Be Sober Minded
What are some of the things you can do to be a great spouse so that your marriage partner will be happy?
Be sober minded
If you want to be a great spouse, you need to be sober-minded. This means that you must be well-balanced in the way you view life, and to let that influence the way you relate to your spouse.
A sober-minded person is calm in spirit, and ready to meet the circumstances of life with a keen sense of trust in God. Such a person does not easily get ruffled emotionally when his or her spouse says something they do not like, or does something that cuts their heart to the core. For example, if your spouse says derogatory things about some part of your anatomy, when you are having a fight, although it will hurt you emotionally, you will decide that, “Well, you can say what you want about my body, but I will not retaliate by also saying something derogatory about your head, which I think is too big and unattractive, or about your nose, which I think does not look nice. For peace to prevail in this house, and because I love you, I will ignore that insult, and give everything to God.” That is showing sober-mindedness, and being a great spouse!
Being sober-minded helps to maintain peace in the home, which is an essential requirement for a marriage to work. When there is peace in the home, it is more likely conflicts can be discussed in a spirit of decorum, which increases the chances that the conflicts will be resolved without acrimony. When conflicts are resolved without bitterness, then the marriage has a better chance of surviving because it is easier for partners to let go of hurts. A great spouse lets go of hurts easily and does not hold onto them.
Love Your Spouse
It may seem strange that a married person, who may have professed to love his or her partner before marrying them, should be told to love their spouse, but we must remember that marriages in some cultures are arranged by parents, and the young man or young woman may not necessarily be attracted to their spouse.
If you want to be a great spouse, you must love your spouse. For a spouse to love his or her partner means much more than just kissing him or her goodbye when he or she leaves for work.
There are a number of ways you can show love for your spouse:
- The wife can show her love for her husband by acknowledging his headship in the house. She seeks to maintain a home that supports him and guards his respect. This is important because your husband during his working day gets physical and emotional bumps and bruises. He often experiences tensions of various kinds. All this makes it important that the home be a place that supports him.
- A husband can show love for his wife by treating her as his “partner-in-love” by offering a helping hand at home, and not treating her as a “servant,” or “slave” by overworking her, and making her do most of the household chores.
- Your wife may also be mistreated at work by men who feel women are inferior and belong to the kitchen. You will need to show love to her by soothing her emotional wounds, and by saying healing words to her spirit so that she will feel encouraged to keep on fighting.
- Show decency, courtesy, and warm affection to your spouse.
- Live within your means. It will give your spouse less financial stress
- Apologize promptly when you have a fight.
- Be supportive of your spouse when the storms of life rock the boat of your marriage and threaten to sink it.
- Pay particular attention to how you dress, especially by dressing in clothes of your spouse’s favorite colors, and wearing clothes which he or she particularly likes when you wear them.
- Refrain from criticizing and contradicting your spouse in front of others. A great spouse supports the view of the partner before others, even if he or she disagrees with the opinions expressed by the partner, and then confronts the spouse when both of you are alone.
- Try to avoid using sarcasm, bitterness, and verbal attacks against him or her when your heart is boiling due to some irresponsible or unfortunate remark which he or she may have said, or something they may have done which made you very angry.
- You accept your spouse as he or she is, with their rough edges and inconsistencies, and see it as an opportunity to help you to understand him or her better.
Showing love to your partner is one of the attributes of a great spouse.
Be Faithful to Your Spouse
You need to guard your moral purity, if you want to be a great spouse. Not only must you see your body as “the temple of God,” but you must make up your mind that you are going to keep your body completely for only your wife or your husband. Showing moral purity will also mean that you will show a self-restraint that gives no ground for evil reports about your conduct.
One way to keep your body for your spouse is to be careful how you dress. A great wife, for example, will watch her manner of dressing, especially when she is going into public, or when she is going to appear before other people, such as invited guests, in the house. You will avoid clothes that cling to your body, form-fitting clothes, and scanty, clothes made with see-through material, and revealing attire which can spark the lustful fire in a man who is not your husband. You will wear such clothes for your husband only to see, when you are both in the house alone, or for him in the bedroom. One of the great and admirable qualities in a spouse is to know that he or she is keeping their body for you and you alone.
Also, you will avoid going to places alone with a man or woman who is not your spouse, and you will guard your body language carefully when you have to go out with someone who is not your spouse, so that the person may not think that you are interested in having an affair with them, if you want to be a great spouse. For example, you will not look at him or her with a leering look, or you will not touch him or her often in places which will suggest sexual intent, such as the groin area, or buttocks, or breasts, you will not lean close to him or her when you are sitting together, and you will not say words like, “You are looking very sexy and appealing today.” A great spouse refrains from saying sexually suggestive words to someone he or she is not married to.
Being a great spouse involves being faithful to your married partner till death parts you. You must therefore aim to be faithful to your spouse.
When you, as an individual person, are positive and at peace with yourself, then it is more likely you will be at peace with the world around you, and this will lead to fewer conflicts between you and your spouse. One of the characteristics of a great spouse is that he or she does his or her best not to have conflicts with their better-half.
There is an exercise which you can do to become positive and peaceful about yourself:
- Set aside 30 minutes of every day and prepare to turn yourself into a more positive person.
- You may choose to do this first thing in the morning before you go to work, which will give you the added advantage of facing a day at work with a positive spirit, or you can do it at the end of the day to put you in the right mood for, possibly, a wonderful time with your spouse in bed.
- Think about one word, or a phrase you can focus on. For example, you may choose the words “I am a great person.”
- Sit quietly in a comfortable position, in a quiet place. You may decide to do this exercise in the guest room, or in the sitting room when there is no one else around.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself seeing those words.
- Relax all the muscles of your body.
- Breathe slowly and naturally and, as you do, repeat the words you have decided to focus on, as you exhale.
- Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you are doing. When negative thoughts, such as, “You are a terrible person. In fact, you are a terrible spouse,” come to your mind, simply say to yourself, “That’s a lie,” and gently return to the repetition.
- Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Then, focus your mind on the times when you were happy as a couple, for example your wedding day, or the day your first child was born, or the first time you heard your child say “Daddy,” or “Mummy.” Try to remember how you felt, and the wonderful, warm feeling that enveloped your body. Think about that event, and remember the feeling for about 5 minutes. See every element of joy and happiness that you can possibly find in that memory.
The happy feeling you generate will make you feel positive and good about yourself, and you will reach out to your spouse with a warmer feeling on the inside of you, and you will treat him or her with greater respect and love, making you a great spouse.
Brainstorm Fun Ideas With Your Spouse
When marriage begins, there is a lot of excitement and fun. But as the days go on, and the children come, and you settle down to the monotony of going to work, taking care of children, visiting friends and family once in a while, your marriage can get very boring. As one woman, who had been married to her husband for seven years, and who was caught cheating by her husband said when the families of the man and the woman met to try and save the marriage: “I love my husband very much. He is kind, treats me well, and takes care of the children and me well. But the marriage became stagnant and stale. There was no excitement in the marriage. I want to have fun sometimes, and all he wants to do is sit in the house and talk. I wanted something to stimulate me, to give me fun, and this other guy offered me that. That is why I cheated.”
One of the qualities of a great spouse is to find ways to sustain the fun in your marriage so that your marriage does not become so boring to the point where one of you may be tempted to cheat.
Therefore, if you want to be a great spouse, and to keep your marriage, regularly brainstorm with your spouse:
- Sit down together and prompt him or her to come up with ideas, or generate ideas of your own which both of you will agree to implement.
- 2. You can decide to generate a list of different ideas, say about 100 or 200. This will give you a wide variety of different things to do to inject fun and excitement into the marriage so that you do not end up doing the same things over and over again. It will help with sustaining the excitement in your marriage.
- Write them down.
- When the opportunity comes, do one thing on the list. For example, if in January you decide to visit a zoo, then in February go rowing together on a lake, in March have a picnic in a botanical garden, and so on. It will ensure continuity of excitement, and you will both be happy. This is how to become a great spouse!
Write Down Good Things That Happen to You
When you develop an attitude of gratitude, it tends to make you a generous person because you appreciate your blessings so much, and it makes you see that you are more fortunate that so many others that you are more willing to show love, and to give to make others happy. Developing an attitude of gratitude will make you appreciate your spouse better, and to show more concern for him or her. A great spouse appreciates their spouse.
How can you develop this attitude of gratitude?
- Write down five good things that happen to you at home every day.
- Write down 10 good things that happen to you at your workplace every day.
- Write down 20 good things that your spouse says to you, or does for you every day.
- At the end of the day, before you go to bed, read them to yourself. It will make you feel grateful and glad that you have blessings to be happy about, and you will feel more obliged to treat your spouse better.
Try to Make Your Spouse Happy
If you want to be a great spouse, you must intentionally make every effort to make your spouse happy. You must not feel that you can do as you please, even if that does not make your spouse happy, and does not lead to a stronger marriage.
If your attitude is one which says, “I do not need to make my spouse happy. The person I need to make happy in this marriage is me,” and you always expect your spouse to make you happy before you make an effort to make him or her happy, then you cannot look forward to make a happy marriage, or to make your marriage succeed. If you want your spouse to make you happy before you make him or her happy, then you are not showing maturity.
A great spouse seeks first of all to make the spouse happy, knowing that in making the spouse happy first, he or she will find fulfillment. Although he or she also wants to be made happy by the spouse, the great spouse is comfortable to make the spouse happy first, and to leave the decision of also being made happy to the partner to do.
Do your best to be a great spouse. When you do that, it is more likely your partner will be happy with you, and you will have a better relationship. It requires constant practice, but you must be willing to do it if you want your marriage to work.
How to be a Great Spouse
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio