12 Steps to be More Supportive to Your Spouse
How to be more supportive to your spouse is a question that has been asked for ever. We are all very different and each one of us has different needs and desires. I hope that you will get something out of my experiences with how to be more supportive to your spouse.
Personal Story that Changed Everything! Many years ago, my husband and I had several couples over to our house for some food and fun. We had friends that just got married and some that had been married for over 10 years. I decided to see how well everyone knew each other and prepared a newlywed type game.
As the game was going on, one question completely made me stop and think about what makes a strong marriage. The question was asked to the women “When was the last time you kissed your spouse on the lips.” Not one of the wives said “today”. Some couldn’t even remember the last time they kissed their husbands on the lips.
I was completely shocked. That was so strange to me. Here it was the evening and I thought that at least the friend that had been married for only one month had kissed her husband that day. I kiss my husband on the lips all the time. I thought that was normal. I decided that day that showing my husband affection through touch and support was my my top priority. I know my husband likes kissing…..we have been married for a long time. 🙂
It may be just a kiss, but I believe it could be the beginning of world peace. OK maybe not world peace, but personal growth and a happier relationship. I have found that kissing is a natural reaction to kindness, encouragement and feeling supported.
Want a little more romance in your life? 25 Ways to Romance Your Husband.
Supportive words behind a kiss or two could be the difference between finishing a simple puzzle or winning a cash prize in a competition. What?
Let me explain. There was a study done by Carnegie University. The researchers brought 163 married couples into the lab and gave one member of each couple a choice: either solve a simple puzzle, or take the opportunity to compete for a prize. The researchers then recorded the couples’ conversations as they decided whether to do the simple task of solving the puzzle, or take on the challenge and compete for the prize.
Participants with the most encouraging partners were much more likely to decide to compete for the prize. Those participants with partners who discouraged them or expressed a lack of confidence in their partners would often chose the simple puzzle.
Six months later, those same couples who went for the more challenging task, reported having more personal growth, psychological well-being, happiness, and better relationships than those who didn’t.
So, what can you do to be more supportive to your spouse and to encourage them to embrace all that life has to offer? The researchers found that the most supportive partners expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity, reassured their partners, and talked about the potential benefits of taking on the challenge
How to be more supportive to your spouse.
Show Your Enthusiasm
Cheer each other on. Go Team Go!! Let your enthusiasm show through. As a bonus, it will make your relationship much more fun. Yes there will be more kissing and hand holding.
Try these activities to show enthusiasm:
1. Share meaningful activities. It’s easy to be enthusiastic when you love what you’re doing. Decide together what your top priorities are as a couple and devote your time to them. Is spending time alone together a priority? Do more of that.
2. Ask questions. Do you find it hard to take an interest in your spouse’s job or hobby? Becoming more curious could trigger some excitement that you didn’t know you had. Ask them to give you an introduction to corporate litigation, NFL Football or Karaoke.
3. Give specific praise. Compliments mean more when you are genuine. Tell your spouse precisely what it is you admire about their communication skills or how hard working they are or how he/she made everyone feel welcome at the last dinner party…or how sexy he looks unloading the dishwasher.
4. Stay energized. How can you sound perky when you’re tired and hungry? Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well may not always be the answer; Sometimes you need to just push through.
5. Manage stress. Learning to relax will also help you keep your spirits high. Take the time to regularly meditate and pray. Listen to gentle music or go for a walk.
Everything that is worthwhile requires effort and persistence. Being a reassuring partner can help you be more supportive to your spouse and help you both hang in there until you achieve results.
Try these ways to reassure your partner:
1. Remember your purpose. When obstacles arise, encourage your spouse to think about the reasons why they are doing their thing. Set goals that you both believe in.
2. Listen and encourage. Be a sounding board so your spouse can recognize and overcome self-limiting beliefs that may hold them back. Strive to be a role model for pressing forward and making constructive changes.
3. Remember your accomplishments. Go over the things that you and your spouse have accomplished together. You’ll feel more confident and empowered.
4. Get organized. Physical and mental clutter can trigger anxiety and slow you down. Maintaining an orderly home and creating efficient routines will give you both more peace of mind.
Focus on What You Have to Gain
It’s easier to take risks when you think about the benefits. Cultivate a cheerful outlook. Your hopefulness is contagious so your spouse will pick up on it too.
Turn these actions into daily habits:
1. See the silver lining. Find the good in any situation. Keep a list of the things you and your spouse have to be grateful for, including each other.
2. Take a close look at challenges. Look at setbacks as opportunities to learn. Give your partner a chance to express their feelings, and then move on. Direct your energy to coming up with solutions.
3. Take a look at your environment. What types of influences surround you and your spouse? Be selective about the media you consume and search for inspiring stories. Develop a strong network of family and friends you can rely on.
Supporting your spouse can make you happier and more successful as a couple and as individuals. Nourish your relationship with enthusiasm, reassurance, optimism and of course lots of hugs and kisses.
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