How to Be the Best Spouse

Marriage is hard. You promised to love, cherish, and stick with someone “’til death do us part.” That was before you knew he considers it most efficient to leave all the clothes he’s worn on different parts of the floor so he can remember how many times he’s worn them. Or before you noticed that she can’t remember to close the cabinets and leaves you smacking your head every time you enter the kitchen.

It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong with our spouses and how we could turn them into perfect wives or husbands if they’d just listen. However, you really can’t change anyone else. It just isn’t going to happen. You can change yourself, though, and work to be the best spouse you possibly can. Who knows? If you work at it, you might just bring out your spouse’s best. Here are 6 ways you can be the best spouse.

How to Be the Best Spouse

1) Remember the beginning

You’ve got to start with affection. If you’re so sick of this person that you can hardly stand to be around her anymore, you’re not going to be a very good spouse. Go back in your mind to remember what you thought of him at first. Why were you attracted to her in the first place? Was it his sensitivity, her strength, his sense of humor, her disregard for others’ opinions? Think about it. Reflect on when you were first together and what she/he did that made your stomach flip and slapped that goofy grin on your face. You might even find the memory bringing the grin back, and you’ll almost definitely feel some of that initial affection returning to your heart.

2) Say “Thank you”

Our spouses do a lot for us, and a lot of time we get used to it and forget to be grateful. Even if you don’t think she does a whole lot, try to find something she did that makes your life a little bit easier. Then thank her for it. It can be as simple as thanking her for helping pay the bills by going to work every day or making dinner or watching the kids or moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer. This one’s a double win: you feel more grateful as you say “thank you,” and she feels appreciated.

3) Be playful

Doing silly little things can make a lot of difference in a relationship. Whether it’s tweaking his butt, making stupid pun jokes, or hiding in the closet and popping out when she enters the room, find some way to be light-hearted with your spouse. Of course, you don’t want to do this when you know she is mad at you; address the issue when there is one. However, a bit of mirth can be great medicine when a relationship has suffered a lot of strain.

4) Help when you want to be helped

Sometimes we want things from our spouses, and we know they’re just not going to do them. You can be bitter about it. You can yell at them. You can pout. Or, you could say, “Well, I want her to make me happy right now, but I can’t control that. What could I do to make her happy instead?” Flipping it around and asking what you can do for him instead of always focusing on what you wish he would do for you can be a real game-changer for your attitude and your marriage.

5) Apologize first

So much relational tension comes from the fact that neither person will admit what they’ve done. Perhaps both of you know that you’re partly to blame, but you’re definitely not going to admit it until he does. Unforgiveness kills love quicker than a long fart kills the mood. Become the one who apologizes first. It’s hard. It requires a lot of humility. If you really care about your spouse and your marriage, you’re going to have to embrace the hard and the humbling sometimes.

6) Focus on the good side

A funny aspect of romantic relationships is that as you get to know a person better, the things you initially loved about him can later become things that you loathe. When you started dating, you loved how laid back she was. Now she seems irresponsible and careless. You loved how logical and intellectual he was. Now he seems critical and harsh. You loved that she was a great listener, but now you wish she’d talk every once in a while. Every coin has two sides, and loving someone has a lot less to do with the coins than it does with which side you choose to stare at. Focus on the helpful aspects of that characteristic. Chances are, if it’s a major part of his personality, it’s not going to change. You can change how you think about it, though. That makes all the difference.

You might never be able to make your spouse into exactly who you want her/him to be. Chances are, he/she can’t really do that for you either. However, you can love them to the very best of your ability.

If you’d like more help working on your marriage or you just need someone to listen, feel free to contact us at Family Restoration Counseling.

Similar Posts