In the spirit of the New Year and resolutions, consider taking time to reflect on ways to be a better partner in word and deed. The tendency may be to tell your partner how he or she could be a better spouse, but first try to lead by example. Below you will find a list of statements or approaches that can be detrimental to a relationship if not addressed. As you go through the list, give yourself kudos for the ones you are already avoiding and use that momentum to rid your speech and conduct of the other items. In all of these, the underlying notion is promoting validation and empathy in the relationship as they are two crucial components to feeling loved.
- Avoid using extremes in statements such as “You always, You never, You’re constantly, You’re the worst, You’re the most difficult” etc
- Now that we’ve touched on that, NEVER threaten divorce or leave if you don’t want it to happen. This erodes the foundational commitment you made in your vow.
- Eliminate name-calling, expletive slander and intentional putdowns
- Abstain from projecting poor behavior or decisions as character flaws
- Do not joke about life after this marriage or with another person
- Avoid telling your spouse they need to stop talking or calm down; instead ask for space or a time out.
Comedian Tim Hawkins provides additional more specific tips for husbands here if needed.