People aren’t perfect. So there’s no such thing as the perfect mate. But there are ways we can all improve, and learn how to become a better spouse.
Here are five things you can do every day that are pretty much guaranteed to make your spouse a little crazy…as in crazy in love with you.
1. Show RESPECT
First of all, show respect with your words. And remember it’s not just WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it.
Does your spouse tell you that you sound impatient? condescending? disappointed? angry? Pay attention to your tone of voice. And when you feel yourself sliding into an unpleasant tone, apologize, and say it again with respect.
We all know that actions speak even more loudly than words. So show respect with your actions, too.
Does the way you ACT communicate irritation, frustration, spite, selfishness, or revenge? We’ve all been there. And sometimes, we feel perfectly justified in the way we respond to our spouse. But is it right? And, practically speaking, is it helpful?
So the next time you feel tempted to respond to your spouse with disrespectful actions, ask yourself what would demonstrate respect for your spouse. Then do that instead.
2. Be TRUSTWORTHY.
If you say you’re going to be somewhere – show up. Did you promise to be home by a certain time? Be there. Did you promise to do something? Do it. And if for some reason you aren’t able to, offer an explanation BEFORE you are asked for one. Give the real reason, not one that will make you look good. Spouses who are consistently honest and reliable help reduce stress and build up happiness at home.
3. Be COMMITTED.
Make your marriage commitment a high priority. Don’t give your spouse the leftovers of your time and attention. Do things together! Cultivate your relationship with your spouse and over time, you’ll find yourself growing more and more in love with each other. Spouses who prioritize their marriage are unlikely to get bored, and rarely find themselves involved in an affair.
Also, be committed to your own health and personal integrity. Spouses who take care of themselves, and live with a strong sense of personal morality address their own bad habits and deal with addictions. And they love themselves and their families enough to get help when they need it.
4. Be SUPPORTIVE.
Care for your spouse in practical ways. Do your part to support the family budget. If you have children, engage as a parent. Do your share of the chores inside and outside the house. And when your spouse needs a shoulder to lean on or feels overwhelmed by demands, be there for him or her.
Another way to be supportive is to find out what your spouse dreams about and longs for. Then find concrete ways to help them realize their dreams.
5. Finally, LOVE each other DEEPLY.
Deep love is not primarily a feeling. It’s an attitude and a way of communicating care and concern. It’s being willing to do what is best for the other, even when that means sacrifice. Perhaps especially when that means sacrifice.
Deep love is the opposite of selfishness, pride, retribution, impatience, and anger. So deep love believes the best, and seeks the best for the other. Even when we are hurt or disappointed, deep love keeps us moving toward each other in marriage. It is hard to imagine a marriage lasting without it.
There are other components to a successful marriage, of course, and lots of ways to be a better spouse. But improving in these five areas will do wonders for any marriage – even one that is not working well at the moment.