20 Dec 5 Great Ways to Treat Your Wife Like a Stranger

My wife and I got into an argument while on vacation, no less! Mid-dispute, we had to stop to meet our friends in the hotel lobby. As we were getting on the elevator, so was a woman struggling with a baby and enough baby paraphernalia for five babies. I immediately became kind and thoughtful. While holding the elevator door, I said, “Here, let me get that for you.” As the doors shut, I thought to myself, “I just gave a stranger more kindness and consideration than I gave my own wife.”

If you’re unsure about how to treat your wife, think about how you treat strangers. In fact, sometimes we give strangers the best of us while giving our spouse the worst of us. We can learn a lot from ourselves when we consider how great we are with strangers. Here are 5 great ways to treat your wife like a stranger.

1. Be helpful.

You can become so accustomed to your wife’s presence that you become unaware of what she needs in the present. Putting gas in her car is a task my wife hates. Unlike her, I don’t mind smelling a little flammable, so I do it. Win/win. Be helpful.

[pullquote position=”right”]We can learn a lot from ourselves when we consider how great we are with strangers.[/pullquote]

2. Be polite.

While being polite to your wife may seem like a given, it is not. Spouses can forget common courtesies with each other while remembering them with others. Saying excuse me, please, and thank you communicates you see your wife, you don’t take her for granted, and you are grateful for her. It takes seconds. Be polite.

3. Be nice.

I’ve been speaking and writing on marriage for 20-plus years, so my wife has been exposed to advice from countless marriage experts. Her No. 1 piece of marital advice is to be nice. Being nice doesn’t mean being weak. You were nice when you were dating, or she wouldn’t have married you. What got you together keeps you together. Be nice.

4. Be forgiving.

I was recently in the Atlanta airport and had never seen it busier. People were confused, stressed, and bumping into each other. While there may have been exceptions, I never heard anyone taking their frustrations out on another person. Instead, I heard excuse me, I’m sorry, no worries, and you’re good. It was as if we were on the same team. Remembering you are on the same team, especially when things are stressful, is the clear choice. Be forgiving.

5. Be selfless.

I will never forget the news coverage of a huge flood in Houston. People were selflessly paddling door to door to make sure their neighbors were OK, many of whom they had never met. Putting our wives first in big and small ways creates extraordinary images of how marriage should be done. Be selfless.

Sound off: What small thing communicates big things to your wife? 

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