alone.

So many of us women, as kind and generous hearted as we are, step into the role of what I call “over-givers” in our relationships.

While we continue to “give to our man” chronically, he continues to withdraw and get more passive. This confusing pattern leaves us feeling frustrated, angry and resentful with our man, not adding in any way to the health of our relationship.

So how do we know whether we are “over-givers” and how can we break out of this pattern?

Let’s take a look at my private coaching client Katie’s question.

Here is Katie’s letter –

“Sami, I have been reading your articles and everything on your website the last days. Thank you so much for your wonderful work. I have been married for over 20 years to my husband. I don´t know where the spark has gone. He makes no plans for us, he is aloof and always busy with his phone, play station or the television. We end up having arguments when I push him for more attention. I am paying the bills, making our meals, planning our holidays and then even on the holidays we end up arguing. Can you help me change this? Thank you, Katie.”

My Answer –

Katie, I so hear you. And yes, we can totally fix your situation if you can just stop doing this one thing for me – It’s called over giving!

What is over giving?

You are over giving in a relationship when you “give” to a man, more than he is giving to you.

This looks like doing all the work, paying all the bills, cooking all the meals, planning all the holidays, making his needs a priority over yours and offering every bit of your support and strength to your man – so much so that you have none left for yourself.

Of course, you do this in the hope that he will see you as a good and worthy partner and will be pleased to have you in his life.

But if you look closely, does he really get pleased with you?

Typically not! My experiences and the experiences of my clients have repeatedly shown this.

Far from coming closer to you, your man unpleasantly surprises you by getting more passive, more withdrawn and more aloof towards you.

And you know what? It’s not his fault!

Over giving, subconsciously kills your man’s attraction and romantic drive towards you.

He doesn’t even know why it’s happening to him – he doesn’t even realize how passive he is becoming in the relationship. It just sort of happens to him, when you over give.

What you think is noble intentioned and well meaning (and it indeed is when it comes to other areas of your life), is not serving your romantic relationship at all.

Instead it is damaging it.

Men love to feel like the in-charge in their relationships, they love to feel like they can do something for us women and make us happy. 

When you step into over giving mode, you take away that fundamental joy from a man – You deprive him of the pleasure of being able to give to you.

Just like an angry child, he gets resentful towards you.

The more you do, the lesser he does in return.  As an end result, what you have left on your couch is a passive, grumpy and withdrawn man who has almost disappeared from the relationship because he feels like there is nothing he can do for you.

So, now that we know that over giving is not good for our relationship, how can we stop it. Here are 5 concrete ways to help yourself if you are an over giver.

1) Become Aware Of Your Urges To Over Give

In romantic relationships, awareness is everything. It is the key to transformation. Recognizing and saying to yourself, “Yes, I am an over giver” is an excellent start in the direction of correcting your behavior.

It will be helpful for you to recognize in which particular areas of your relationship you have a tendency to over give. In my case, I had a tendency to take over all the holiday planning, all the grocery shopping and all the cleaning in the house.

2) Creating Space In Your Relationship

Creating space in your relationship looks like not stepping in to do everything for your man and the household. It requires that you trust that your man is capable of taking care of things for you and within the household. Hence, creating space looks like stopping doing some things that you are generally accustomed to doing in the household.

3) Try Asking For Help From Your Partner

Relationship Advice? How Over-Giving can Cause Relationship ProblemsOver givers would rather do everything themselves than ask for help. In your relationship, this is not a very constructive quality.

Ask your partner to help you in the kitchen and help you hoover the carpet. He will feel needed, get involved and without you even realizing it, become slowly but steadily more present in your relationship.

4) Learn To Say No

When your partner asks something of you that you cannot do because you are feeling tired, exhausted or busy, practice saying a guilt free no.

It might feel selfish to you at first but it is way more attractive to a man to have a woman as a partner who has a healthy sense of boundaries than someone who lays out her entire self at his beck and call.

5) Practice Receiving From Him

Over givers are so good at giving that they forget how to receive. As an over giver, to bring the balance back in your relationship, you need to train your receiving muscle. Practice receiving a cup of tea, a present, a date from your partner and show him how much you appreciate him doing it for you.

By practicing these 5 healthy habits, within no time, you will be able to create a reverse dynamic in your relationship where your partner will feel more needed, more included and more involved in the relationship.

Do you struggle with over giving? How do you help yourself? Feel free to let me know how this works out for you in the comments below.

Sami Wunder

As a certified dating and relationship coach, Sami Wunder excels at helping women, both single and married, to reconnect with their feminine energy and attract and keep a quality man.

If you are ready to finally have the love and relationship you have always desired, download Sami’s free relationship guide on To join Sami’s free relationship support Facebook group, click here:

What Do You Think?

15 Comments | Join the discussion

  • Anne C. Aug 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

    This is a really great article. 🙂 I’m really glad I got to read it..
    I recently started dating this guy and we are in somewhat a long distance relationship in the moment. Our relationship is very new but from the very beginning we are both looking for a long-term relationship so I’m very happy.. but I recently feel that I’m putting more effort than he is, maybe because he is busy at work but still.. I wish he can put in more time for us too since he always say I’m part of his priorities, but recently I don’t feel that way… I feel like I should take a step back from my efforts and let him come to me and see what he does. Will this work? I wanna do my best and focus on myself instead and give space for him to come to me. 🙂

  • Catherine Dec 18, 2015 at 4:21 am

    This piece definitely speaks to me. An over giver is another word for “enabler” and that’s what I am. I’ve realized that putting aside your own needs and trying to “love and give more” does not equal more love in the relationship. Instead, it sets up a major imbalance. I have finally realized, (too late to save my marriage) that to truly experience a loving relationship where you are partners who respect and value each other, you have to allow yourself to BE loved…that’s the scary part. Because you have to then become truly vulnerable and believe you are worthy of being loved. Until then, I don’t think you can really have true intimacy.
    The steps you outlined are a great tools so that the next time I become involved in a relationship, I know how to set my boundaries from the beginning. And if it doesn’t work out, then I know that’s a person that I don’t want to be in a relationship with anyway. Made me realize, I probably should have never married my ex in the first place!–he was certainly not capable.
    I also realized that an over giver like me is a prime target to attracting a narcissistic partner and that is an extremely toxic situation. Took me years to heal myself from that.
    Thank you for listing these 5 steps. I’m literally going to print them out and look at them daily to retrain myself to become more of a person whose loving and giving but sets boundaries; not only to potential suitors, but to all the relationships in my life.

  • Runningmom Dec 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I am guilty of this completely! Wish I would have seen this article earlier in my marriage. I was constantly giving surprises for him and having everything just so when he got home but it had to stop. I realized I was breaking my own heart when I didn’t get the response I hoped for. I am a giver naturally. I live for seeing smiles on people’s faces so it was really hurtful to stop doing this with my husband. Women or men follow this article for your own sanity. I’m still working on over doing in other areas but baby steps are good.

  • John C. Dec 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I can really relate to this article and the comments. I am the “over giver” and I’m coming to the end of my rope. I do the lion’s share of the house chores, cook, take care of our 4 year old, do the coffee morning thing, food shopping, pay bills, etc. She doesn’t even have to wake herself up with an alarm. She sleeps in til the last possible minute before getting ready and leaving for work while I take our daughter to school. Sex is non existent even though I would LOVE to. Friends have told me to be “aloof” and do my own thing and she will eventually come to me. I feel like if I stop doing all the stuff in the house, that nothing will get done. She will literally take a robe off and drop it in the middle of the floor and walk over it. It’s driving me crazy.

  • Amara T. Dec 17, 2015 at 1:21 am

    What an excellent piece of writing. I have needed to hear this all my life. Giving comes to me so naturally. Now that both my kids have left home and I have to face the realities of my relationship again, it is hard to see how I have damaged my relationship by over giving for over 30 years now. No wonder there is so much resentment in me.

    Where should I start correcting this Sami?

  • Gordon Dec 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    i would love to get help , but i think it has gone to fair ,,,, but i am really in love with her it ben a mouth ,,,i have not sean her ,,, pretty sure i got traded in at the office ,,,,she work at ,
    i have hen told to get lost ,she is really one of a kind very smart but a little crazy too , is there any help she wont even talk to me because of the crazy thing i did ,,,,,, i thought we would of ben to geather for ever she was the one in some ways can you help me … you would have to ask her your self , because i dont want her to get piss at me i can give your name latter it you can

  • Jess Lynn Dec 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

    These are SO true! Especially #2, that’s what I need to work on. Thanks for sharing Sami! Amazing info!!

  • TheLittleRedHen(actually Rooster) Dec 15, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Oh yeah, she was also a “stay at home”, not to be confused with a “homemaker”.

  • TheLittleRedHen(actually Rooster) Dec 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    My soon to be ex was a “taker”. I’m a guy who worked about 80 hours per week, including train commute which I read for work on. In addition to work I would cook all weekend and holiday meals, help clean house, help grocery shop, pay the bills, do all carpentry/masonry/home repair work. I tried everything (even the trump card convo…see below. I got tired of it and bailed. And did I say she was violent?

    A bit if advice I’ve given people in similar situations (didn’t work for me though). Sit your spouse down; look him/her in the eye and ask…”Do you love me”? Of the course the answer will be, yes. Then you say, “Well if you do, I need you to do this, this, and this”. It should have the effect of put up or shut up. Then if he/she does not respond with help…you know where you stand and can refer to test convo when you bail.

  • Christina Dec 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

    This is a really great and helpful article. Thank you Sami ! It’s nice to see your work here.

    I have always been an over giver. I see it so clearly why all my boyfriends got fed up of me 🙁


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