Jeff and I often are asked about our marriage. We are great friends and partners in life despite enormous stresses in our 12 years of marriage. We don’t pretend to be experts but we have received several emails and facebook messages asking for advice so we are happy to give you some simple things that work for us.
1. Public praise, private criticism. This is the best advice my dad ever gave me. I do not speak unkindly about Jeff. Period. I’m not going to belittle him even if it makes me fit in on the topic of the day at work or when dining with my girlfriends. Jeff always says that my friends think he’s perfect because I only tell everyone the good stuff. Great! That means I’m doing my job as his wife, friend, and his greatest fan.
My guess is you can name more people who criticize their spouse versus build them up. I think we have the power to change that fact.
2. 3rd time is not a charm, it’s nagging. Ask your spouse to put the Christmas lights up once. Then possibly repeat a second request, assuming he/she didn’t hear you. But the third time is merely nagging. So get out the ladder and start putting the lights up, even if you are 8 months pregnant. Chances are when he drives up and sees you on the ladder, he will take over. I will not admit if this is a true story. See tip #1.