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Giver or Taker: Why your relationship is headed for the rocks

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RelationshipO don’t freak out on me yet. 

You read that right. 

Just a little patience, I’ll make my point clear and we’ll understood. 

But first a little story.

Many years ago, in a certain village in the then western region of Nigeria, lived a wealthy farmer. He had a son, and many servants. 

The boy grew up watching his father and his servants toiled to till the ground and nurture his vast farmland, season in, season out. 

When the harvest came, there was always a bountiful harvest. They stocked their bans full, sold off in tons and even gifted some to neighbors. 

One day, the young man thought to himself, “I think I love to be a farmer. It seem to be a profitable venture. Its high time my father alot me my portion to farm”

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On the morrow, he came to his father while they worked the farm and made his request known. 

After much consideration and tutoring, the father granted his wish. He had the east side of the whole farm to himself.

One evening, several months later, at the end of the second planting season, since the son left, the wealthy farmer sat, leaning back on his chair in front of his courtyard, awaiting dinner, he looked up and saw ahead a man coming towards the house. 

It was his son’s servant, he came bearing a note to the father. 

It reads:

“I’m sorry father, but the land you gave me is infertile. It yielded nothing for the past two seasons. We have been surviving on the vestures you gave me when you sent me off. Nothing is left. Two things I ask father- a better place to farm and more vesture to help me survive.”

The wealthy farmer was greatly disappointed, pained all through the night. 

He knew nothing was wrong with the farmland, instead his son didn’t do and give all it required to fetch him a good yield. 

And so, early the next morning after the servant was well rested, he sent him off with a message to his son. 

It says:

“The ground is fertile son. Only, you didn’t do all it requires. Weed often, spray when due, prune when necessary and tend to it like you watched me do over the years. Use the inputs I sent as I taught you. And next time come bearing gifts, instead of empty bags.”


Ponder on the story. 

Truth is, every marriage is a farmland. Uncultivated. Fallow. Empty. 

The day you are joined or you come together as man and wife, a seed is sown on that land(your farmland), and a new season begins. 

As the days go by, the rains, sun helps to grow it, but these alone are not enough. 

It requires you to constantly weed off grass and all that tries to come in competition with the crops or tries to displace it. Spray appropriately applicable chemicals to curb attacks of pests and diseases which destroy crops or lessen it yield. Then you are also to prune overgrown branches as at when due, for newer, better growth and yield. 

Just like it happened to the young man in the story above, failure to do all these and more results in little or no yield.

Yes, No pain. No gain. 

Perhaps you still don’t get this, all I’m saying is that marriage, relationship is empty. 

Very empty… 

Just like an empty vacuum, bank account or uncultivated farmland. 

You see, what you put into a cup is what you get to drink. What you deposit into your account is what you can withdraw. What you sow in the farmland is what you reap. 

However, in the end it all boils down to your actions and inactions. 

When you cultivate, nurture and invest quality inputs(actions) into your marriage it blooms, blossom, yielding bountiful harvests for your utmost benefit. Otherwise, you bring empty bags back home after the season. 

But what’s with the awkward heading?

Come on now, 

Only two types of people go into marriage. 

The givers and the takers.

The young man in my story is a real example of a taker, who went into that marriage (farmland) expecting to get all his expectations met, without making any inputs. 

Yes, thoughts of a great yield is always fascinating, until it’s time to give our inputs. Then we draw back. 

You see, takers will rather have it on a platter than work to earn it.

Do we then say having certain expectations of our marriage is altogether bad in itself? 


Truth is, we all go into our marriages with varying expectations. I mean no one expect no less than love, care and happiness. 

But as good as this expectations are, they don’t just happen. They come with great responsibilities. 

I mean hey! no marriage is self made and no such thing as marriage made in heaven. No! 

What you have is two people(givers) giving their all, not takers, grabbing all they can get. They’re busy working, making sacrifices, letting go offences, removing unprofitable habits, curbing every evil that could plague their relationship, nurturing and investing in each others happiness, giving unreserved assistance, unbroken & unstrained communication, quality time, while spicing it all up with romance and unreserved intimacy (s3x)

Yes, doing all these and more is what is required to have the bliss you wish to enjoy. 

But it is great work. 

And will always sound like too much for the taker because while the giver goes in with a heart willing to do everything in his/her power to make it happen, the taker goes in with a mind to sap the other dry.

This is the reason why many marriages are heading for the rocks. 

It is the reason our society is filled with children from broken homes, suffering because one or both parents are takers and couldn’t hold together their marriage. 

It is same reason why we have partners cheating and then killing or maiming each other.


Because the grass is always greener at the other side for the taker, and he fails to understand that no! The grass is only green when the ground is watered.

That marriage you’re enving is blossoming because the man and woman there are tending to their garden, doing their jobs as it is required, convenient or not. 

Check it, if your lifestyle is all about ‘I, me, and mine’ chances are, you’re a taker. 

But if on the other hand you’re about ‘We, us and ours ‘ then you’re most likely a giver. 

Still, I leave you to be the judge. 

The present state of your marriage is your evidence. 

Now, when you look, what do you see? 

Whatever it is, there’ still a chance to make things right and better. 

But what you choose to do about it today will matter greatly tomorrow. 

Give your all, tend to your garden and reap the benefits 

Or, leave it unattended and also reap the consequences.

Adeyemi, a relationship coach, writes from Ibadan

The post Giver or Taker: Why your relationship is headed for the rocks appeared first on Tribune Online.

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