We talk about ways to improve our marriages and to keep our relationships strong. It’s equally important to understand that we ourselves have an effect on our marriages. We can be the bad partners. We can be the spouse that causes the issues that need to be improved. We can be the problem.
Many counselors advise that while we cannot change other people, we can change ourselves. So here are 10 ways you can avoid being the bad spouse:
- Don’t Be Selfish – Yes, you need to take care of yourself in order to be there for others, but when you put your needs always ahead of everyone else’s you are going to create conflict
- Don’t Be a Martyr – Again, you need to take care of your family, but being the one who always gives will begin to build internal resentments and you may begin to withhold a portion of yourself consciously or unconsciously
- Don’t Fail to Show Appreciation – Letting your spouse know you love them is important, it’s important to say thank you and demonstrate your love and affection by treating them well
- Don’t Overdo the Pampering – Seriously, that sounds like weird advice, but if you are constantly pampering your spouse, they will develop an expectation for that treatment and if you fail to deliver for whatever reason – their heightened expectations can lead to disappointments and conflict
- Don’t Be too Independent – independence as admirable trait, but everyone needs to be needed. If you demonstrate and emphasize repeatedly, how much you do not need your spouse – you can damage their self-esteem and their self-image
- Don’t Be too Dependent – By the same token, over-dependence can create a burden on your spouse and leave them feeling boxed in and claustrophobic
- Don’t Keep Things to Yourself – Marriage is about partnership and while you may think you are protecting your spouse from bad news, keeping it from them prevents them from being able to help or be a part of the solution
- Don’t Battle Over the Little Things – There are enough conflicts in life that getting into a fight over where your spouse squeezes the tube of toothpaste is about stupid
- Don’t Over Extend Your Emotional and Financial Resources – Being good and caring is great, but when you over extend yourself, you and your spouse could be endangering yourselves and creating undue stress and conflict
- Don’t invite someone else into your marriage – you and your partner need to be able to trust and depend on each other, when you start relying on someone else for your emotional support – your marriage is in danger
What other ways can you think of to avoid being a bad spouse?