The best spouse relationships are based on love and respect. That goes without saying, doesn’t it? Everyone probably realizes that love and respect are crucial to having a good marriage. But beyond love and respect there are a few things that can help spouse relationships.
Think back to when you were first married. If you’re newly married, think back to when you first met and were dating. How did you treat your partner? You probably treated your partner with respect, but also with kindness and thoughtfulness.
Unfortunately, it’s common that the longer we know someone, the less kind we tend to be toward them. One would think that the opposite holds true. But we start to take the other person for granted and think they’ll always be there, no matter what.
Think of the last time you went to the bank or grocery store and spoke to the cashier. Maybe you exchanged words with a stranger. How was the tone of your voice and your words? You probably sounded like the sweetest person on the planet. That person might have thought “how polite” when you walked away.
Now think to the words and the tone of the voice you use with your spouse sometimes. When you get angry or you’re unhappy about something, think about how you sound. Would you ever speak that way to a stranger? If you’re thinking “probably not” then you’ve started taking advantage of your spouse.
People do it with close friends, parents and children, too. If we could record people’s conversations and play them back at a different time, people might be ashamed of how they sounded. And they probably wouldn’t speak that way to someone they didn’t know well for fear of hurting their feelings!
Good spouse relationships are kind ones. Everyone gets angry now and then. And yes, everyone says things he or she regrets in an angry and even hateful tone of voice. But you can keep these instances to a minimum by just thinking about whether you’d talk to your postman or your boss that way.
Thoughtfulness is also an important factor in good spouse relationships. People love their spouses, but it seems the longer they’re together, they less they sometimes show it. Your spouse is one person you should make a point of being thoughtful toward, too.
In the beginning when you’re first dating someone or first married, you might send (or receive) flowers, cards and little surprises. Generally after people are married for a while, these sorts of things slow down or stop. Remembering to be thoughtful and surprise your spouse can help makes yours one of the better spouse relationships.
Try to keep in mind that marriage isn’t written in stone. There really are other opportunities out there for your spouse. Bring back some of the things you did and said when you were trying to win this person. Be kind and thoughtful as much as you can. Those combined with love and respect will make yours one of the enduring spouse relationships.