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Speak Well of Your Spouse

After spending time with both couples who are super successful in their marriages and those on the opposite spectrum dealing with major challenges, I found a few key traits that all the successful couples share and the not so successful couples need to learn.

One of the biggest ones is to speak well of your spouse in public. Now, that might sound a little trite and not very earth shattering, but the reality is many couples choose to vent about frustrations, poke fun of their spouse, or spew negative comments over and over again. Paul gives this advice to the Ephesians “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such is good for building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”.

Besides being biblical, here’s three practical reasons why this is so important:

First, you get the behaviors you affirm. Social psychologists have reiterated this notion over and over again…when you praise positive behavior, you get more of the same. When I tell my friends how much I enjoy my wife’s cooking, the message cycles back to her affirming that trait and making her want to entertain more and more.

Secondly, affirmation keeps you positive. When we choose to keep our words positive, our emotions and feelings will follow suit. We have the ability to literally talk ourselves into a better mood. If we choose to dwell on the negative, the same thought holds true, and we linger in frustration and bitterness.

Third, we forget to close the loop. We’ve all fallen prey to this one. You just left your spouse after an argument that wasn’t resolved and you spout off to a mutual friend or a family member sharing only your side of the battle. Of course, in your mind you were right and your spouse was wrong, making your spouse look stupid and petty. After you get home, you resolve the argument, realizing you both played into the equation. Unfortunately, you never share how it ended to those friends or family members, which causes them to think less of your spouse.

I challenge you to start making sure you speak well of your spouse in public and see how it transforms both your and your spouse’s attitudes and actions.

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