Marital Kindness

Do you ever encounter couples who aren’t kind toward one another, but seem to have oodles of kindness for co-workers, neighbors or even strangers? I have seen a lot of this in my work with couples. The way the couple treats the other is not necessarily abusive, it just isn’t courteous, or friendly.

I believe the reason for this unfortunate and harmful phenomenon is twofold. To start, under-appreciation is a common marital malady. Once we’ve been married for a bit, we begin to take the person we vowed to love and cherish for granted. We just presume they’ll always be there, engaging in the everyday tasks of our everyday life. This causes us to forget to extend common courtesy and a simple smile to our spouse who takes care of those mundane tasks for us and with us. Secondly, we can become highly familiar with our spouse and with our familiarity we often throw out “please” and “thank you” that seems to be readily offered in our conversations with those outside our marriage.

Should we be cordial to strangers and treat everyone we encounter as our neighbor? Certainly, but I believe our best behavior should be preserved for the one we live with, our cherished spouse.

Do you treat your spouse with common courtesy? Remember to offer it freely and often.

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About Lori Mitton

Lori Mitton is a licensed clinical psychotherapist (MA, LLP) specializing in marriage and family therapy. She is co-founder of Permanent Passionate Partnership.