Choosing to Love Your Spouse
. . . until death do us part.
What does it Mean to Choose to Love your Spouse?
Choosing to love your spouse is the best possible gift you can give to them, as well as, yourself. We're all human, and we all make mistakes. At times, these mistakes can make us quite unlovable. Despite this, there’s generally someone who is willing to show us grace and love us anyway. Usually, this someone is a parent or spouse.
Is choosing to love your spouse always easy? Not by any means!
Is choosing to love your spouse worth it? Absolutely!
What does “choosing to love your spouse” really mean? Let’s look at that now.
Your Relationship is …
I’m sure you've heard the quote, "You are what you think." And if you look at your life, and the lives of those around you, I believe you'll see this to be true. If you spend your time thinking of only bad things then typically only bad things will come your way. Your demeanor cannot help but draw people and circumstances into your life that will cause this to be true.
Along the same lines, if you spend your time thinking about positive things, the image you project to others will be quite different than someone who is thinking only about negative things. Positive people and things will be drawn to you.
I want to present this thought to you - your relationship is what you think. If you spend the majority of your time focusing on the shortcomings of your spouse, then that is what you will most likely notice about them. However, if you focus on what is good and right about your spouse and your relationship with them, your love for them will remain strong and continue to grow because you will notice the wonderful things they add to your life and your relationship.
Where is your focus?
By focusing on what is right and good, instead of the negative in our loved one or our relationship with them, we are really focusing on the other person. When we focus on what is wrong and/or bad, our focus is on us and how our needs are not being met.
By focusing on what is right and good, we focus our attention entirely on the other person, and we find that we can be grateful for who they are and what they have bought into our lives. It all is a matter of where we place our focus – on the positive or the negative.
- the things you really like and love about them
- creating a life together now and in the future
- your spouse's needs more than your own
Questions to ask yourself that will remind you how much you still love them.
- What about your spouse really excites you?
- What about your spouse really makes you happy?
- What if something happened to your spouse and they were no longer a part of your life? What would you miss most about them? Do they know that you feel this way – that you love and appreciate this quality in of them? It might be time to let them know!
Choosing to Love Your Spouse
There are things that anyone can do to demonstrate their choice to love their spouse. Let’s look at some of these things now.
- Respect – It is imperative for you to respect yourself and your spouse. Generally, if respect is given, respect will be reciprocated. It is essentially a win-win situation. Both partners receive and give what is beneficial to the relationship, and the relationship prospers.
- Friendship – Being friends with your spouse is important. Friends choose to spend time together doing things that they both enjoy. This strengthens their friendship and binds them together. Friends generally find common ground and build their relationship on that. They also communicate with each other, sharing their lives, their dreams, their hopes, and their sorrows. This too binds them closer. All of these things will strengthen your relationship with your spouse.
- Continue to Date Each Other – How many times have you heard the advice that couples should have date nights? There is a reason for this. Dates allow you to spend time with each other focusing only on each other. It gives you the opportunity to show your spouse how important they are to you without all the distractions of life.
- Romance - Romance was important when you were dating, and marriage did not change its importance. It is still important. Romance keeps the fires burning.
- Communicate – Communicate with each other on a regular basis, openly and honestly.
Be sure to tell your spouse that you love them every single day! Always remind yourself how fortunate and blessed you are to be able to spend the rest of your life with this person.
Even if you find your relationship to be in one of those dry periods, keep reminding yourself how fortunate and blessed you are, saying it out loud if necessary, until you once again believe it is true.
"It's easier to maintain a fire than it is to re-ignite a spark!"
It would be somewhat pointless to talk about loving your spouse and not consider the aspect of physical intimacy in a relationship. Physical intimacy is a spiritual, as well as physical, union between two people. It is an important ingredient for a healthy relationship with your spouse. This kind of intimacy in a relationship requires love, trust, and respect. It is something that each couple has to work out together to determine what works best for them and their relationship, but it is vital to a healthy relationship.
A Great Book About Making Marriage Work
Marriage, and Love, Takes Two
In order for the relationship to truly work, both partners have to want to make it work. As in all relationships, there will be an ebb and flow, good times as well as not so good. Sometimes the relationship will be going well, and sometimes one or both partners get distracted and do not focus on the relationship and each other as much as they should.
This is normal and does not mean that we have "fallen out of love." It only means that you need to continue communicating your needs, hopes, and desires with each other, working together to fulfill your dreams, and soon the relationship will be once again be all that it was meant to be.
Love that lasts a lifetime takes time, effort, and commitment - by both partners.
In answer to the question: What is the best way to stay in love with your spouse?The short answer to the question is - you make an active choice to do so!
© 2012 Cindy Murdoch