How to Get Along with a Spouse

Three Methods:Accepting Your SpouseCoping With DisagreementSpending Time Together

Marriage can sometimes be difficult. Small matters lead to disagreements if your lives get busy with family, jobs, and other obligations. By accepting your spouse, learning effective communication, and making time for one another you can better get along with your partner.

Method 1
Accepting Your Spouse

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    Focus on the positive. It's important to take time to appreciate your spouse during your day-to-day life. There is something that initially drew you to this person and you need to make sure you nurture feelings of love. Take time to focus on the positive aspects of your significant other.
    • Fondness and admiration are among the most important aspects of a longterm relationship. Sometimes, day to day activities and responsibilities result in people losing focus of their affection for their spouse. Make time to nurture these feelings.[1]
    • One activity that encourages feelings of fondness is the "I appreciate" activity. You and your partner each write down three or more positive characteristics of one another, another with examples that illustrate these characteristics. You then take turns reading what you wrote to one another.[2]
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    Learn to live with certain flaws. Everyone has flaws. There is no such thing as a perfect spouse and certain behaviors do not change, even after repeated requests. If the issue isn't major, sometimes it's better to let it go.
    • A lifelong bad habit is unlikely to change, even with persistent requests on your part. If your partner is sort of messy, for example, he or she may learn to tidy up more often but never quite remember to wash dirty dishes right away or take out the recycling on a regular basis. While such behaviors might be annoying, if they're not deal breakers it might be best to let it go.[3]
    • It's perfectly acceptable to ask your partner to change major issues that upset you. If, for example, your spouse has a tendency to make poor financial decisions this is a big enough factor that the two of you should work through it. Small flaws, however, are not subject to change and you should not go into a relationship expecting to perfect or improve your partner.[4]
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    Encourage your spouse's goals. Marriages are happiest when spouses encourage one another. You should support your spouse's hope and dreams and try to actively encourage him or her to pursue things that would help with long term goals. Try to listen and understand what your spouse wants in life and find ways to support him or her. Obviously, you can't achieve goals for another person but you can provide emotional support and advice throughout your spouse's path to success.[5]

Method 2
Coping With Disagreement

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    Communicate effectively. Effective communication is key to preventing and dealing with the inevitable disagreements that surface during a marriage. Learning how to communicate in a productive matter is important to getting along with your spouse.
    • When expressing frustration, avoid statements that place an external judgment on a situation. Statements should start with "I" instead of "you." For example, say you want your spouse to give you more alone time once in awhile. Instead of saying, "You expect me to do everything with you and I never have time to myself," rephrase it in a way that emphasizes your personal feelings on the situation and not objective fact. Try something like, "I feel like I don't get enough time to myself and that makes me feel stressed."[6]
    • Listen to your partner's side of the argument. Oftentimes, fights over a small issue are driven by underlying circumstances. When the two of you disagree, try to listen actively and repeat back anything you don't understand for clarification.[7]
    • Do not expect your partner to read your mind. If something he or she does bothers you, you cannot expect your spouse to simply figure this out. The sooner you say something, the sooner the issue can be addressed and dealt with effectively.[8]
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    Accept your partner's values. No two people have the the same opinions and values 100% of the time. You need to accept your partner's values even when you do not agree.
    • Couples are generally able to get along fine with different political or religious values. However, it's when someone feels their values are not respected that problems arise. Even if you radically disagree with your partner on a given subject, try to understand where he or she is coming from and respect his or her opinion.[9]
    • If you really radically disagree with your spouse about an issue, it's okay to agree not to discuss it. Sometimes, it's hard to give up your desire to change a person's mind, especially if it's a subject you care about deeply.[10]
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    Learn your spouse's communication style. People tend to communicate in different ways. You should pay attention to how your partner conveys his or her feelings. This will allow you read your spouse better and smooth over arguments more effectively.
    • Some people are more visual communicators. They do not necessarily talk out their feelings but visual clues, such as how they carry themselves and eye movements, convey feelings. If this is the case with your partner, make sure you two communicate face-to-face.[11]
    • If your partner tends to get very emotional during communication, try to speak softly and provide reassurance by holding hands, touching, and other warm gestures.[12]
    • When talking, always paraphrase what you two have said. This way, you'll be sure you understand each other.[13]
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    Understand how your partner expresses love. People have different "languages of love." That is, people use different means to show that they care. If you or your partner feels under-appreciated, the two of you might just use different "languages of love."
    • Words of Affirmation means your partner expresses how he or she feels directly. You might hear "I love you" a lot and get a lot of compliments on small matters. This is perhaps the most direct and easy-to-read language of love.[14]
    • Acts of Service means someone feels actions are louder than words and shows affection via completing small tasks for their significant other. Your partner may, for example, take the garbage out for you or do the dishes if you've had a long day. These people are sometimes less verbal with their affection and their acts of love are easy to overlook if you don't realize they're meant to convey affection.[15]
    • Receiving Gifts means people feel loved via sharing and giving. Your partner might bring your flowers or a small treat from the store to show he or she cares. Like Acts of Service, your partner may be less verbally affectionate if this is how he or she expresses love.[16]
    • Quality Time means love is expressed by giving the other person undivided attention. Your partner may want to spend time with you alone and treasure small moments you might not think much of. Nightly dinners, for example, may be very important to your partner if this is how he or she expresses love.[17]
    • Physical Touch means your partner shows affection via touching. He or she might want to hold hands, cuddle, and kiss. Your partner might be less verbally affectionate, but will strive to make up for it through contact.[18]
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    Pause during arguments. If an argument is getting nowhere, it's okay to pause. If neither side is listening anymore, and you're repeating the same information, simply stop the argument, give each other some space, and revisit the issue later.[19]

Method 3
Spending Time Together

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    Establish rituals. Rituals are important to a happy, married life. Find ways to spend time together one-on-one throughout the week.
    • Rituals can be anything meaningful to you and your partner. Going out to dinner once a week, watching a particular show together, taking long walks, and other activities you enjoy as a couple can serve as rituals.[20]
    • It's important to maintain some kind of a schedule. Obviously, things get busy and sometimes you might miss a dinner here and there. However, having a set day of the week or set time of day for one another can help assure you two don't miss each other in the shuffle.[21]
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    Maintain a healthy sex life. Sex is important to a romantic relationship. Maintaining a healthy sex life longterm is vital to getting along with your spouse.
    • If you and your partner have different sex drives, there are ways to compromise. This does not simply mean having sex more or less based on someone's needs, but you can explore fantasies, varying levels of foreplay, role play, and other means to get you and your spouse on the same level.[22]
    • If sex is becoming a problem, you see a couple's therapist to see if there are any underlying issues affecting your sex drive.[23]
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    Create shared values. It's important to have some shared values as a couple. While you may not agree on everything, you should have certain shared values. You can work together on what your goals are for the relationship, the future, and career. Establishing values together as a couple can strengthen a relationship and assure a positive future.[24]
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    Have your own sense of self. The healthiest, happiest couples have individual lives apart from one another. You cannot rely on your partner to meet all your needs all the time. Even while striving to spend time with one another, find activities you enjoy doing alone or with other people as well. Join a book club. Have a weekly bar night with just friends. Get involved in a craft. A little space is important for a healthy romantic relationship.


  • Remember, there are two of you in the relationship, each as important as the other.
  • Always try to forgive each other for mistakes, from petty mistakes to big disagreements. Letting go of the past can help you move forward.

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Categories: Married Life