One thing I love about marriage is that my man compliments me daily. And lavishly. The other morning, I mentioned the concept of daily compliments to him–specifically, the role of complimenting one another in marriage. There are so many reasons daily compliments will change any marriage for the good.
Marriage Hack: Daily Compliments
Maybe you read my love story. On our first date, The Hunk called me beautiful. I was taken aback–mostly because I thought he was crazy to think that. He still thinks that. And I still think he’s crazy. But over the years, he’s continued to regularly compliment me. His language toward me is full of compliments. And the compliments go both ways.
I don’t think our marriage would be nearly as enjoyable if we didn’t deliver daily compliments to one another. Mark Merrill defines five ways to compliment your spouse. Here’s his list and basic descriptions with examples from his post.
- People Skills: Compliment how they treat a stranger.
This type of compliment starts with observing your spouse. Note when they show uncommon kindness, generosity, chivalry, courtesy, or patience with someone. Let them know what and why you admire that. Say something like, “I really admire how kind you were to people in that crazy crowded store.”
- Parenting Skills: Compliment the way they handle your kids.
Your spouse is more aware of their parenting mistakes than their parenting strengths. You can help them see what a difference they make in your kids’ lives. Just yesterday, I texted my wife, “Susan, I just heard you talking with Megan and Emily, and you really coached them well on that issue. Great job!”
- Get ‘er Done Skills: Compliment their ability at a task.
It’s important to let your spouse know that you admire their abilities, but don’t just compliment an extraordinary skill. Let them know you appreciate all the things they do by saying, “Thanks for cleaning the kitchen…I was tired and I really appreciated you doing that.” Don’t just treat it like it’s just their job…you should still compliment them.
- Challenges: Compliment their handling of a difficult situation. If you see your spouse navigate a hard situation well, let them know that you noticed. Tell your spouse that you see how they help your marriage and family. Say something like, “I know the last few days were unexpectedly difficult, but we couldn’t have made it through without your steady hand. Thanks for keeping us calm.”
- Appearance or Style: Compliment the impression they make on you. If it’s been a long time since you’ve complimented your spouse, unprompted, about their appearance, do it this week. To be most effective, compliment how your spouse improves what they wear, not vice versa. I sometimes say to my wife, “Susan, you make that dress look really good!”
Daily Compliments: When and How?
Getting started on your daily compliments is simple, but not necessarily easy. You may find that you are not naturally good at delivering compliments. Perhaps you have a career in evaluating, problem-solving, or deciphering problems. As a teacher, I definitely have an affinity toward finding problems and pointing them out. I am not naturally bent toward looking for specific positive aspects of things or people. But marriage has helped me work toward improving that part of me. If you’re like me, you will have to start out making a daily compliment more intentionally. And that’s okay.
First, look for something you admire about your husband or wife. Be sure not to choose a compliment that is actually pointed; for instance, if the house is a mess when you come home to your husband or wife, don’t say something like, “You’re really good at chilling on that couch.” That is not a compliment. Instead, consider looking through the list above and gather inspiration from that list to start your compliments.
Then, just say it. Whenever. Wherever. In front of people. In private. Before heading off to work. As soon as you greet another after work. During dinner. In the car on the way to a social gathering. There is no wrong time to give your husband or wife a compliment.
But you may be asking yourself: Will my husband/wife reject my compliments? It’s a valid concern. Sometimes, compliments aren’t well received. There are a few reasons this might be the case. Firstly, words of affirmation may not be your lovely spouse’s love language. It may not seem to make a huge difference in your relationship if this is the case. Either way, though, a lack of compliments can give the appearance of a lack of affection for your love. So push through if your compliments seem ineffective. I can tell you from experience that consistent compliments create a better marital atmosphere.
Over time, work your way up to delivering more daily compliments every day until it is second nature to compliment your husband or wife.
Daily Compliments: The Benefits
There are numerous benefits to delivering daily compliments. I’m speaking only from experience, here, but I’ve gathered a few benefits I’ve found in my marriage that are a partial or a direct result of The Hunk’s daily compliment habit.
- Daily compliments reinforce trust. I trust my man more because he regularly shares his appreciation for me–what I bring to the relationship, my intellect, and his attraction to me. There are plenty of ways to develop trust between two people, but compliments are definitely one way The Hunk has made it easier for me to trust him. Conversely, The Hunk feels he can trust me with his feelings, internal struggles, and even joys because he knows that I have favorable thoughts toward him.
- Daily compliments reinforce genuine love. He loves me. One way he expresses his love for me is by complimenting me. I feel cherished, wanted, and–well, honestly–loved when I’m never searching for his general feelings for me. They are positive. And being in love with a man who finds me generally a good, attractive, intelligent woman makes me feel loved. Conversely, The Hunk feels loved and respected because he knows I have expressed love toward him as well.
- Daily compliments build up your spouse. I’ve seen The Hunk’s entire countenance change when I’ve complimented him. And, in return, his compliments have improved my self-esteem. I think it’d be tough to argue against the building up of one another in a marriage. The healthier a person’s view of himself or herself, the better his or her relationships are in the long run, right? Makes sense to me.
Wow! I didn’t think I’d have this much to say about daily compliments. Go out there and compliment your loved ones–especially your forever love.