"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Though every long-time married couple's reason for staying together is usually unique, at the core of it is always the fact that, in one way or another, the relationship helps to bring out the best in both people involved. If you want to improve your marriage by bringing out the best in your spouse, then here are four tips that may be able to help:
1) Communicate clearly and openly
Make sure that you are never setting your spouse up to fail by being unclear in your expectations and in what you want out of the relationship. For example, you may want your spouse to be more physically affectionate, but if all you do is sit around and secretly hope that they will get the message, then you are likely to be sorely disappointed. Let them know that you want more intimacy, and they'll probably be happy to oblige.
2) Show your appreciation often and in abundance
If it doesn't seem like you or your spouse are trying as hard for one another as you did in the beginning of your relationship, then it is likely because you have stopped showing as much appreciation you once did. Maybe it has become so commonplace for them to, for example, drive you around or make you coffee in the morning, that you've stopped expressing your gratitude for it. Always take the time to thank them and let them know how much you still appreciate these actions.
3) Show your support
One of the best things about being in a loving and committed marriage is that you always have someone else to share all of life's ups and downs with. A healthy relationship is one that encourages both partners to try harder and reach higher, to chase their dreams and goals while knowing they have someone who supports them and believes in them.
Unfortunately, a marriage that doesn't have this kind of support can make it even more difficult for someone to reach their goals. Make sure that your partner knows you believe in them, support them, and have their back.
4) Try to bring out the best in yourself as well
Finally, one of the best ways to bring out the best in your partner is simply to work on yourself. If you work on being more loving, supportive, and appreciative, then chances are that your partner will as well. You need to look no further than scripture for the spiritual motivation to do better. In perhaps one of the most widely read and beloved encouraging Bible quotes of all time, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 teaches us that:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Recite these words to yourself every single day. Engrave them on your heart and call them to mind every time you feel that you could be providing your spouse with more love, support, and appreciation. Become the better person that the words are calling you to be, and your spouse will gladly come along for the ride.