How to Be the Best Spouse You Can Ever Be
Whether you’re married for many years or just getting hitched, you probably want to know how you can be the best spouse there is for your life partner. This is something that can be learned, with some practice and patience. And what is the best about it is that becoming the best spouse will also make you a better person in general.
So, here are a few tips to become the better version of yourself for your other half
1. Take care of yourself
Let’s start with what’s the most fun. It might sound selfish to begin a set of advice on how to become better spouse by talking about your own wellbeing. Yet, as everyone will agree, we can only be good for others when we’re good to ourselves. Or, in other words, we must be at the top of our game to be able to give the best to our loved ones.
What this means is sleep well, eat well, exercise, practice mindfulness, and do the things you enjoy. There is science behind such assertion. For example, as a study by Gailliot and Baumeister revealed, to eat well essentially means to have greater self-control and willpower (due to blood glucose levels).
And self-control is essential when you are married, whether it sounds like a joke or not. You need restraint in order not to succumb to anger for the smallest things, or burst out in tears. Having self-control in marriage means to be able to react to your partner’s actions freely and not to be a passive toy in the hands of your emotions.
2. Learn to be assertive
There is never too much emphasis put on the importance of good communication in any relationship, including marriage. It means opening up the channels of deep and meaningful interaction, one in which you can learn about yourself and your partner. Good communication means knowing how to express yourself and listen to others.
Being assertive is even more than just knowing how to communicate. Being assertive means that you find ways to tackle both your insecurity and defensiveness and your instinct to be aggressive to reach your goals. Being assertive means learning to respect yourself and your spouse.
You can begin by learning about your assertive rights. These are tenets that teach you how to overcome certain maladaptive patterns in your behavior towards yourself and others. For example, these assertive rights propagate that you have the right to say no, not know everything, to not be the best in everything, to be wrong and to change your mind. And they teach you to respect the same rights of others. Which is why being assertive helps you be the best spouse you can possibly be.
3. Express your emotions
Being assertive helps you express your emotions. But, there’s more to it than merely being assertive. To express your feelings means being emotionally intelligent. And this is something that can be learned, for those who don’t already possess this trait. Marriage is filled with opportunities to practice emotional intelligence.
Expressing your emotions means being direct about both your negative feelings and your positive effect. Proper expressing your negative emotions doesn’t mean wracking your house in an angry fit. Although you have the right to feel any way you feel, there are adequate and inadequate ways of handling your emotions. Similarly, to be the best spouse there is, you also need to learn how to express your positive emotions and affection. Many married people, men especially, struggle with how to show their loved ones how much they really care. You can search for creative small and big ways to show this. But also, never forget to simply say it upfront.
4. Express your gratitude
Lastly, we reach the final advice on how to be the perfect spouse. It’s to express your gratitude for having your husband of your wife in your life. Many married people sincerely feel gratefulness for how lucky they are to have their spouses. But it is seldom that they directly say it to their partners.
We often believe our spouses can read our minds, especially if you’re married for years or decades. Yet, they can’t. Which is why you need to say it straightforwardly. You might think this is understood, but your husband or your wife might not have the idea how you really feel about them, given how easily appreciation gets lost in daily stress and occasional quarrels. Therefore, go and tell your life partner how much you cherish them, and watch how you become the best spouse you can ever be.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.