I know Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and hopefully you're thinking about, or are in the process of buying that one great gift you're planning to give to your spouse. My question to you: is that enough? Should you wait a whole year to be generous to your spouse?
According to the National Marriage Project out of the University of Virginia, men and women with the highest scores on the generosity scale were far more likely to report that they were “very happy” in their marriages. The benefits of generosity were particularly pronounced among couples with children. Among the parents who posted above-average scores for marital generosity, about 50 percent reported being “very happy” together. Among those with lower generosity scores, only about 14 percent claimed to be “very happy,” according to the latest “State of Our Unions” report from the National Marriage Project.
Generosity is defined as the virtue of giving good things freely and abundantly, encompasses small acts of service, the expression of affection, displays of respect, and a willingness "to forgive him/her for mistakes and feelings."
So here are three ways you can be generous with your spouse:
- Be generous with your possessions. My wife, "PG", and I always stress not only to ourselves, but to our kids that "My money is his/her money." That shows the kids and each other we are committed to building something together, not apart. It took me a little longer to accept this practice. The reason was based on the fact I only had a sister growing up and we didn't have to share as much, and PG had sister's, sharing was a way to strengthen their bond with one another. By allowing your spouse access to the things you cherish creates a bond of strength.
- Be generous with access to your personal space. Opening up your physical space can serve as a protection mechanism for your partner. Being open, giving, and receiving hugs, or intimate touching. This is something that could go a long way and could help increase your sex life.
- Be generous with your advice and support. There may be times when you see that your partner is floundering and may need your help. Don't sit on the sideline. Offer support and guidance even if they aren't open to it at the time.
Finally, take delight in your opportunity to support your spouse. You may be the one that benefits the most by giving.
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