It is a tendency of humankind to focus on and point out what others are doing wrong more than focusing on and pointing out what others are doing right. It is more natural to complain than to compliment. The thing about complaints is that they tend to tear others down, while compliments build people up. It is important to bring up serious concerns when they occur, of course, but the best way to get someone to do what is right is by making it enjoyable for them to do so. Complimenting and encouraging a man in what he is doing right is focusing on the right thing. Motivate your man with positive words of affirmation and encouragement.
Any normal person wants to be loved or respected and appreciated. We tend to want to be around people who make us feel good. Why would anyone want to spend time with someone who he doesn’t think likes him or has anything good to say about him? It is vital to a healthy, happy marriage to consider how your spouse needs to be built up and encouraged. If you are constantly lifting your husband up and loving on him, when the need arises for you to address a problem, he will have so many good feelings banked up that he will be able to hear you when you want to talk about something that is bothering you.
A good man likes to see his wife happy. When she is happy and vocal over what he is doing right, he wants to keep that going and will be likely be inspired to continue doing whatever it is that his wife is vocally encouraging him about it. Not only does it uplift him, but he isn’t left wondering what his wife does and does not like. It is in the best interests of both the husband and the wife to use this approach over the negative approach as much as possible.
People need a lot of positive reinforcement. They like to hear the same affirmations over and over again. How long does it take before someone gets tired of hearing how great they are doing! They don’t get tired of it and they don’t want it to stop, so they are likely to keep doing those same things that get such a happy response.
All encouragement should be sincere. Making things up doesn’t work at all. Think about what your husband is doing that is of benefit to you. Those are the things you can thank him for and encourage him in. It doesn’t matter if these things are his responsibility and he ought to do them. The point is that he is doing something that is of benefit to you and thankfulness is a good quality to have not only for him, but for also for your personal well-being.
People who are thankful are happier, because they are dwelling on what is good, right and lovely. When a person spends her life thinking that way, she is naturally happier and more content. Husbands prefer to be around happy, contented wives and are more likely to want to spend time with them.
Everyone wants to be appreciated for the things they do. Remember to thank your husband for the contributions he is making. Sure he has to go to work in order to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean it should be a thankless job.
Think about the things your husband does that you either don’t have to do or don’t have to do as much of because of his contribution. Some of these things may be chores that he normally does. Think about what a blessing it is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Compliment him on those things and thank him. For example, when you clean the bathroom, it’s not fun. You didn’t pick that instead of something fun because of your great love for cleaning the bathroom. You cleaned it because you had to, because you want a fresh bathroom. You have provided a service not only for yourself, but for others who use that room. Wouldn’t it be nice for someone to thank you for how nice it smells in there and how sparkling it is? Sure you had to do it; someone had to and it was your turn, but it is still nice to be appreciated for the work that we do.
This same concept applies to anything that we do that positively impacts someone else’s life. It is always nice to be noticed and appreciated. Taking this to a daily habit of noticing what your husband is doing right, then complimenting and thanking him for those things will help to build a positive environment and increase good feelings in your relationship.
Another way to encourage your husband and fill him with joyful feeling about you is to tell him what you like about him. “That’s what I like about you,” is an uplifting comment to make to your husband when he does something you like or you notice something you like about him. When this happens, be vocal about it. Speak right up and tell him!
Words have power and loving, appreciative words have power to heal and foster good feelings. The more good feelings your husband has when he is around you, the better he will feel and the more he will want to reciprocate.
A word of warning. Do not modify your encouragement with a negative statement or the whole effort will be lost. For example, “Thanks for cleaning the bathroom, but the mirror looks terrible.” Make sure to let the positive thing stand alone. The mirror or whatever issue can be discussed later.
When you are irritated by something that your husband is not doing, think about whether he ever does what you are hoping he will do. If he does, make sure you notice those times and think positively about him when he does them, then compliment or thank him for what he’s doing right. Let him know you value that thing and like it when he does it. Notice him and reward him for blessing you.
Let this become a daily habit of dwelling on what he does of value. Consider how he blesses you in little and big ways. Let this be where your mind goes when you think of him and let it spill out in words of affirmation and thankfulness to him. This is a necessary part of building your marriage and family life and should become a habit.
Randall Bennett has a terrific book out that gives great pointers on how to compliment your husband and build him up in doing what is right. He points out that men think differently than women and the areas they need the most encouragement in are different than that of women. If you would like some help in this area, consider his book, Melt Your Man’s Heart. This book comes with a workbook to help you make it personal and apply the principles directly into your life and your marriage. Your husband doesn’t have to be cold and distant for this to be of benefit to you. Melt Your Man’s Heart is an excellent resource for any woman who wants to grow in her marriage, but it could prove to be a marriage saver for anyone on the brink. Click the photo for more information or to purchase the program.
Thank you to Rob and Wendy Benton for sharing their photos for this article.
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