In marriage, life can get pretty hectic with kids, careers, social engagements, etc… I have noticed that the little things seem to start to suffer first. Communication is essential in making a marriage, or any relationship, work to its full potential. I have said numerous times that words hold great power. Words have the ability to inspire or discourage, to wound or to heal, to knock down or to build someone up. Be careful how you use them. With that in mind, can you see how important a few thoughtful, sincere words a day could have the potential to strengthen your marriage? Here are 11 things your spouse needs to hear.
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.” -Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
11 Things Your Spouse Needs to Hear
1. “I want to make your life easier, not harder.”
I love seeing two independent, emotionally stable people working together, and consciously making the CHOICE to love each other every day and really help each other out. It is important in a relationship to truly be partners. When you truly love someone you want to make life, in general, easier for them not harder. You can show this by your actions, but I know that sometimes it really helps to hear the words. Here are a couple of ways that you can verbalize this:
- “Babe, I want to help you in any way that I can.”
- “Honey, what can I do to make this easier for you?”
I will tell you this, sometimes even the smallest actions from my husband can help my day out. For example, he sometimes offers to pick up my prescriptions so that I don’t have to get the boys out that day if it isn’t a school day. Be on the lookout for little things because it doesn’t always have to be “grand” to have a grand impact.
2. “I want to keep dating you.”
Don’t stop dating your partner after you get married. That piece of advice I heard over and over from friends and family before I got married. I just kind of smiled and nodded, kind of like “I get it. I get it.” But, let me tell you, this is definitely in the top 3 for the best wedding advice. Do no stop wooing each other. Dating and flirting is a great way to remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place.
I am not naive, I know that it isn’t always easy to do this, especially when you have children. Kids get sick, babysitters cancel, or maybe you don’t have any family that lives close by, no matter what the reason is you can still find some creative ways to have a date night at home. I recently wrote a post for Valentines that contains great ideas for home date nights. You can find it here if you need some inspiration.
3. “Please and thank you.”
Be courteous. Be kind. You use these words in your day to day life at work and with strangers at the grocery store to show respect and gratitude, so while not use them with your spouse? It is nice to hear and I know that it makes me feel special and appreciated. Plus, this is a great trait to show your children.
4. “How was your day?”
This is a quick and easy way to show your spouse that you care. The key is that when you ask, you need to really listen to what they say give positive reinforcement and offer to help them solve their problem IF they ask. Sometimes people just want to be heard. It validates their feelings.
5. “I am praying for you.”
In my belief, prayer is a powerful thing. This is a great way to deepen intimacy, especially if you pray together. It also makes your spouse feel special and gives them the strength to know that you are praying for them.
6. “I love you because…”
Sometimes it is nice to hear why your spouse loves you. Sometimes we can feel taken for granted and this is a wonderful way to remind your spouse that you see them and you are grateful and you love all the little things about them. Maybe you could write up a list of why you love your spouse and share it with them over a period of a few days. Maybe you could leave a new reason on a piece of paper for them to see each morning or leave it next to their coffee cup.
7. “I support you.”
This is huge! It is so important for you to make each other feel like you are on the same side. This also gives your spouse the courage to take a leap of faith and, possibly, go for their dreams if they feel like you support them. For example, is your spouse thinking of joining a marathon? Tell them you think it is a great idea and that you believe they can do it. If you are a runner too, you could even offer to train with them.
8. “You are beautiful/handsome.”
It is important to remind your spouse that you still find them attractive. You still find them just as beautiful/handsome as the day you first met them. The world we live in has a way of making us believe that aging isn’t necessarily beautiful, don’t let your spouse feel this way. Help your spouse to see themselves the way you see them.
9. “I believe in you.”
These are such powerful words, especially coming from people that we love and people that we want to impress. These words give me such strength when I hear them from my husband. I feel like I can do anything as long as he believes in me.
10. “I am sorry.”
It is inevitable. You will eventually mess up, make a mistake, or hurt your spouse. We are human and we all make mistakes or speak without thinking sometimes. Apologize and mean it. This is a great way to remind your spouse that you respect them and their feelings. Do not say “sorry” just to end the fight, real repentance means acknowledging your faults.
11. “What do you think?”
We need to involve each other in our decision making processes. If we are truly partners, we both need to have a say and feel like we can voice our opinions. For me, it really helps validate my feelings and my worth when he asks me what I think about something. It affirms the partnership.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31