7 Ways to Be a Better Spouse and Improve Your Marriage

by Gideon Hanekom
May 11, 2022

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This post will teach you 7 ways to be a better spouse. When it comes to building a healthy, happy, and connected marriage, it’s easy to make things more complicated than they need to be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s get started, and let me show you how to improve your marriage by simplifying things.

Marriage can be the best thing that ever happened to you, but staying close and happy for a long time can be difficult, especially after having kids.

Sometimes it can feel like nothing is happening, and sometimes it can even feel like your marriage has no chance of working out.

First and foremost, it is critical to recognize that ups and downs are a normal part of marital life.

We’ve all had the experience.

However, your marriage does not have to be in shambles.

That isn’t necessarily the norm for many couples.

Furthermore, being happy as a couple does not have to be complicated.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to show you seven things you can do to be a better spouse that may also help improve your marriage, and they’re not all that difficult.

In fact, you can begin with all of them almost immediately.

By taking the simple steps outlined below, you can increase your chances of creating and getting the closeness and satisfaction you desire from your marriage.

Why being a better spouse is important

Before we look at how to be a better spouse, we should first consider why being a better spouse is important.

To begin with, and probably most importantly, no matter how great you or your relationship is, there is always room for improvement.

We are never complete or perfect as individuals.

We are all works in progress, including our marriages.

We are never perfect as spouses, and there is always something we can improve to be better spouses.

Be a better spouse

The most important reason for this is that striving to be a better spouse is the only way to improve your marriage.

It is extremely difficult to improve your marriage without first becoming a better spouse.

I think one leads to the other.

When we improve as people and as spouses, our marriages improve as a natural byproduct.

So, with that in mind, here are seven ways to improve your marriage and be a better spouse.

Please remember that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather seven very simple and practical things you can do right now to improve your marriage.

7 Ways to Be a Better Spouse

There are numerous approaches to becoming a better spouse, and each relationship is unique.

However, the following are the seven things I’ve identified that you can do, starting today, to be a better spouse:

  1. Accept that your partner has flaws
  2. Be willing to compromise
  3. Make sure that everyone contributes something
  4. Show that you care about them
  5. Mutual respect is most important
  6. Make time for spending quality time alone
  7. Build your spouse up

Let’s look at each one briefly.

Accept that your spouse has flaws

Accepting that your spouse has flaws is an important first step toward becoming a better spouse because even if your spouse is the best person for you, they will make mistakes.

Of course, the same is true for you.

Everyone makes mistakes, and a healthy marriage is built on forgiveness and providing a safe environment in which each person can be themselves without fear.

As a result, try to make that space in your marriage, and you’ll see your relationship grow.

Be willing to compromise

In a marriage, it’s critical to pick your battles wisely.

Some of your actions will irritate each other, but you must treat each other with kindness and grace so that both of you feel important to each other.

If you’re willing to compromise on minor issues, your spouse will most likely do the same.

To be a better spouse, you must learn to compromise on occasion.

However, when your spouse feels like they are in constant competition with you, they won’t feel very special or important to you.

In fact, they will probably feel more like a threat rather than a spouse.

That is not to say you must abandon your beliefs or ideas; instead, there are times when you can come together and find a middle ground because your relationship is more important than always getting your way or winning an argument.

Make sure that everyone contributes something

Marriage is a union of two people. Always keep that in mind.

However, if one person is always in charge of everything, it will be difficult to have an equal and enjoyable marriage because someone will always draw the short straw.

To be a better spouse, divide up the work, whether it’s paying bills or doing housework, to make things easier for both of you.

This is also true for having fun.

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

Make time for both over the next month if one of you enjoys going to the movies, and the other enjoys fishing.

Be a better spouse

When sharing things in marriage, I believe the 50/50 rule is a good starting point.

Yes, for a marriage to be happy, we must both give everything to the relationship’s success, but it is a 50-50 partnership. In other words, both play an equal role.

Both partners are equal in this arrangement and contribute equally to the relationship, which is how it should be.

Show that you care about them

When a couple has been together for a long time, it is common for them to fall into a routine and forget the little things that first drew them together.

Each person in the relationship may begin to believe that the other person understands how they feel and that going out of their way to show they care is unnecessary.

However, this is a common mistake and a major pitfall in marriage.

Instead, take your spouse on dates like you did when you first met.

Every day, do small things to show your spouse how much you love and appreciate them.

Make a concerted effort to demonstrate that you care about them, regardless of how long you’ve been married.

I guarantee that if you do this repeatedly, you will notice a significant improvement in your marriage almost immediately.

Small, inexpensive, thoughtful gifts or gestures throughout the year demonstrate your love more than a large gift on your anniversary.

Also, use “I love you” and “thank you” frequently.

Mutual respect is most important

When in doubt, stay true to the golden rule.

Do to your spouse as you would have them do to you.

Be thoughtful and respectful, and always look for new ways to demonstrate your concern.

Respecting your spouse involves being available to them.

Do everything you can to let him know you’re there for him when he’s down.

Take care of her when she’s having a bad day and show her through your actions that she’s the most important person in the world to you.

Mutual respect is essential in any marriage for its overall health, happiness, and intimacy because there is no trust without respect. And there can be no true intimacy or happiness without trust.

Mutual respect fosters trust, and trust fosters greater intimacy and happiness. It’s as simple as that.

Make time for spending quality time alone

Making time to spend alone with your spouse is essential for a happy marriage.

In fact, it is extremely difficult to maintain a healthy, happy, and intimate marriage if you do not make time for quality time alone as a couple.

Quality alone time enables you to reconnect without distractions and truly focus on each other away from chores and responsibilities.

It can be used for conversation, laughter, cuddling, or simply enjoying each other’s company.

At its most basic, quality alone time is essential for strengthening your relationship and keeping the spark alive.

Be a better spouse

With that in mind, failing to make time for quality time alone with your spouse can be detrimental to your marriage.

Your marriage is likely to suffer due to you missing out on an essential aspect of your relationship.

You and your spouse will be unable to connect on a deeper level, and you will miss out on essential conversations as well as opportunities to practice having deeper level conversations.

This can easily lead to marital disconnect, misunderstandings, tension, and conflict.

The main point is that your spouse requires your undivided attention and love, which can only be provided by spending time alone with them.

Furthermore, when a married couple stops spending quality time together, feelings of loneliness, resentment, and bitterness can easily arise.

Indeed, if unchecked, this can lead to the couple growing apart and eventually divorcing.

As a result, it is critical for married couples to make time for each other, even if it is only a few minutes per day.

With all of that in mind, there are two more crucial points to consider here.

First, there is the issue of conflating quality time alone with quality time with the children.

I can tell you from firsthand experience, both personally and as a relationship coach, that spending quality time alone as a couple without the kids present is extremely important because it allows you to focus on your relationship and strengthen your bond.

It can be difficult to find time to just be together when you’re constantly juggling work, childcare, and other responsibilities, so spending time alone allows you to reconnect and remember why you’re together in the first place.

It’s also a welcome diversion from the daily grind! And the children!

Second is the more dangerous issue of allowing you to drift apart as a couple and then seek love from your children rather than from each other.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get love from each other rather than from your children.

Love is the ultimate foundation of a strong relationship, and it is therefore critical to maintain that foundation.

However, if you are constantly looking to your children for love and attention, you may find yourself not giving your relationship the attention it requires and burdening your children with meeting your emotional needs rather than your spouse.

Furthermore, if your children are constantly required to provide love and support that should be coming from your spouse, they are likely to start feeling overwhelmed and resentful.

Build your spouse up

Building your spouse up is essential for a happy marriage because it helps you and your partner form a strong emotional bond.

Making an effort to make your partner feel good about themselves demonstrates that you care about their happiness and want them to feel loved and appreciated.

This positive reinforcement will keep your relationship strong and healthy, and it may even help prevent problems from arising.

Building your spouse up is also an excellent way to be a better spouse.

It demonstrates that you are concerned about their well-being and value them as a person.

This makes them feel appreciated and valued, and when you build up your spouse in this way, you are also strengthening your relationship.

Complimenting them, telling them how much you appreciate them, doing things for them that show you care, supporting them in their goals and dreams, and being there for them when they need you are all ways to build your spouse up.

Be a better spouse

Ultimately, it comes down to being your spouse’s biggest cheerleader.

Because your spouse is your best friend and confidante, you must always be their biggest advocate.

Whether they are facing a professional or personal challenge, your presence will make all the difference.

It is critical to be their strongest ally so that they know they can always count on you, no matter what.


Marriage, without a doubt, can be difficult at times, but it can also bring you and your partner a lot of happiness and joy.

And the best way to make your spouse happy and joyful is to constantly strive to be a better spouse.

Take small steps and vow to love your spouse with all of your heart today, and you’ll be on the road to a long and happy marriage filled with passion and excitement.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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