The word inspire is defined as "create a feeling, especially a positive one, in a person." In marriage, this is sometimes difficult to do. We become caught up in our busyness and day-to-day responsibilities that we don't inspire, encourage and motivate. Here are a few simple - yet effective - ways to create positive feelings in your spouse. But believe me, you'll also feel better as well.
1. Give her time to be her
Give your spouse a few minutes every day or week for herself. This shouldn't be time for her to catch up on cleaning or daily housework. This should be time for her to focus on her passions, her hobbies, her dreams.
Send your spouse a heartfelt letter in the mail. This letter could be filled with gratitude for all your spouse does, reasons why you love her, favorite memories together, etc. If you want to go the extra mile, send her a series of letters filled with cherished memories.
3. Pray for your spouse
There is great power when you bring God into your relationship. Pray as a couple daily and thank God for your spouse in these prayers. Tell God about any specific tasks you are thankful your spouse completed for you. Share how much you love your spouse and ask God to help and guide your spouse.
4. Identify and remove your spouse's triggers
Are there certain things in the day that set your spouse off? Maybe bedtime adds large amounts of stress for your spouse or making large dinners creates great anxiety. If possible, take over these chores and complete them. Your spouse will feel refreshed and her mood will improve without these added tasks and responsibilities.
Commend your spouse on a terrific job they did on a project at home or at work. Make sure to compliment your spouse on his appearance, and let your spouse know that you only have eyes for him.
6. Kiss, kiss, kiss
Kissing your spouse is not only crucial for your relationship, it is also beneficial to your health. Kissing improves you and your spouse's mood, prevents headaches and migraines, reduces blood pressure and can even wash away plaque to prevent cavities.
If your spouse is always the one who suggests date night and makes all the plans, surprise her. Call a babysitter, make reservations, buy her flowers. Surprise her and don't make her do anything.
8. Show interests in her hopes and desires
Ask your spouse questions about what she wants in life. Ask her about her bucket list, her faith, her motivations. Asking these questions can lead to powerful conversations that can strengthen your relationship and make you want to help and encourage each other.
9. Ask for your spouse's help
Make your spouse feel needed. Ask him for help, recognize his contributions around the house, etc. When a spouse feels appreciated and needed, he will be more apt to cheerfully help and maybe help without being asked.
In a marriage, you need to communicate your expectations with one another. However, if you set expectations that are too high, someone will begin to feel resentment and anger toward the other spouse. Also, if you set the expectations too low, that spouse may not feel appreciated or needed. Communicate what you expect from one another. If you are happy about your responsibilities, you are more willing to carry them out and not let them overwhelm you.
11. Avoid overreacting
Maybe your spouse has some far-fetched idea you believe will never work. Before overreacting, think about why he wants it, what is motivating him, what is his vision? If the thought makes you too upset, hear him out but avoid saying too much. After you have had time to calm down, then talk about the idea. With the right attitude, you may come up with a solution that everyone agrees to.
Remember that you don't have to do anything expensive or time consuming to inspire your spouse. But, by adding a little inspiration and encouragement in your marriage, there will be many benefits to reap.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.