Some people think that loving marriages just happen. Happily married couples would tell you that it takes, respect, patience, empathy and lots of nurturing.
It also takes making your spouse feel special, important, noticed, and your number one priority.
One of the biggest complaints I hear when counseling married couples is that one person or both say, “I do not feel like a priority to my spouse. Everyone and everything come before me. That makes me feel sad, lonely, unnoticed and disconnected. It makes me feel like the furniture in the room, just there, sometimes useful when you want to sit down but sometimes in the way when you need to walk around it.”
That feeling leads to thoughts of, “I don’t want to stay in a marriage where I’m not special, noticed and important.”
Think About Your Priorities
What are your priorities? Where is your spouse and your marriage on that list? Are they at the top of the list or the bottom, after everyone and everything else gets taken care of?
Do they get the biggest piece of cake with the frosting or do they get the crumbs?
What happens to the deep feeling of connection if your honest answer is, “my spouse gets the crumbs”?
Ask yourself some questions.
- Do the kids, extended family and/or friends come first?
- Are you always working even when you are home?
- Do you and your spouse eat meals together, talk, laugh, enjoy each other’s company?
- Do you show interest in what is going on in your spouse’s world?
- Do you make sure you are spending quality time together?
Take an honest assessment of your priorities, who/what is most important to you and how do you show it?
Are you ready to make your spouse and your marriage your number one priority?
Michele Weiner Davis says.” Excitement and fire are not qualities inherent to relationships. They are what happen when two people make marriage the #1 priority.”
Twelve Suggestions to Ensure that Your Spouse is a Priority
- Kiss hello when you come home and goodbye when you leave every day.
- Make alone time a priority. Plan for it.
- Put down the phone and give each other your undivided attention.
- When you are home, be home and present. With the pandemic the lines of work and home got blurred because many people started working from home. Set boundaries on your time.
- Be timely and show up when your spouse needs you to show up. If you tell your spouse that you are going to do something, do it. Make sure that you are reliable and dependable.
- Remember important dates like anniversaries, birthdays, etc…
- Date Night is the opportunity to connect and focus on each other. Take turns planning date nights and sometimes plan them together. Get date nights on the calendar as they are vital.
- Show each other appreciation. Make sure you notice all of the things that your spouse does and mention that you notice.
- Show interest in the activities and things that interest your spouse by asking curiosity questions.
- Show affection in ways that mean something to your spouse whether it is kissing, hugging, holding hands, intimate moments, having sex, etc…
- Ask your spouse, “How can I show you that you are my number 1 priority? What do you need?
- Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? It is a book written by Gary Chapman that describes five ways that romantic partners can express and receive love.
You can also take a short quiz online to find out what are yours and your spouse’s love languages.
The results of the quiz will give you valuable information on how to “speak” to your spouse using their love language. This will help you show your spouse how important they are to you.
Try my suggestions and come up with some of your own.
Remember…People do make time for the people/things that are important to them.
If something or someone is a priority, you will find a way. If it isn’t you will find an excuse.
What message does that excuse send?
Maya Angelou’s said some powerful words, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
Don’t let your spouse think they are an “option”.
Show them that they are the most important relationship in your life and how much they mean to you.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Florida & Your Relationship Expert, I have the privilege to counsel couples in the various stages of their relationships from dating, to engaged, to married, to married with children, to married as empty nesters and some on the brink of divorce.
If you need my couples counseling services, I am a phone call away. Contact me as I can help.
C.S. Lewis says, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
Start where you are and let’s work together to make the changes that are needed for you and your spouse to feel that you are and to truly be each other’s top priority.
Your Relationship Expert,