Ladies, isn’t it an awesome feeling when you overhear your husband talking to one of his buddies and he says something nice about you?
If you have already listened to the podcast, then you know that Caleb started quoting “nice things” about me from the Songs of Solomon. Lol! Overhearing compliments such as “Guys, my wife’s belly is as a heap of wheat encircled with lilies” may not to be too exciting for us today, but Caleb’s point was to find the language that works for your wife – even now.
The even greater point is this:
It’s so easy to take our spouses for granted. However, we want you to make it a personal agenda, and a real habit, to speak well of your spouse.
This is a small and willful gesture that can pay huge dividends inside your marriage. It’s also a great way to add another layer of affair-proofing to your marriage. Speaking well of your spouse to others is a great way to protect yourself from potential affairs. It sends a message that you are not only committed to but very much in love with your spouse and not interested in anyone else.
In 1989, Hooley and Teasdale did a study on married people with depression. They found that the single best prediction of relapse into neurotic depression was the patient’s response to the following question: “How critical is your spouse of you?”
Depressed patients who rated their spouses as highly critical of them were significantly more likely to relapse during their follow-up than the patients who felt less criticized.
Just think of the impact you can have in his/her life, as speaking well of your spouse, instead of criticizing, has a direct correlation on their health!
Criticism, on the other hand, is very corrosive and is a primary ingredient for any unhappy marriage. Proverbs 27:15 says it very well – “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike”… I’m pretty sure we can apply that quarrelsome attribute to both genders!
So, “Does this mean I can NEVER say ANYTHING negative?”
Nersesian found that five heartfelt compliments will erase the damage done by one slip of the lips. And Gottman states that in a happy marriage there is a 5-to-1 ratio of good comments to bad. 50/50 is not good enough! Make it your habit to speak well of your spouse and the odd negative comment that accidently slips out will not corrode your marriage.
As Caleb says, “Negativity is like a bad rash. You can’t let it spread and get all over everything!” Nip it in the bud and decide to be positive today.
Another study by Gordon & Baucom is necessary to look at here. Their research findings concluded that those who rated their spouse as being particularly positive reported higher levels of satisfaction in their marriage. If you think your spouse is positive, it will make you happier in your marriage.
So, what story are you choosing to tell yourself about your husband or wife?
If your circle of friends gets together to complain about their spouses, choose to tell a different story! Be the one who compliments and speaks well to others about your life partner. Not only will this positive outlook make you happier in your own marriage, but you just may influence your friends for the better too!