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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 33,383
3/27/14 12:54 A

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Really good tips!


What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?

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RAPUNZEL53 Posts: 40,065
3/26/14 4:03 A

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3/25/14 8:41 P

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Characteristics of a Good Spouse

1.Pray. Ask your spouse how you can pray for him/her. If appropriate pray together for one another and your marriage. In either case, pray for your marriage privately or with a confidante.

2.Get help. Talk with others you trust and respect in confidence about your marriage and your role in it. Seek compassionate support and solicit honest feedback on what you need to work on.

3.Take initiative to spend time with your spouse. Don't wait for your spouse to make a date with you or to set time to talk with you. Suggest it yourself. If your husband or wife feels pressured by this then you'll need to back off some and chose your opportunities carefully.

4.Say, "I'm sorry." Admit to your weaknesses and wrongdoings, especially when they're hurtful to your spouse. And then show concern for your spouse's feelings and try not to do it again.

5.Forgive. When you've been hurt by your spouse extend forgiveness. Don't hold onto resentments, they'll eat away at your insides and your marriage too.

6.Be an active listener. Ask your spouse how he/she feels and then listen. Listen without giving advice or reacting emotionally. Try to understand life from his/her perspective. Then demonstrate your understanding by summarizing what you're hearing.

7.Invite your spouse to understand you. Time and again I see people misuse their opportunity to be understood and supported by their spouse because they're blaming or talking about their partner's behavior instead of their own experience. When it's your chance to share, verbalize your feelings (experiences and needs). Don't argue about what really happened. Don't analyze your spouse's behavior, feelings, or motives. Talk about your feelings, making "I statements" and not "You statements."

8.Respect your spouse's boundaries. If he/she says, "I can't talk now." or "It hurts me when you criticize me. Please don't." then you need to respect that. Don't try to control your partner's behavior. You're responsible for your behavior and that's enough for you to manage!

9.Set your boundaries. Acknowledge your limitations on your time and energy and abilities. Give what you can to your spouse, but take care of yourself too. And, by all means, don't tolerate being repeatedly abused, raged at, betrayed, mistreated, or manipulated. You should be treated with respect. If you're not then set boundaries to protect yourself and to get your needs met.

10.Work to improve your own weaknesses. People with strong character that I know are aware of their faults and work to improve themselves. They learn from the feedback about themselves that they receive from others and are invested in their own growth. Perhaps more than any other relationship, marriage makes us aware of our personal issues that we need to work on. Accept this as an opportunity for personal growth.

11.Be considerate of your spouse's weaknesses. In troubled marriages the partners criticize each other's faults, continually expecting each other to be different than they are. By contrast, in growing marriages partners compensate for one another's weakness by anticipating them and working around them. Give your spouse grace!

12.Affirm your spouse's strengths. Verbalize admiration and appreciation for the good qualities and contributions he or she makes. This is just as important for little things like, "Thanks for taking out the trash" as it is for big things like, "I admire you as a parent. You really put yourself into caring for our kids." Appreciation is especially valuable if it relates directly to your marriage. For instance, a wife said to her husband, "It meant a lot to me when you took time to listen to me last night before we went to bed. Thanks."

13.Talk positively about your spouse to others. Frequently, when I talk with people who are having problems in their marriage I find out that they routinely talk badly about their husband or wife to their family and friends, sometimes even in front of him or her. People I know who have good marriages never do this! If they have a problem with their spouse then they talk to him or her about it or they talk to a trusted confidante. And when they talk about their marriage problems they do so without blaming their spouse. They take responsibility for their part in a problem and own up to their reactions as being under their control.

14.Respond to your spouse's needs. What's important to your spouse is probably different than what's important to you. People feel loved in different ways. Sharing feelings, being appreciated, special time together, affection, sex, thoughtful gifts, and shared activities are a few examples. Know your spouse's love language and be sure to use it often.

15.Express interest in what's important to your spouse. Talk to your spouse about the things that interest him or her. Questions like "How did you enjoy lunch with your friend today?" or "How's your project going?" show that you care.

16.Be kind. This tip may be last in the list, but it's certainly not the least important. Kindness goes along ways to create warmth and positive feelings in a relationship. Every day there are opportunities for simple, kind gestures that show you care. A compliment, a hug, a note, or a favor takes only a moment, and yet they can brighten your spouse's day and your marriage.

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