All Should Know About Their Spouse

I am crossing my boundaries (beyond management gossip). While talking to you last on Stress, I thought of stress at home.

Whether you recently said “I do” or just celebrated a double-digit anniversary, you can probably spout off a lot of info about your spouse – her/his middle name, where she/he was born, her/his favorite food.

But knowing these other things can bring you closer than ever.

Find out why, and try these relationship strategies to ensure your spouse is anything but a mystery.

When She/He Needs Space

Sharing office news, the kids’ schedules and the latest neighborhood/workplace drama as soon as you walk in the door each night can backfire.

“Most people want to immediately connect at the end of the day.
For a lot of them, they need their space more than ever then”
Give your spouse a few minutes to unwind when she/he comes home.
You’re more likely to get undivided attention if you wait.

When your souse is Really Listening
If it seems like your spouse constantly tunes you out, consider this:
She/He may look at other areas of the room while still paying attention.
Rather than focus on where your spouse’s gaze lands during conversations, note how she/he responds to you.


If your words are truly falling on deaf ears, gently tell her/him you feel she/he isn’t listening; then, let her/him respond.

“Don’t accuse or blame her/him”

The Most Productive Way to Fight…
Arguments happen in any good marriage.

But there’s a wrong and right way to fight. Yelling during fights often led to

divorce – but so did approaching arguments differently from one’s spouse

(say, one spoke calmly and the other avoided the conversation).


“Ask yourself, ‘When would I want to have this conversation?'”
“Then, think about what might work best for your spouse.”
Assessing both your moods can help you pinpoint the best time for a constructive argument.

…And When an Argument is Going Nowhere
For some disagreements, there’s just no productive way to fight it out.

To find out if you’re gearing up for a purposeful fight, rate the importance of the topic. If it’s a core value – like how to raise your children or which city to live in – rank it highly.

If it’s not – like the color of a new bedspread or what to have for dinner – it may not be worth an argument.

Next, determine if you and your spouse are ready for the discussion.

If either of you are “tired, hungry or distracted, don’t get into a conversation about something important”

Which Topics Set Her/Him Off
Maybe it’s talking about her/his mom’s flavorless cooking – or her/his late nights at work.


It’s important to “know where the emotional landmines are. If you step on one, you can expect an explosion”

But you can’t avoid all “hot topics.”


“Find the right space and time to talk about these issues”

Plus, try to understand your spouse’s side, and then approach her/him in a

Non – threatening way. You might say, “I’m not looking to upset you; I’m just looking for a solution to an issue that’s causing me a lot of pain,”

(but, never – I am not arguing, I am just expressing my opinion!)

How (and When) to Be Her/His Support System
Couples who say they have strong spousal support and face daily stress have 50% higher rates of marriage satisfaction.

While wives equate affection and warmth with support, husbands feel supported when they’re appreciated, needed and receiving offers to help with errands.

Not sure if your spouse needs you? Ask him. “Mindreading is outlawed”
Volunteer to tackle some tasks on her/his list so she/he can recharge.
And tell her/him how much you appreciate her/him as a partner to give her/him a boost.

When She/He is Not Loving Your Love Life
If your spouse isn’t showing signs she/he wants to have sex – perhaps she/he usually kisses your neck or gives you a telltale look – then it’s time to rekindle the fire.

“Couple experience intimacy through communication, so we often underplay sharing something novel” Plan a date that’ll get you both in the mood.

Some ideas: Sign up for a race, head to the museum or take a cooking class to, ahem, turn up the heat.

 How She/He Views Her/His Role in the family
Whether it’s just you two or you plus kids, you and your spouse have equally important family roles. And it’s vital that you recognize how she/he views her/his part and respect it.

“Of course that’s a two-way street, but it’s even more important for men”

Respecting her/his role helps her/him feel close to you. Fight the urge to cast your spouse into specific parts without her/his input.

And keep in mind that you don’t always have to be in sync with parenting. “Differences in temperament and style are key to parents’ success and the enjoyment of parenting”

What Her/His Dream Job (or Vacation or Car) Is
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, but happy couples discuss “each other’s hopes and dreams to build and sustain intimacy”
Make it a point to regularly talk to your spouse about, well, her/him.


Find out her/his career goals for the next few years – or just hear about his favorite book, TV show or food of the moment.

Then, reciprocate by telling her/him more about you. Communication helps you grow with each other instead of apart.

That You Don’t Know Everything About Her/Him
No matter how much you communicate with your spouse, you can never completely know her/him, and that’s OK.

“It’s never good to believe you know anything about your partner for sure and therefore not ask”

“It’s vital that you and your spouse continually get to know each other”.


“If you’re growing, you have to continue to catch up with each other.”

That means there’s at least one enjoyable thing you can do each week:

get to know – and fall in love with – your spouse all over again.


Suresh Shah, M.D., Pathfinders Enterprise

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