by Gideon

October 2, 2015

I love the quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau that says: “Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.” What I read into that is that if I want to have a “better” partner, it actually starts with ME. I have to become a better partner before my relationship will change. In today’s post, we look at five ways to be a better partner.

Let me be clear from the start here, I decided to write this post not because I’m by any means perfect but rather because I needed to remind myself of what’s required to make a great marriage or relationship.

I also needed a scapegoat because I know my wife will read this ?.

The truth is marriage can be the greatest blessing of your life, but it takes a lot of work to maintain a close, intimate relationship for a long time.

Chuck some kids and pets, a career or business demands and/or general life curveballs in there, and marriage becomes a real juggling act.

I think people who genuinely manage to create a great marriage are something to look up to.

As Rocky said,

It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, it will knock you down and keep you down if you let it. 

Reality is, sometimes it seems as though the odds are against the success of a marriage.

But I believe and know there are many things we can do to keep building the relationships we desire in order to climb in bed at the end of the day feeling truly fulfilled and happy.

I pick being married over being single every day of the week, assuming of course both my partner and I belong together and make a real attempt to create something beautiful that’s enjoyable and lasting.

So, in this post, I  will share 5 Ways To Be A Better Partner

That’s right – a great relationship starts with YOU, not you partner.

What I’ve learned is that in order to be happily married you need to work harder on yourself than your marriage.

Do that and the rest will follow.

By taking these simple steps, you can continue to experience the intimacy and fulfilment you crave within your marital relationship:

1. Accept your spouse’s faults.

Your spouse may be perfect for you, but they will make mistakes.

YOU will make mistakes.

Everyone has their faults, and a healthy marriage relationship is built on forgiveness and an environment of safety where you can be who you are without fear.

You need to learn how to let go and fast. Seek to create that type of environment and watch your relationship blossom.

Remember that having different interests is healthy.

Celebrate your differences. Seek to enjoy the things your spouse is interested in, and your spouse will likely show more interest in your passions.

Show that what’s important to them is important to you also, and your significant other will have no doubt that you love them.

2. Be willing to compromise.

In marriage, it’s important to pick your battles wisely or at all.

Some of the things you do will annoy each other, but it’s important to provide the grace and compassion that makes the other person feel valued.

Be willing to give up your way on the small things, and your spouse will likely reciprocate. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff or the small stuff will destroy you

3. Ensure both parties contribute.

Marriage is a two-person system.

Having just one person run everything will make things challenging for both of you, and your frustration and anger levels will erupt eventually.

Whether it’s the bills or chores around the house, divide the tasks so that you make it easy for both of you.

Division of chores is one of the most common reasons couple fight or get annoyed with each other.

I did this and you only did that-type of thinking is a killer if allowed to run free.

This is also true for recreation.

When deciding how to spend your time together, take turns choosing what to do.

If you have a movie night, make it a double feature so that each person is guaranteed a movie that they enjoy.

The 50/50 rule is a good basis for this.

With this set-up, both partners play their part in the relationship and no one is superior to the other.

As it should be, both become equal partners in the relationship.

Also, realise that there are times when 50/50 doesn’t apply or work.

Life is strange and interesting at times, and there might come a season where you need to do 80% while your partner can only contribute 20%.

And that’s OK.

Seasons change, just make sure you were there for them when they needed you in their wintertime.

4. Show them that you care.

A lot of times, when a couple has been together for a long time, they settle into a routine and forget the little things.

Each person in the relationship assumes that the other knows how he or she feels.

Instead, date your spouse like you did when you first got together.

You’ll be shocked at the results.

I love the saying, treat your partner as at the beginning of your relationship and there won’t be an end to it.

Show your appreciation and love for your spouse in small, everyday ways.

When you do this consistently, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your marriage almost overnight.

Small, inexpensive, thoughtful gifts throughout the year say more about your affection than one large gift on your anniversary.

Say: “thank you” and “I love you” often.

5. Common courtesy is king.

When in doubt, use the golden rule.

Treat your spouse how you wish to be treated.

Be considerate and thoughtful.

Always be looking for new ways to express your love.

What I’ve learned is, small and consistent beat big and occasionally.

Be supportive of your spouse.

When he feels down, do what you can to let him know you stand behind him.

When she’s had a rough day, pamper her and show her through your actions that she matters to you more than anyone else in this world.

A Few Final Thoughts …

Marriage can be a complicated road sometimes, but it can also be the source of tremendous happiness and joy for both of you.

I know many frustrated and unhappy couple thinking of cashing in, but I also know many truly happy and content couples who love what they have in each other.

If we want to have the type of relationship, it starts with us as individuals.

You have to start today to take small steps, commit to loving your spouse with all your heart, and savour a marriage filled with passion, excitement, and a fulfilling journey through life together.

You can’t wait for your partner to do all that no matter how much you feel justified in feeling that way.

Make the first step and you might be surprised by the results.

And if they don’t respond, well that just tells me you haven’t tried something that really presses their buttons.

Change your strategy until you get the result and reaction you desire.

Hope this served you today.

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About the author 

Gideon

Gideon is the Owner of The Relationship Guy, a top-100 marriage advice blog that helps married couples create happier relationships. He is a trained professional counsellor (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.), has been happily married for over fifteen years and is a dad of two.​ He also holds Bachelor and Master degrees in the field of Theology and is currently studying Psychology at Massey University (New Zealand).

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