Want a Closer Marriage? Try Receiving with Openness

At some time in our lives, we’ve all probably been given a gift that we did not want.

Perhaps your aunt gave you an outdated article of clothing that totally clashed with everything you usually wear. You may have politely smiled, said thank you and then promptly donated the clothing to a thrift store.

What about gifts and offerings from your partner? How fully do you receive what he or she is offering to you? The more openly you receive from your mate, the closer and more passionate your relationship can be.

And we’re not just talking about the flowers, chocolates, jewelry, golf clubs, football tickets, or even a new washing machine he or she presents you with on special occasions.

On a daily basis we all give to one another. The gesture may go unnoticed most of the time. Perhaps he or she  compliments you on how you handled a difficult situation with your kids.

Maybe your partner offers to massage your shoulders at the end of a long week. Or it could be your partner wants to treat you to an impromptu weekend trip to the mountains together.

How do you tend to receive the various gifts and gestures that are offered to you by your love? Perhaps paying attention so that you can see all that is offered to you is a first step. You might be pleasantly surprised when you open your eyes and begin to notice the little, and not so little, ways in which your mate extends him or herself to you.

What stands in your way when it comes to receiving?

Some of us are aware of the gifts coming our way but are uncomfortable about them and, as a result, receive them less fully, if at all. It may be that you are hard to please.

You have specific tastes and preferences and don’t like to waste resources on activities or things you just don’t prefer. It might be that, instead, you don’t feel deserving of the nicer things in life or even the compliments. You tend to get embarrassed and don’t want anyone to make a big fuss over you.

It doesn’t matter if your hesitation to receiving stems from having strong preferences or comes from a sense of being
undeserving, the effect is similar. When your love extends him or herself to you in some way and you turn or push away that offering, you close down to an opportunity for connection and greater intimacy.

Does this mean that you have to fully receive everything your mate presents to you?

Of course not.  Sometimes, at that particular moment, you don’t want a back rub or to go on a trip or even a passionate kiss. Just as your aunt could probably tell that you weren’t too keen on the frilly, checkered blouse she gave you, your partner will also know if you are just going along with his or her gift to be nice.

See if you can begin to notice how you tend to receive and then, if you have a habit of closing, try to understand what’s behind that tendency. You may hold beliefs about receiving that were taught to you at a young age. Your beliefs may not directly relate to receiving but, instead, link in with the way you view your self-worth. If so, decide whether the way you see yourself and these beliefs are serving you and your relationship or not.

How close do you want to be with your love?

Ask yourself how connected you want your relationship to be.

If you want an open, passionate and alive relationship, you probably want to work on receiving more fully. Just as we’ve all possibly been given gifts we really didn’t want, we’ve all possibly given gifts that weren’t fully received–
or were even rejected.

Walls between you and your love can steadily be built when either or both of you shut down to one another’s offerings.

But the good news is, you can make the decision to notice, appreciate and start opening up to the wonderful offerings coming your way from your love.

If your mind starts to dwell on worries about how much a gift costs, how you wouldn’t have chosen this item, or even how you might have extended yourself differently, stop yourself.

Yes, this gift or offering may not be exactly what you were looking for, but perhaps it is not that far off. And, most importantly, there is often love and caring energy behind what your partner is presenting to you.

Don’t lie if your mate gives you something that you cannot stand.

At the same time, shift your attention to the intention and feelings that accompany the gift or offering and cultivate appreciation for that. After all, this is the real gift with gifts.

Celebrate the fact that your partner is showing– in large or small ways– his or her love for you. The gift or offering is an expression of that love. When you fully receive it, you also give to the giver. Allow yourself to open wide to the love behind the gift and receive with pleasure.


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