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In 35 years of marriage, I’ve learned that there is a very real difference between cheerful giving and giving grudgingly. I cannot count the number of times my wife has asked me to do something—like take out the trash, walk the dogs, or pick up my socks—and the way I reacted was important to her. It isn’t just that I agree to do what she asks, but it is also “how” I agree to do it, that is important to her. There have been times when I was tired or in the middle of watching a football game and she’d ask me to do something. But if responded in a way was curt, lacking in charity or cheerfulness, she’d say, “You know what? Never mind, I’ll do it myself!” When I jumped up (out of guilt) and insisted that I’ll do it, she would say, “Forget it. If you don’t want to help, I’ll just do myself.”

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