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Appreciating Your Spouse

Most couples let a lot of time go by without letting each other know how much they care about each other. They treat their relationship like one more ordinary thing in their lives. Their obligations all run together: projects at work, catching up on bills, getting dinner on the table, and being in a marriage.

Don't take your most important relationship for granted. If you want your relationship to be extraordinary, you can't throw it in with all of the ordinary things you have to do every day. You want your marriage to be much more than just another daily obligation.

Don't wait around for your spouse to give more; in order to get more, you need to give more. Take action right away. Pay more attention to your spouse. Listen to your spouse. Be there for your spouse when he or she needs you. Take care of your spouse's needs whenever you have the chance.

You'll be surprised at how big a return you can get on a small investment. If you are always thinking of your spouse and doing things for him or her, it's impossible to take your relationship for granted. And you'll be keeping it fresh and exciting at the same time.

Soul Mates

It's so easy to put all of your daily obligations before your marriage. Don't let that happen to you. Start putting your relationship ahead of all other things. By setting it apart, you will be making it more special.

Be My Guest

If you asked most people who they treated more politely at the dinner table, a guest or their spouse, they would laugh and say a dinner guest, of course. The reason people laugh when they are asked this question is that they recognize the irony of their answer. We are all taught from a young age to be particularly polite in front of company. Why don't we automatically give the same courtesy to our spouse?

Guests in your home would be given comfortable chairs and would be asked if they wanted something to drink as soon as they came into your home. You would try to say “please” and “thank you.” And you would certainly not yell at your guests if they frustrated or angered you. In other words, you would be considerate of your guests at all times. Imagine what a wonderful time you would have with your spouse if you treated each other so well.

The Spice Rack

When your spouse walks in the door, take his or her coat and ask if he or she would like something to drink. Tell your spouse to have a seat while you get it. Ask about his or her day and really listen to the answer. You may be surprised by the results.

The following is a list of things you would automatically do for a guest. Try to remember to do them with each other:

  • Remember to say “please” and “thank you.”
  • Do not interrupt his or her sentences.
  • Do not raise your voice or shout.
  • Speak kindly to each other.
  • Think about his or her needs.

Take this quiz to find out if you appreciate your spouse.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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