Practical Ways to Affirm Your Spouse

Chances are you are tuned in to your spouse’s self-esteem and notice when they are feeling vulnerable. When you spot this trait in your partner ask yourself, “Where is my spouse feeling most vulnerable right now, and what can I do to help build them up and affirm who they are?”

There are practical ways you can boost your partner’s confidence. It can be easy to get stuck in somewhat of a rut (like complimenting how your partner looks every-single-day by saying “you look nice”). Don’t get us wrong, complimenting your partner’s looks are important, however there are other ways you can reach your partner’s heart and help give them a confidence boost.

So how can you do this? Researchers say most people are looking for ways to be encouraged and affirmed in four different areas; Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical. These four areas are called the four legs of self-esteem. Here are practical tips on how you can boost your spouse’s confidence. Let’s dive in.

Mental

Respecting someone’s mind is a huge compliment. By speaking words of affirmation to your partner when you notice something positive they do, you will help them feel less vulnerable. For example, if your partner took the time to think through a situation that was complicated, let them know you appreciate this. Say something as simple as “I appreciate how you thought that through, that was clear thinking!”

Or perhaps your partner has been working through a challenging problem at work. If so, speak up and let them know you notice how hard they are working. Showing respect and appreciation to your partner’s intellect will go a long way in the self-esteem department.

Emotional

Emotional intelligence affects how we act in social situations as well as when we are presented with challenging day to day circumstances. We often see the effects of emotions when we are confronted with difficult situations. This can be anywhere from work, to at home with the kids.

When you notice your spouse successfully conquers a situation they are clearly uncomfortable in (or perhaps very stressed about) you can support them by saying something along the lines of, “wow you handled that really well!” Emotional affirmation is a huge confidence booster, especially when it comes from someone you love.

Spiritual

It’s a special thing to say to someone, “I see spiritual strength in you.” Spiritual attunement and connection empower values and beliefs in so many ways. When you support your spouse’s spiritual journey, you are providing them the confidence they need to grow. Whether you do this by providing words of affirmation, through prayer together, devotional time, etc, you are providing your partner the means they need to know you support them. Don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know you see and value their spiritual strength.

Physical

Earlier we mentioned the “you look nice” compliment and how that can get repetitive (or cliché). However, don’t completely toss this idea in the trash! It is important to let your partner know you are attracted to them. There are many other small ways you can do this rather than simply saying “you look nice” each day. Perhaps your spouse came home with a new haircut, you can say “hey I really like how you changed your hair. It looks nice on you!” Let them know you noticed.

Or if your spouse has an important meeting at work, you can give them a big boost as they walk out the door by mentioning how professional and admirable they look. Physical attraction is important in a relationship, and by conveying compliments to your spouse you’ll help evoke feelings of confidence and self-worth.

If you are looking for practical ways to affirm your spouse and boost their self-esteem, then remember to focus on the four legs: Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical. These four areas are a sure way to reach your partner’s heart.

When you are feeling vulnerable, what are ways your spouse affirms you? How do you help your spouse when you notice they need a confidence boost? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

5 Comments

  • Zie says:

    My spouse usually is an introvert I have to ask him how I look and I do myself self motivation. I tell myself I’m beautiful, I’m intelligent. The only time he comments is when he sees food and that is “wow”. This at times is disheartening. I encourage spouses to continually affirm your partners because there are people out there who will always affirm them. You know when a woman if affirmed by their hubby the way they walk, talk, confidence they are just plumped up. And lack of affirmation from spouses can sometimes lead to attention being taken to people who always affirm you. I remember one day a colleague from work once commented on my perfume…. and how pretty I looked I felt butterflies rushing all over and I blushed…. that’s when I realised this can be really dangerous especially in a rocky marriage.

    • Sally says:

      He may need some kind and patient training. He sounds like my son that has Asperger’s. He only has a reaction to food, also.
      I have to ask him to tell other’s compliments.
      Also, his father is much the same way. He does not compliment very often. I only know he likes something because his eyes tell me.
      Blessings to you.

  • Barry Hiett says:

    I don’t know if this will help wives with their feelings for affirmation, but as an introvert, myself, I think how I got here. I got here because I hid my feelings, because I was pounded on by my older brother, because I spoke with a lazy tongue and was made fun of, because my example of a father was a narcissist. I was very broken before even entering my marriage. So when getting into a intimate relationship, I never realized how my own brokenness kept me opening up and trusting my wife with my feelings, or even seeing hers. So basically, I believe most men need to be re-trained to get in touch with their own issues and learn to open up to their wives. And I feel wives need to support their husbands, giving them security and encouragement to repair their own brokenness, so that they can bond to you. I believe then men can develop those senses to affirm their wives.

    Zie, your comment hurts me (as well as it should)… “I remember one day a colleague from work once commented on my perfume…. and how pretty I looked I felt butterflies rushing all over and I blushed…” Every man that I know would love to receive that response from their own wife. It’s not always given, thus wounding us men that much more. Barriers need to be broken, walls need to crumble, wounds need to heal, trust needs to be built… and this all happens as we walk through a marriage. I pray for strength of both spouses, that they each have a personal relationship with Jesus, and follow the path of God’s will.

  • Dave L says:

    Too bad as want to be parents we are not given a test before we enter into parenthood. Because many of us would not qualify as a parent. Many, many times we get pregnant with out any planning involved, I know because that was me many years ago. But with the help of God and lots of good friends we get through it and raise great children who add to society.

  • Mandy says:

    Being a new mom and with a baby all day (or all night), I get exhausted and drained, and it helps to hear my husband tell me, “Thanks for all you do for her.” We also tell each other things like, “You’re cute.” Or “I like that shirt on you.” 🙂
    When my husband is vulnerable with me or gets discouraged on how a project goes, I simply tell him that I appreciate his vulnerability or, “I’m sorry it’s not going as planned, but I appreciate the effort you’re putting into it.”
    Also, depending on the situation he’s facing, I tell him, “I’m rooting for you!” Or “I’m standing with you on this.”

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