Praise is an essential ingredient to a healthy, happy marriage. Building one another up on a daily basis is a surefire way to build intimacy and keep your love alive for years to come.
Couples who praise each other feed the positive energy in their marriages. They’re happier, more secure, and more unified in their relationship. On the other hand, couples who don’t bother to give one another praise are less likely to have a successful relationship.
Today we’re going to share 3 reasons why praise is so critical to your marriage.
1. Praise Makes Us Feel Loved
It feels good to be praised–especially when that praise is coming from the most important person in our life. When our spouses praise us, it brightens our day. We feel cherished and special. Most importantly, we feel loved–and we feel motivated to repay that praise. That’s a good cycle to put into motion.
On the flipside, it’s better to give than receive: praising your spouse strengthens and intensifies your feelings of love for him or her. Putting your focus on their positive attributes, then vocalizing them, helps you to keep your attention where it needs to be: on the best things about your spouse.
We all have our faults, and there will be times when it’s appropriate to approach our spouses about issues we see…but most of the time, we need to stay focused on the good things about each other. What does your spouse do well? What do they get right? What’s something you love about them? When did they step up and do something memorable or selfless?
2. Praise Raises Our Confidence Level
When we’re fed a steady diet of praise and encouragement, we naturally become more confident in our own abilities and attributes. Consistent praise could mean the difference between your spouse achieving his or her goals, or falling short. Praising your spouse (or receiving praise from them) can take a bad day and turn it on its head.
Praise lifts us up when we’re discouraged and bolsters our confidence to move forward with our endeavors. In marriage, we’re meant to be a team that works together for one another’s best interests.
Praise can take a seemingly ordinary, day-to-day routine and transform it into something extraordinary. Praise the jobs your spouse does for your family, whether that’s being a career person, taking care of the children, handling upkeep on your home, handling finances, or anything else you might consider “mundane.” Doing so will give your spouse a much-needed boost, and help them to feel more confident going forward.
Praise also remembers the extraordinary when the day-to-day has taken over. On days when you or your spouse feels stuck or in a rut, use that opportunity to remind them of the wonderful things they’ve accomplished. That simple gesture can give them the boost they need to keep pressing toward their goals.
3. Praise Creates a United Front
This benefit to praise in marriage is twofold:
- Praise unifies you from within your marriage
- Praise unifies your marriage from the outside in
When you’re spending your time and energy finding good things to say to one another, then vocalizing them, you’re building goodwill in your marriage. Praise solidifies the love you have for each other and brings the two of you closer. And the time and energy spent on praise means you won’t have the time to tear one another down.
Praise is just as important outside the marriage as it is within. Take care to only speak positively about your spouse outside your marriage. Sharing negative information with third parties can not only skew their view of your spouse; it also undermines your unity as husband and wife. Instead of complaining about each other to your friends or to others outside your relationship, be intentional about saying good and positive things about your each other to those people.
If you haven’t been taking the time to praise one another, the best time to begin is now. We’ve seen praise do powerful things in marriage; we’re confident it can pay dividends in yours, as well.
Do you and your spouse make a special effort to praise one another regularly? Have you always done that? What kinds of positive change have you seen in your marriage as result? Share your stories with us in the comments!
Agree. However praise and encouragement are two different things. Praise is focused on the person giving it. “I’m so proud of you.” Encouragement focuses on the person receiving the encouragement. “Wow you worked really hard.” As you posted, the focus is on the positive and specific attributes of the person I’ve found encouragement is more powerful than praise.
I’m so glad you commented about this, because I never would have through about that. Good to see a definition of the two here and how they should be used to speak positively to your spouse.
I disagree that praise focuses on the person giving it. I can praise my by telling her how great a cook she is or how she is superb at her job. “I’m so proud of you”… can be both praise and encouragement. Both are powerful and I will put a conscious effort on praising and encouraging my wife.
I agree with you Seth…Praise most definitely focuses on the person receiving it and is a wonderful form of encouragement. People..Please…never stop praising your spouse or kids or anyone…The act is absolutely never focused on the giver…
Just thinking out loud: so when a person praises God, are they focused on their self? I don’t mean any disrespect, I am just t trying to process you comment, Patty?
You are focused on God but it benefits the person who is praising. When I praise God I’m filled with peace, joy, love and I can feel his presence. It’s amazing!
Yes, but the focus is not on me, it’s on Him.
Praise is a good thing anytime, but it is especially important if your spouse’s love language is “Words of Affirmation.”
Dr Les and Leslie, without being too academic, are you aware of any research on praise in marriage (or other interpersonal relationships)? Not that we need this to see the obvious power of mutual praise in our relationships, but I’m just curious if the topic has been researched by relationship or communication scholars. Thanks!
Why is it every news/blog article I read has a trail of public disagreement following the article? It always seems to devolve into criticism of some sort. Human nature is fascinating. The article is great as it stands.
I agree Mike; read the article and keep the negative comments out. This is supposed to be an uplifting and helpful place to be. It seems like people are so quick to point out the negative, even more reason to live the suggestions in this article. Look for the positive, and continue to encourage!
I always feel better and appreciated when my wife of 39 years praises me for something. I try to praise her regularly but this article reminds me that more is better.