"Look at all I do for them. I should at least expect something in return". Have I uttered something like this in talking to someone about our relationship?
It's normal for me to expect loving treatment from others when I give it to them. Normal, but seldom productive. If I do things for my partner, and then use my mental list of them as a means of showing my SO how "good" I am, my motives are likely to backfire on me. My partner often resents me placing my sense of obligation on them, just as I'd resent them telling me how to behave, how to dress, what to say, etc.
Obligation and love are like oil and water - they don't mix. When I do something out of love, I can do it because it brings me joy as well as the person I do it for. Whatever I get back from them is a bonus. That example can have tremendous rewards - when my SO does things for me because it gives them joy, they become eager to do more.
If I whip a horse to make it move, it will only move when it's whipped. If I encourage it to enjoy the thrill of running, it will run whenever it can.
Just for Today
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