Do you want to knock your spouse off their feet? Want your spouse to want more sex without even saying the word “sex”? Wanna keep a smile on your spouse’s face and have them bragging about you to others? The secret (drumroll, please): Generosity. Overwhelm them with generosity.
Generosity in marriage is quite underrated. But researchers have shown that when couples focus on generosity instead of fairness, their marriages tend to be more fulfilling.
Here are some practical ways to show generosity to your partner.
Ask what makes them feel special.
Don’t assume you know. Ask questions like: When do you feel most loved? What makes you feel appreciated? What challenges are you facing right now? How they answer will help you show generosity in ways that say you know them. These aren’t one-time questions. You might ask every few months. Situations and circumstances change—challenges and needs for appreciation change.
Observe and Do. Listen and Follow Through.
Study your spouse to find ways they like to feel appreciated or ways to help relieve stress. Look for things causing stress. Observe what’s pulling at their time and energy. Listen to what they’re complaining about. Don’t think about what your spouse can do for you. Focus on learning what you can do for your spouse. We can give you great ideas. Your spouse can give you better ones without even realizing it.
Researcher Shaunti Feldhahn says, “Trade a sense of entitlement for a sense of indebtedness.” She suggests that you can cultivate generosity in your marriage by keeping track of your spouse’s needs and doing those things for them. Make it your mission to outdo your spouse with generosity. How many needs can you notice and meet? Make a game out of it. See who can do the most little things to show generosity.
Get Your Marriage Degree in the Little Things.
It’s the little things that make the difference.
- Brew a cup of coffee and set it next to them so they smell it when they wake up.
- Give spontaneous compliments without expecting anything in return.
- Buy them their favorite little treat when you run in the store.
- Be their biggest cheerleader for work and extracurricular projects.
- Give them the night off while you put the kids to bed. Have the kids give your spouse a hug and kiss and then go quietly to bed themselves.
- Drop a surprise note on their driver’s seat so they’ll see it when leaving for work.
- Text them before a work presentation.
Develop Unending T.E.A. Time (Tirelessly Expressing Appreciation). Make a habit of saying,
- “Thank you for…”
- “I appreciate you for doing…”
- “I’m proud of you.”
- “You were great when…”
Initiate discussion on sharing household chores.
Admittedly, this is better for those who may naturally do fewer tasks at home. Anyway, being generous with your time in areas that aren’t necessarily as “enjoyable” for you is always good for your relationship.
Be generous with a smile.
Let your joy come from your spouse being loved and having needs met, not from what you are doing for them. Doing freely for your spouse without expecting anything in return is the essence of generosity in marriage.
It’s pretty hard to be generous when you’re holding on to resentment or unforgiveness. Forgiveness helps you to love as much as it helps your spouse to feel loved by you.
Perhaps you have some more ideas on ways to be generous in your marriage. If you do, please send them to us! We’d love to spread the word and help other couples increase their marital happiness through abundant generosity.
In the meantime, keep giving generously and watch what happens in your relationship.
Other helpful links:
- 7 Ways to Show Your Spouse You’re Thankful for Them
- What to Do When My Spouse Feels Unappreciated
- DIY Date Night | Appreciation Station
- 6 Exercises to Strengthen Emotional Intimacy in Marriage
- I Can’t Forgive My Spouse
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***