We were flying back from a weekend recently and ran across a couple in their late sixties who were holding hands. They had been away celebrating their thirty-eighth wedding anniversary. As always, we asked them, “what is the secret to being married thirty-eight years.
She smiled and said, “I’ve always made our home a place where he felt like he belonged.”
We All Need To Feel Like We Belong
When we talk about belonging, we are not talking about possession. Making your spouse feel like you possess them fits in with the types of controlling behaviors you might find in a dangerous marriage.
One of the most basic needs of every human being is belonging. Longtime researchers Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary state that every person has a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to someone. Caring, affectionate bonds form close relationships that, when absent, drive each of us to create them somewhere in our lives.
“In the absence of love and belonging, there will always be suffering.” – Brene Brown
Every spouse wants, in their heart of hearts, to feel like they are accepted as a natural part of a relationship with another. And marriage is the place where belonging has the greatest potential to be met.
Creating A Sense of Belonging
Spouses can help each other feel like their home is where they belong by doing the following:
- Ask your spouse what pet name they would like to be called and begin using it.
- Take time every day to listen to your spouse about their day.
- Share about your day with your spouse every day.
- Tune into to your spouse’s mood and express that you are noticing it and want to know more about it.
- Smile at your spouse when you first see them in the morning and when they return to the house at the end of the day.
- Take an interest in what is important to your spouse.
- Ask your spouse to help in something important to you or the family.
- Let your spouse help you in some way.
- Acknowledge important events or happenings in your spouse’s life.
- Share your spouse’s ideas with others.
- Brag about your spouse to others.
- Include your spouse by inviting them into what you are doing.
- When you ask for your spouse’s opinion, find a way to include it where possible.
- Don’t hold your spouse’s mistakes against them. Move forward into the future you want to create together.
- Disagree with your spouse without putting them down.
- Express your trust to your spouse in the areas where there are high levels of trust.
- Let your spouse have input into the décor and house plan.
- Do things together.
- Try to find “yes” where you can to their requests.
- Express love in their love language.
- Ask your spouse for input on your decisions.
What do you have to say?
We love to hear from readers. Have you ever wondered if you belong in your marriage? What have you done to help your spouse feel like they belong to you? What advice would you give about helping your spouse to belong? Do you know someone who you need to forward this article to?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.