It’s been said that a good relationship consists of two people, who make each
other better. So from breaking bad habits to changing behavior, how can you
be a genuinely supportive spouse…without offending your other half?
Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares four keys to motivating
your spouse without crossing the line.
There are very few topics in marriage that can create more problems than
trying to motivate your partner to change something important to you. The
biggest key will be to walk the fine line of creating change without offending
your partner. Here are four keys that can help:
1. Approach Your Spouse From a Position of Love Not Judgment!
The best motivation will always come from the spirit of love and not of
judgment. The importance of showing someone you love them can be found
in the age old wisdom of, “I don’t care how much you know until I know how
much you care.” People are much more willing to change and be influenced
when they sense that they are cared for and accepted unconditionally. If you
truly want to motivate another person to change, even for their own good,
don’t start with your quick judgments, like they’re lazy or don’t care, but
first narrow down how much you really care for the person you’re trying to
influence. In the end, your caring nature will come through and will increase
the likelihood that they’ll be able to hear the advice that you are giving.
2. Find the “On Switch” Inside Your Partner
The answers for how to motivate another person are always inside the other
person, not you. You can’t help a person you don’t understand, so quit
trying to use all of the tricks and keys that would motivate you, and instead
try to understand their way of thinking. Get creative and try to see the world
from their frame of reference. Figure out what makes them tick and what
makes them act the way they do. Identify the things that your partner loves
to do and incorporate their loves into solutions that can help you to motivate
them to try something new. Remember that everyone is motivated by
different things, with some being motivated by touch, time or positive verbal
3. Let Your Actions Do the Talking… Not Your Mouth!
Nothing speaks louder than a good example. Quit trying to motivate your
partner by using long lectures, guilt trips or negative conversations. Instead,
become the “model” of the healthy behavior you are trying to motivate.
Demonstrate all of the benefits of the changes you are trying to motivate
your partner to live. Live the life you are hoping your partner would live and
show your partner how your healthier life is benefitting you. Be happy
because of the life you are living and don’t let your partner’s choices alter
your mood. Continue inviting your partner to change with you and continue
accepting them regardless if they change or not. Eventually if you don’t give
up, your example communicates much more than your mouth ever could.
4. Point out Their Progress, not Your Pain
Everyone loves to succeed at something, and nothing tends to motivate us
more than seeing the success we’re having. Focus on the positive progress
you see your partner making toward their goals. By looking for the progress,
it not only increases the likelihood you’ll be able to find the good, but it also
communicates exactly what they want to hear. Use their progress to bring up
discussions about their goals and desired changes. It will always be easier to
approach difficult topics of change with your partner by focusing on the
positive that exists rather than the negative.
For more relationship coaching and advice, take advantage of Matt’s offer
and schedule free 40 minute relationship assessment. Walk away with
solutions to improve your relationship.