MARRIAGE – Rediscovering that long-lost “good-old-fashioned kindness” that we all forget to show.
As far back as we can remember, there has always been one principle that’s been taught to us since we were kids. That is; the principle of being kind. How does it work? You simply “be nice”. Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Don’t cut in line. Don’t give mean looks. Say nice things. And, don’t talk to your spouse without the common courtesy you freely give away – even to complete strangers. Oops. Looks like a lot of us forgot about that last one.
Here in our marriages, we get pretty comfortable with each other. Too comfortable. We sometimes fail to acknowledge each other’s existence, forgetting to say “hello” when one person walks into the room. Forgetting to say “goodbye” when that person leaves. Sometimes, it’s as though we don’t put forth any effort at all. It’s as though we show our spouses less kindness, rather than more.
We argue over silly things. We react more sensitively to small statements and glances. We act like childhood siblings who fight and bicker with each other, forgetting that the people we’re hurting are actually the ones we love most. So, here in our marriages, we must learn to give our priority and attention back to being kind. What are some simple ways we can do this? One is, by treating our spouse… like a friend.
When we talk to our friends, we usually show a more friendly side of ourselves. We act more agreeable. We smile more. We use friendlier body language. We give common courtesies to each other, like listening when the other is talking. Nodding in assurance or laughing at each other’s jokes and comments, even if we don’t find them funny.
We’ll go out of way for our friends. We’ll take their advice. We give them the benefit of the doubt. We try not to disappoint them, and we quite naturally demonstrate that we enjoy being with them. Why can’t we apply this type of kindness in our relationships with our spouses? Can you imagine how great your relationship would be if you treated your spouse the same way you treated your best friends? Or, if he treated you the way he treats his best friends?
Begin making an effort today to see the ways in which you can show more kindness to your spouse. Smile more. Choose to have a nice countenance. Don’t be grumpy. Say hello and goodbye when she comes or goes. Let your spouse know you acknowledge her presence, and that you’re glad she’s there. Start doing the things that make your friendships great, and you’ll see how great it can make your marriage too.