Being married to someone means that you see the best side of them. It also means that you see the worst, and everything in between.

Sometimes we keep track of the things our spouse does that annoy us. We might even complain about them to someone else. But is that the best way to go about handling their idiosyncrasies?

What if, instead, we tried to turn our complaints into compliments? What if we looked for the bright side in these attributes of our spouse?

  • For example, if your spouse is a talker and it gets on your nerves, you could look on the bright side and thank him for sharing so much with you.
  • If your spouse gets worried about details, you can get frustrated with her or you could thank her for being so concerned about taking care of you and your family.

When we change our perspective and offer a compliment instead of a complaint, it reminds us of our own shortcomings. We too do things that our spouse could complain about. But wouldn’t it be nice if they chose to compliment us instead of complain?

I’m not saying we should be fake. We should always be honest and genuine when we give our spouse a compliment. We need to mean it.

After we’ve given genuine praise, we can share a suggestion or feedback as well. It might look something like this for the examples above:

  • “Thank you for sharing so much with me, I appreciate hearing about all that’s on your mind. I’d love to have a turn and share with you about what’s on my mind as well.”
  • “Thank you so much for being so detail-oriented in caring for our family. But just remember not to worry or take it so far that you’re stressed and fatigued. Please let me know how I can help you.”

These simple shifts can make such an impact in our relationships. Looking for the positive side of our spouse’s behavior is much better than keeping track of all the ways it bothers us. I know I would sure prefer my husband to do that for me, wouldn’t you?