Understanding is one of the keys to a successful marriage. A deep understanding of your spouse is an important step in sharing a true bond. Everyone wants a partner who truly understands them. This is the only way the relationship can go on smoothly and last the test of time.
When you understand your spouse, you will easily unlock their true identity, thoughts, and feelings. This will bring about mutual appreciation for both of you in the relationship and help you strengthen your marriage.
There are many different aspects to look into when you’re trying to understand your spouse. Let’s look at some ways you can better understand your spouse:
1. Do not compare your spouse with others
Remember, you married your wife or husband because you know some, if not all, of their flaws and agreed within yourself to have a lifelong marriage with them irrespective of these shortcomings. So, you must never publicly or privately compare them with other couples you see.
The truth is, there is no perfect marriage out there because there is no perfect couple. All you see on the surface is other happy couples, but often, they are dealing with their problems behind closed doors, some even masking their flaws with public shows of perfection.
Everyone must live in different rhythms, have different strengths and weaknesses, and no one likes to live the lives of others. Comparing your spouse with someone else is hurtful and implies that the other person is better than them. It doesn’t matter how subtly you put it.
There is a saying that “you can’t have it all.” Learn to appreciate your spouse irrespective of their weaknesses. If you are not pleased with a certain behavior of your spouse, then try discussing it reasonably. There are many ways you can help your spouse improve and become a better husband or wife without actually making them feel less valued.
The story of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible gives us a great insight into this. Sarah is a woman the world believes to be perfect today, but in the real sense, Abraham had to deal with her inability to conceive; that was an issue for them. Instead of comparing her with other women and making her feel useless, Abraham always comforted her and tried to give her hope.
Sarah, according to the Bible, was a good wife. Many other women didn’t possess most of her good qualities but had many children, and their husbands had to contend with their own wives’ unique inadequacies. The pasture, they say, is always greener on the other side, but just as one pasture needs as much work, time, and effort as another, so do people. If you think you can simply find someone better, realize that all you will find is another imperfect human being with his/her own set of failures and flaws.
Rather, appreciate your spouse’s strength and deal with their flaws, rather than compare them with others.
2. Never take your spouse for granted
This is another serious crime that many couples commit against each other deliberately or ignorantly. There are many benign things you do to your spouse that imply you take them for granted. And you might not even be aware that you’re doing them.
They say respect is reciprocal. Couples must show respect to one another at all times (1 Peter 3:7). Husbands must respect their wives publicly and privately in the way they speak to and relate to them, especially when heated discussions and angry emotions are involved, and wives should do the same for their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). It is not just a rule of marriage but is a show of maturity and godliness. You take your spouse for granted when you don’t respect them.
Learn to treat your spouse like a king or queen. This act must reflect on your manner of speaking to them, your choice of words to them, and how you present them to the public. When you give your spouse such courtesy, it shows how much you value them. And they will feel special and truly loved.
As a couple, you must also try to show your appreciation for every kind gesture and effort your partner makes. Being grateful to your spouse proves you value their input, no matter how little, and this will encourage them to do more the next time without asking. Men, protect your wives as Christ defends the church (Ephesians 5:25). Women, strive to be the “virtuous woman” described in Proverbs 31:10-31.
Value your spouse’s physical, spiritual, emotional, and sensual needs and demands. Learn to support each other’s dreams because you are meant to be your spouse’s best friend and supporter. Do not let an outsider fill this sensitive vacuum for your spouse.
3. Settle all disputes and quarrels
Married couples will have misunderstandings and quarrels at one point or another on multiple occasions. However, when this happens, you two must learn to deal with it as a mere misunderstanding and not take it as an indication that your spouse is trying to end the relationship.
Some people take misunderstandings destructively, and they create too many negative meanings to mere disagreements or conflicts of opinions. This action then quickly escalates into a full-blown war that will only end with so much hurt.
As a Christian couple, you should be mindful of your utterances and behavior when you disagree with your spouse. Quarreling is one of the ways the devil creeps into the marriage and tries to destroy it. During a disagreement, listen to your partner and try to understand their point of view, then come up with a calm and loving way to air your counter opinion. Afterward, try to reach a compromise, as this is the only way to avoid a crisis in most scenarios.
4. Make trust a priority in your marriage
Trust is another vital ingredient for a successful marriage, and any relationship that lacks trust will not last. It will perish as quickly as it started. Trusting your partner gives them a strong sense of commitment to you, and it makes them even more motivated not to disappoint you.
Trust is not limited to faithfulness in marriage. Learn to trust your spouse’s sense of direction and judgment in areas where they are strong. Trusting them proves how much you understand them. And by doing so, you will encourage them to be more confident in themselves.
5. Always welcome clear and healthy communication
Clear and healthy communication goes a long way in understanding your spouse. If you want your partner to understand you, you must learn to communicate very clearly when discussing sensitive issues, making demands, or airing your opinions.
Couples should avoid using misleading phrases or confusing statements that leave their partner unsure of what they meant. Miscommunication often leads to misunderstandings and much bigger problems in the marriage.
If you need your wife or husband to treat you in a particular manner, you should learn to use your words to communicate this idea to them in a way they will perfectly understand. Clear communication works better than putting up attitudes and expecting them to read your mind and do what you want without speaking. It is okay for wives to let their husbands use their imagination sometimes. But don’t take offense when they miss your point. If you want them to learn, use your words carefully.
A successful marriage is achievable when the husband and wife genuinely understand each other. Understanding brings peace and harmony to a relationship. It helps you nurture the true love you two have for one another, and it helps the marriage overcome many tribulations along the way. When you understand your spouse, you will see beyond their flaws and appreciate their good values.
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Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.