This is going to be a short one, as I am totally exhausted right now! Less than two weeks until the concert. Whoa!
With physical possessions, once you give something away, it’s not in your possession anymore. If you start off with two apples, and you give one apple to your husband, you only have one apple left.
However, with spiritual possessions, once you give something away, you still have it. Come again? Take a smile. If you have a smile, and you smile at someone else, that person smiles back, and you’re still smiling. Get it? You gave them a smile, but you still have yours, so no one is losing anything.
That’s how I view giving in my marriage. The more nice things I do for my husband, the more I’m contributing to my marriage, and the more likely he is to do something nice for me (even though he’s already very likely to do nice things, since he’s a nice guy).
As Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler used to point out, love (ahavah) is from the root ‘to give’ (hav) – love must be expressed by giving. So through giving my husband a nice dinner, or a little note, or the benefit of the doubt, or a break, I’m expressing my love for him. And through the positive feelings that creates, we’re both winning.