A recent survey showed that people's most undisclosed desire is to share in deeper relationships. People who have the best relationships are those who realize that it takes extraordinary efforts.
Relationship problems occur because we do for our spouse what our individual preferences and desires would be, rather than what is important for them. Sometimes, basic qualities that contribute to good friendships -- sacrifice for each other and appreciating each other -- also go by the wayside in our marriages. Healthy friendships avoid pitfalls that often our spousal relationships fall into. I've listed below 7 of the top ingredients that catapult friendships and are highly valuable in our spousal relationships."
Be a person of true understanding and listen when the other person needs to work through something.
Be someone who will enjoy doing things the other likes to do alongside them. Sometimes just go somewhere because your spouse is going, just to be with them. Take an active interest in the things your spouse does.
Look beyond the surface
Be a spouse who will look beyond words to determine any "behind the scenes" information being communicated by the other; when you have a hunch that there are things going on that aren't being communicated, patiently encourage your spouse to bring these feelings out by listening, watching, and asking questions.
Be loyal to your spouse. Don't ever speak badly about your spouse; if you do, it says more about who you are than who they aren't.
Be a spouse who will not only listen, but who is willing to share his or her feelings with the other. Consciously let them into your world: it takes time and words.
Voice your opinion
Be a spouse who has more value than a potted plant: while valuing and considering my opinion, have the courage to voice and retain your own!
Challenge your spouse to be a better person (be a "plus" sign).
Karen Budzinski recently published a book called "How to Build an Enduring Marriage", a book she wrote after years of studying relationships and teaching her signature class, Building Better Relationships. In 1981, Karen taught her first class, helping folks strengthen their relationships; she did not realize at the time that the rest of her life's work would be dedicated to helping others build better relationships (www.BetterRelationshipsNow.com). Her book contains a wealth of information that has benefited an inestimable number of people. Karen's experience in teaching and counseling has crossed ages from birth to seniors, as itinerated on her website: www.karenbudzinski.com.
Karen and her husband Gary reside in Michigan; their family has grown to include five adult children, their spouses, and three granddaughters.