The Movement

The Dynamic Relationship
Many of us are not in solid, good, fulfilling relationships. Twenty-plus years ago, I ventured into the marital relationship counseling field and have seen a ton of success with couples — I have learned a ton too. (Much of which I use within my 25-plus year relationship). I hate my husband. When love turns to hate, we’re dealing with a problem. Who suffers? Everyone. Stay tuned.


The Stop Giving It Away Movement
Stop Giving It Away is a self-advocacy movement for women, aimed at recognizing and stopping the unnecessary self-sacrifice that leaves many women feeling used, burned out, sad, resentful, angry or confused.

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The Story Behind Stop Giving It Away

Stop Giving It Away started with a little girl who lost the 50-yard dash for all the wrong reasons. Women—quite naturally, and most times without even noticing it—frequently give up their wants, desires, energy, power, ideas, time and dreams, mistaking this for being caring and compassionate.

Stop Giving It Away tells the real-life stories of Giveaway Girls. They feel the pressure of real and perceived outside forces. They feel the pressure of inner forces that dwell in the scars of past hardships and trauma. They make Shadow Deals. They try to change and “fix” other people, especially guys (sometimes their kids). Giveaway Girls neglect their needs to manage and take care of people and circumstances around them.

Born of a love and compassion for the extraordinary women who are trying so hard and doing too much, Stop Giving It Away explores the cultural and societal underpinnings  of what keeps women stuck. Stop Giving It Away offers an actionable, achievable set of self-care solutions for home, work, life and love.

>> Purchase Stop Giving It Away at Amazon
>> Purchase Stop Giving It Away at Barnes & Noble


Solutions at Work
Stop Giving It Away is a brand and book developed by Cherilynn M. Veland, MSW, LCSW, a Chicago-area psychotherapist and  social worker. Stop Giving It Away is a solutions-based approach to the chronic busyness and overfunctioning to which so many women are prone. It’s the product of more than 20 years of counseling individuals, couples and families.


  1. My opinion is this: women wouldn’t be so busy if they would say no to a lot of things….having children being one. A woman ought to know that if they have a baby….their lives will be changed forever into one hectic mess if they don’t demand others help out. Even if they do demand help, that doesn’t “obligate” others to help since society doesn’t back up obligations to help raise children with law, many times not even child support from non-custodial fathers.

    • Terri,
      I like the passion behind your opinion. Yes. We women probably could benefit from saying “no” more and “yes” to asking for help and reaching out for support. Sadly, our society and others can be limited in what it offers as far as help is concerned. I just read that the US didn’t score well on the list
      of Best Countries For Moms.
      Thanks for contributing! Keep it up.

    • Help.. my boyfriend and I have this argument about “appreciation” and when and how to say “thank you”. I think female give what they
      want to receive and then get surprised when it doesn’t feel like the man really liked it. I know my expectations are high, but why does it feel like the greatest gift you can give a man is space. Sorry but I am a caregiver (massage practitioner and esthetician and a woman who does too much. Is there help for me? What is a normal amount of appreciation? Why is he not the best “receiver”?

      • Hi there Tracey. Do you mind if I move this question over to the Ask Cherilynn page?You have several great questions that I would love to answer.

      • Tracey,
        Hi there. I think that many times couples do spend needless time giving in the way that they want to be given to.

        Have you ever read the book “The Five Love Languages”? I like this book because it helps couples split up their wants and needs into categories quite simply. So, perhaps you want time, attention, and physical affection. This means that that is your “love language”. This is a major way that you can feel satisfied and connected in a relationship. If you are not getting that, it can be terribly lonely and painful. The funny part is, we women can get into a cycle where we do for another what we want them to do for us. We somehow believe we shouldn’t have to ask. Hinting is never helpful!

        Believe it or not, I recommend getting a poster board and a pointer, and get in front of your husband’s TV show, and give him a quick overview of the book. (Humor is a good way to help the medicine go down!) Then shift to the serious side and tell him exactly what you need on a daily basis to feel loved. Then, you guys can take the test to figure out what his “love language ” is. Try doing this with each other for a week and let us know how it goes!!!

  2. As a woman in my 60’s, i can say that women give it away because of societal expectations that they will. Women need to learn to not be owned by men. Human slavery can arguably be defined as financial dependence on men due to women bearing and raising their children for FREE. Often, women stay in abusive relationships often because they cannot support themselves or their children.

    There are many other valid ways to frame why women give it away, but for sure, the way to stop is to become educated, employable and obtain gainful employment. Marriage is a legal contract. Women should view it that way before they sign that license.

    If you get to pursue your dreams after you are done taking care of others, your life will be about the leftover crumbs of someone else’s dream. Aim for YOUR best life, and reciprocal relationships that support your dreams. Leave the crumbs for the mice.

  3. If women choose to have children they are responsible for bringing them up and should not expect to dump them in a child care centre or continue on as single women while letting someone else do the caring. My mother opted out of her career to be a mother and then lay in bed for years leaving me to cook, shop and clean and care for my younger brother, and my father to work to pay for her lifestyle. For those who think that work is an easier option, think again. Bosses tend to bully women more than men and carry on the notion that they should be tireless drones who keep their business looking good. Say no to a boss and you are shown the door. Keep your eyes wide open and try to make better choices. I see women bleeding men dry financially instead of gaining a good career themselves. For those women who feel entitled to marry for money and status, and then expect the men to help round the house after their partner has worked overtime to pay for their luxury lifestyles while they have spent the day socialising, I think it is time to stop being princesses and earn your crown through honest work and study. Parasites are great at attaching to hosts who will make their lives easier. If you want to belly ache about the difficulties in child rearing maybe look at why you had children and expected others to look after them. Too many immature women attempt to opt out of the workforce through having a child and then call on others to do their work but want the accolades for being a great mother. Look at how the narcissistic mother bristles if you challenge her mothering skills. Parenting is hard work not a case of playing with dolls you put down when they demand too much, but pick up for the family portrait.

    • C,
      I am so sorry you had that experience as a child. It has certainly affected your viewpoint on women and mothers. In addition, you appear to hold women fully and wholly accountable for all the care of children. You write that women are” immature, narcissistic, and parasitic” as just a few examples of your impressions. I will skip most of the harsh wording. In reply, I immediately fall to the words of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett, in that magnanimous book Pride and Prejudice, “I never saw such a woman. She would certainly be a fearsome thing to behold.”

      Of the thousands of women I have treated and met, none of them appear anything like the descriptions you have made. I strongly recommend that you speak to a trusted counselor about your losses and pain. There is so much hurt, anger, and resentment present. It really bleeds through the page. Therefore, the energy it dispels in you must be intense. As for your mother, your brief description of her sounds like someone who may have had a mental illness like depression or a substance addiction. However, it is impossible to make such a diagnosis without any other information. Having a parent with any incapacitating illness will certainly cause tremendous disruption and trauma for the family.

      I wrote a blog about the movie, “Winter’s Bone”. Have you heard of it? It is a beautiful tale of an older sister who takes on the care of her younger siblings when her mother becomes catatonic and disappears into her head. Anyway, read the blog. I basically talk about how awful it is for the position of the oldest child in a situation like that, but what a blessing to those children that someone picked up the gauntlet. I am sure you were a blessing to your brother. Thank you for adding your input.

  4. In addiction circles, suggestions for recovery are for “getting out of self”; Religion teaches “love your neighbor as yourself”. My difficulty is in the “AS” aspect, i.e., caring for and nurturing others to the point of self neglect. My task is to develop the care and love for my own development and maintain a healthy balance. Sites and articles such as this are extremely helpful.

    • Joann,
      You make a good point about how in addiction circles, getting out of an over focus on self is important. However, for codependency (which most women suffer from) the opposite forces are at play. In other words, while the typical “addict” is too narcissistic, the codependent isn’t narcissistic enough. Therefore, you have to be careful to find a balance.

      I once got into a disagreement with a minister who tried to assert to a large group of overwhelmed mothers that caring for yourself in front of nurturing others was sinful. He was interpreting “love your neighbor as yourself” as to mean you should always put the neighbor in front of yourself. He said the whole Oprah thing was promoting selfishness. These women accepted what he said as truth even though you could see the pain it was causing them.

      Interestingly, I could tell that he was an incredibly narcissistic person who was trying his best not to be. He looked at this group of women and assumed that they were fighting against the same forces. Most of them weren’t. They had been taught since birth to do first for others no matter how deleterious to their selves. This is an important message that can get skewed. Please keep up the comments and I am so happy that you find this helpful.

  5. I feel like being codependent is the ultimate in narcissistic traits. It is to this extent that the person “pleasing others” to make themselves feel good or “better than” is also putting themselves in the victim role! What could be more narcissistic than using others’ situations, misfortunes, or helping them than to top it off with those who witness such actions say, “Oh, you are so giving!” or “What about YOU? You help everybody at your sacrifice.”

    • Jen,
      Very interesting points with a lot of wisdom there.

      Anytime you are giving from an unhealthy place or sacrificing too much, you will end up getting resentful, hurt, and/or frustrated. This is a sign to back off and reevaluate your giving or “pleasing others”. Thank you for adding!


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