Your spouse is perfect! You just don’t know it yet. That’s according to Dr. Terrance Real, founder of the Rational Life Institute. But you can't wait for your spouse to be wonderful - you have to HELP them get that way. These 4 steps for doing just that are from his book The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work:
- Ask for what you want. If you want your spouse to remember your anniversary and you don’t think they will, remind them. It doesn’t you’re your forgetful spouse a bad person and you’ll get your celebration and save yourselves the argument that would have erupted.
- Switch from complaining to wishing. Instead of saying, “It drives me crazy when you leave wet towels on the bed.” Try, “I wish you wouldn’t leave towels on the bed.” It seems simple, but that change of language turns the comment from negative to hopeful.
- Say “thank you”. Everyone wants to feel appreciated – but often the people we’re closest to seem to appreciate us the least.
So start noticing what your partner does right, and pretty soon they’ll start noticing all YOUR hard work, too.
- You’ll have the marriage you want if you remember your spouse is someone you love. Sometimes, when we’re angry, thing slip out that are better left unsaid. Try being kind. If you can’t be kind - be silent. Then come back to the problem when you've calmed down and can approach your spouse as someone you cherish and hold dear.
Want to learn more? Check out The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work by Terrence Real.