Close your eyes and take a few seconds to think about a wonderfully generous gesture your spouse has done for you. Was it the time they offered to give you a little back rub while watching the evening news? How about that time they got up early and grabbed you your favorite latte from Starbucks? Or, they saved the last slice of pizza for you?
How did this small act of generosity make you feel inside?
Did it make you feel loved … accepted … warm … cherished … valued?
Generosity has that effect on all of us, right? Through our actions — even the smallest of gestures like the ones above — we communicate our love for one another. Needless to say, couples who practice showing generosity toward each other tend to have happier marriages. They also communicate better long-term.
“Success in marriage is less about doing the big things than
it is about doing those little things, day after day.”
A couple of weeks ago, I asked our online audience to share with me something generous that their spouse had done for them. Like the examples above, it didn’t matter if it was big, small, or somewhere in between. Here are a few of them:
Examples of Generosity
“In the last weeks, Dan has simply listened and responded with love to all the requests that I’ve
spoken regarding my dad’s passing, arrangements for travel, funeral, removing my dad’s personal items
from his room, and loving my mom through it all. Dan heard and saw the family’s needs, and
he met them with a gentle and generous response.”
“When I’ve been taking care of my mom all day, and Steve is home before me.
He will greet me in the garage with a smile and glass of wine.”
“She has spent a lot of time taking care of my aging mother – Wow, not easy.”
“He cooked breakfast, helped me clean the whole house, and then
took me to dinner – all in one day – what a blessing.”
“My wife used to always make me a cup of coffee before I left for work (pre-COVID).
I just went back into the office last week for the first time, and she made my coffee as usual
and put an ice cube in the Yeti, so it was cool enough to actually drink.”
So how do we get to generosity?
- Don’t try to read their mind. Develop a movie theater attitude by getting up out of “your movie theater” and going into theirs as an interested and curious observer.
- Develop rituals of connection. These are those small habits that build trust and closeness.
- Know what kind of talk you’re having. Work Talk or Heart Talk – are you supposed to Feel it or Fix it?
- Be Generous. Extend the most generous interpretation possible to the INTENTIONS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS of others.
- And another thought: Create an atmosphere of Gratitude and Appreciation.
All we’re trying to say here is that small acts of generosity go a long way in making a deep and lasting impression on your spouse and your marriage. Do a little bit every day, and you’ll be surprised how much closer the two of you become.
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Did we leave anything out? What acts of generosity are you doing for your spouse? How are they returning the favor? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at Mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.