In probably the most reliable survey ever done on divorce, by Joan Kelly, Ph.D. and Lynn Gigy, Ph.D from the Divorce Mediation project in Corte Madera, California, only 20% to 27% of couples said an extramarital affair was even partially to blame for their divorce.
In contrast, 73% to 80% of divorced men and women said their marriage broke up because they gradually grew apart and lost a sense of closeness, because they didn’t feel loved and appreciated.
While men and women are somewhat different in how we experience the world, we do have similar needs. We all want to be loved, respected, and feel good about ourselves. We want to be seen as whole and complete.
Which One Are You to Your Spouse?
We want to be liked, loved, and happy.
Some people make us feel valued.
Some people make us feel special.
Others make us feel discouraged, unimportant, and small.
So, which one are YOU to your spouse?
How do You Make Your Spouse Feel Good About Themselves?
Fortunately, it’s possible to make your spouse feel good about themself pretty easily, and It doesn’t take reading a 300 page book. Instead, it takes following at least some of the suggestions below. Pick your favorite one(s) and start today!
- Make them feel special. By far the best way to instantly make your spouse feel special is to do so daily and in small doses. Don’t wait for a special occasion.
- Follow up on something your partner confided to you in the past. Show you’re really listening them by following up about something your partner has said in the past, and how that went. Comment on a previous discussion you may have had with them. Ask them how they felt about it. This speaks volumes about you and how much attention you pay to what’s happening in your spouse’s life.
- Express admiration out loud. Talk is cheap, but a compliment and a bit of admiration once in a while can make a big difference. Don’t assume they know how you feel about them. When your spouse dresses to go out, pay attention and admire them. Let your partner know when they’re wearing a color that really complements their eyes or hair. Just remember, when you are giving a compliment, be specific. Tell why you think so. It will feel much more genuine.
- Let them know how proud you are of them: Show enthusiasm for your partner’s personal and work-related successes. Give them the credit they deserve. Don’t forget to celebrate their accomplishments! Let them see how happy you are for them.
- Shine a light on them in public. Compliment your partner in public often. Do it in front of your kids too!
- Encourage whenever you can. Encourage them in their pursuits of achieving their goals, whatever those are. Also, be the first one to lift their spirits up when they are down. Remember, you are their most ferocious cheerleader. Fake it, if necessary. It’ll become true with time.
- Show that you are on the same team. Even if you think your spouse is wrong, don’t side with the other person (especially not your spouse’s boss!). Instead, give the emotional support your loved one needs at that particular moment and support them. Even if you don’t agree with what they’ve done or said, just say “I understand. That must have been difficult for you,” and not “How could you do this!?” You will have a chance to say more later but now is not the time.
- Avoid unsolicited advice. It’s highly probable that your partner just wants to be heard.
- Show physical affection. Every day when my wife goes to work I give her a loving look, a kiss, and a hug. This may sound strange, but she’s become “addicted” to that, and she openly says so. It makes her feel appreciated and loved. How do I know? She told me. Here are 18 more ways you can make your spouse feel good about themselves with a simple touch, even without sexpectations.
- Buy them a little something—just because. Small gestures say a lot. Buy your spouse a little something (his favorite magazine, her favorite chocolate) on your way home, for no special reason—apart, of course, from showing your thoughtfulness to the love of your life.
- Laugh with them. This may seem really easy but you would be surprised how few smiles we see on an average day. Everyone is busy and most of the people you meet during the day often don’t smile. Let it be different at home! Laughter is one of those wonderful things that make us feel good inside, both from a mental and physical standpoint. When you laugh, you connect. Here are some simple ways you can bring more laughter into your marriage.
So, What Was the Compliment I Got From My Wife?
The other day when my wife I were doing our regular walk, we played a game. Each of us had to think of the top five things that we loved (and still love) about the other.
My wife told me: “You make me feel that I’m a better person than I think I am”.
That was the biggest compliment I’d ever received in my life. It made me think about the path we’ve been on until now, and how incredibly lucky I am that we were able to not only make it work, but enjoy our marriage every single day.
QUESTION: How about you? Are you making your spouse feel good about themselves? Are you boosting their self-esteem? How? You can leave a comment by clicking here.