5 Traits That Make Your Spouse A “Great Catch”!
It should come as no surprise that in a culture obsessed with lovemaking, we have lost sight of some of the most important traits that make someone a suitable mate for the long term. The prevalence of highly romanticized fairy tales where the prince rescues the princess and they live “happily ever after” don’t help any either. So what are the most important traits that make someone a great spouse? Well, the whole list is long, but here are 5 of the most important ones.
1.) They trust wisely not blindly
The ignorant spouse trusts blindly by simply assuming that the one they love would never hurt them. The wise spouse chooses to trust knowing full well that at some point in time that trust is going to be abused – but since they don’t associate betrayal with a lack of love, they are far more likely to sail through an act of betrayal without the same devastating consequences as someone who trusts blindly.
2.) They make what is important to you important to them
Noted relationship expert John Gottman calls this building a “love map.” A good spouse knows what’s important to you and they make an attempt to show it is important to them as well. If you have a great relationship with your mom, they might make an extra attempt to help you do something special for her for mother’s day. If you have an important interview or other event coming up, they might ask about it regularly and make time to either celebrate or commiserate with you depending on how things turn out.
3.) They share your vision of relationship
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Every person has a “vision” of what a relationship is “supposed” to look like. Sometimes it is a traditional image that includes a woman staying home and raising children while the man provides financial support and sometimes it involves both partners contributing to each. Regardless of whether you came into a relationship having the same vision or not, a great spouse will share a vision with you of what you want your relationship to look like.
4.) They accept influence
A great spouse respects you and therefore they respect your opinion and seek it often. They may not always follow your advice, but that doesn’t mean they don’t respect it, it just means they allowed your advice to influence them to the degree that it was helpful to them. Ultimately, you are two separate people and what it right for you might not be right for them. However, they do recognize that you have a different perspective than they do and they will frequently ask you to share your perspective with them so they can get a better understanding of all sides of the problem they are attempting to solve.
5.) They turn towards, rather than away
Another foundational aspect of a good marriage from the Gottman Institute is the idea of couples making and responding to “bids” for attention. A “bid” for attention is simply the sharing of information, to which a spouse either “turns toward” or “turns away” from. They turn toward by asking for more information or giving an encouraging sign to continue. They turn away by walking away, pretending they did not hear or giving some other verbal or non-verbal cue that they are not interested. Turning toward opens up lines of communication, turning away shuts them down.