Mind Your Marriage Manners

Do you find yourself using your manners more at work and the grocery store than at home? Respectful and courteous behavior has slipped in many “modern” marriages. It’s probably not purposeful; you just get so close to a person you don’t think these niceties are necessary any more.

They are.

Do you sometimes think your spouse would never talk to anyone else the way s/he sometimes talks to you? Perhaps your partner feels the same way. That’s not how it was when you were courting and trying to impress one another—holding doors, saying thank-you for dinner, and giving your undivided attention even if your favorite TV show was on.

Maybe you’ve gotten just a little too comfortable with your relationship if you rarely make yourself presentable at home and “please” and “thanks, honey” rarely pass your lips there.

A great benefit to marriage is that the household work is divided between two people. Maybe one person works more outside the home and one more inside the home, but both probably contribute in multiple ways from shopping to mowing the lawn, child care, car maintenance, paying bills and cooking meals. Imagine all the extra responsibilities you would have if your spouse wasn’t there, and make sure to thank him or her for the things regularly done for the family. I know I appreciate it when my husband realizes I’m the reason he never runs out of clean underwear.  Pretend you’re talking to a friend, to whom you’d normally say “Thanks for listening to me talk about my tough day,” or “Thanks for a great dinner.” Don’t take the little things for granted, because they can lead to resentment.

It should go without saying that using manners with children is also important. Children model what they see.

If you thought manners were only for stuffy people, you might be surprised about these Top 10 Myths of Marriage, for instance Myth #3 “They keys to long-term marital success are good luck and romantic love.” What myths most surprise you?

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