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Five Secret High-Impact Words and Phrases for Spouses

1. Now.  “I will make that call now.”  “I will schedule that job now.  In fact, I will run down to the hardware store (or supermarket) now and get the stuff I need.  “I will pick up those clothes now.”   The last thing your husband or wife wants to hear is another empty promise to do something later.  Chances are that the particular chore in question has stared both of you in the face for too long a time anyway.  When you say “Now,” however, you send a message that his or her desires jump to the head of the list of things-to-do.  First, the immediate response satisfies the urgency of the need.  Second, stopping whatever you’re doing and turning your attention to the task at hand confers the feeling of priority to him or her.  And, under normal circumstances, acting now invites a warm and grateful feeling in return.  

2.  What else?  After you’ve completed a certain task for someone, take the time to ask what else you can do.  Think about it.  You are there; you are in a mood to accomplish something; while it may not be the most convenient time, it will certainly be less convenient to come back some other time.  Most importantly, it greatly enhances the other person’s esteem for you because you are truly focusing on their welfare.  

Doing the minimum has no place in a Christian’s conduct and attitude.  Jesus taught us to go the second mile.  When you do more than asked or expected, you invest into immense good will and gratitude. 

3.  What do you think?  It galls some people to admit that someone else may have a better idea.  Nothing is more damaging to a relationship, however, than to continually override or ignore input from the other person.  When you ask that special person what they think about something, you show that you are not above them.  

Besides that, the other person may actually have a better idea.  He or she certainly will have a different perspective than you, and might even know some additional facts about the situation that you lack.  Moreover, when the feedback comes, resist the temptation to rebut or refute the suggestion.  If you do, your initial invitation will be seen as phony.  

4.  I’ll try.  Whenever you’re asked to do something that you feel incapable of doing, don’t cover it up by boasting about your dubious abilities.  When you say, “I’ll try,” you show that your spirit is willing, although your flesh may be weak.  You are not expected to be able to do everything, but you can give it your best shot.  The value in that kind of attitude shows up in the impact it has on the relationship.  

5.  Just you.  “I just want to be with you.”  “I just want to know what you want (think, like, feel).  For your spouse, those words have almost as much warm meaning and positive value as “I love you” does.  For close friends, they demonstrate respect and high esteem.  The other person will do almost anything for you when you show this kind of spirit toward them.

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