All couples experience disagreements, even arguments and conflict. But, did you know you can build a more intimate relationship with your spouse before, during, and after the disagreements and conflicts? Let me count the ways (well, at least five for before, five for during, and five for after).
- Make daily deposits of honor and grace into your Family Bank of Honor by sharing polite words, expressions of affection, and loving touch. (Read The Tongue in the Family Bank of Honor for verbal daily deposits.)
- Become a student of spouse. Learn about their likes, interests, vulnerabilities, and fears.
- Express gratitude to your spouse every day.
- Tell your spouse about the traits you admire in them. Let them know what they do and say that you admire and appreciate.
- Show kindness to your spouse every day.
- Take a breath and remember all the traits you love and adore about your spouse.
- Remain calm. Take a breath and maintain the use of polite words.
- Listen to understand. Then listen some more to make sure you understand.
- Do not threaten, blame, criticize, or show contempt. Instead, be brutally honest with yourself. Humbly take responsibility for any way your actions and words contribute to the argument.
- Seek a solution, a third alternative that can show love and the priority of your relationship. (Assume Love explains the third alternative.)
- Reaffirm your love for your spouse. Let them know how much you love them.
- Apologize. Chances are you did something during the disagreement that requires an apology. So, apologize.
- Give your spouse a big hug and a sincere kiss.
- Review your contribution to the argument and change your behavior accordingly.
- Bear the fruit of a sincere apology. (More in Stop Apologizing & Bear Fruit)
I’m sure there are many more ways to build intimacy before, during, and after an argument, but these 15 ideas will give you a start. What ideas would you add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below.