Husbands and wives are often unaware of how much hard work goes into building a strong marriage. Strong relationships don’t just happen but need to be consistently cultivated over time. In her book,What Women Want Men to Know (Thorsons, 2001), Barbara De Angelis lists three ways that couples can improve their marriages. These are by showing attention, affection and appreciation.
Attention to Spouses Builds Strength Into a Marriage
Paying attention to a spouse is one of the most effective ways of showing love. It means giving a partner 100 percent concentrated attention. Couples often spend time together but attention may be divided between each other and things such as television, pets and household duties.
Paying attention involves focusing totally on a spouse, making good eye contact and asking questions. These can be as simple as asking how his or her day is going or what he or she is thinking about but needs to come across as sincere. The answer should be considered and responded to.
Paying attention shows that a spouse is valued and important and will build love and strength into the marriage.
Showing Affection and Strong Marriages
Affection is described as physically connecting with a person by cuddling, holding hands, embracing and kissing. It does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature. In marriage, affection is especially important to wives who need times where physical touch and affirmation do not lead to sex.
Affection links two people and creates an open flow between hearts. This makes them feel loved and being affectionate on a regular basis will build strength into a marriage.
Appreciation Builds Strong Marriages
Appreciation is simple to show but often falls by the wayside in marriage. By making an effort to express appreciation, couples can make each other feel loved and their relationship will deepen and grow.
Spouses normally do many little things for each other and these are often taken for granted. Here are some ideas of what to thank a partner for:
- · Taking out the garbage
- · Servicing the car
- · Dressing the children for church
- · Cooking a tasty meal
- · Fetching the dry-cleaning
- · Tidying the house
Appreciation also includes personal expressions of love and gratitude. These are encouraging and will strengthen a marriage:
- · “I love your smile.”
- · “You are always so calm.”
- · “I feel proud when I go out with you.”
- · “Thank you for always dressing so beautifully.”
Marriage is a loving, growing relationship that can be nurtured by attention, affection and appreciation. By consistently working on these three areas, spouses can strengthen their connection to each other and fall more in love as the years go by.