12 Reasons to Treat Your Spouse Like Your Beloved Pet Move over Rover. These 12 tips will have your spouse begging for more. BY DIANE GOTTSMAN
Your dog gets unconditional love, why can't your spouse?
“ Just like a dog drives the neighbors crazy when barking at a squirrel in a tree, you will incite the same response when you nag about things that are insignificant.”
It's interesting that pets are often granted a level of unconditional love that many spouses can only dream of receiving. What would happen if you made a conscious effort to treat your spouse as well as you treat your family pet? Try these simple tips and see what happens.
1. Show some enthusiasm. After a long day at the office, greet your spouse with the same enthusiasm you exhibit when you see your pet for the first time since breakfast. Use the same smile, give him a big hug (even before you hug the dog) and act happy to see him walk through the door.
2. Kiss him on the lips. If your dog can lick your face, your husband deserves a loving smooch on the kisser.
3. Give her positive re-enforcement. When your dog sits on command or doesn’t make a mess in his crate, you acknowledge him. The laundry doesn’t get done by itself, nor does the grocery shopping or going to the dry cleaners to pick up your shirts. Acknowledge your spouse’s efforts in handling everyday chores.
4. Give her special treats. You could earn valuable brownie points by bringing home her favorite dessert or surprising her with tickets to her favorite theatre performance, or giving her a long foot massage (without falling asleep!) while you watch your favorite reality TV show.
5. Go for long walks. Pets need exercise and your marriage needs special attention, as well. No need for a leash once you've both chosen the same direction.
6. Clean him up and then take him someplace special to show him off. This could be as simple as buying him a new collar… oops, necktie. Make a plan, dress up for the occasion and pretend you are out on your very first date. For just a couple of hours, turn your phone on vibrate and direct all of your attention on your spouse.
7. Don't fly off the handle when things go wrong. When your pet accidentally breaks your favorite dish you say, "Aw, she didn’t mean it." But when your husband does the same thing you fly off the handle like it was a vicious attack on your grandmother’s fine china. It’s easy to get into the habit of finding fault rather than showing mercy.
8. Offer him unconditional love. Just like your dog overlooks your bad hair days and your mood swings, try overlooking your spouse’s extra five pounds or his habit of humming when he gets nervous. Your dog has doggie eczema and bad breath, yet you love him just the same!
9. Check for fleas. Find out what's itching your mate by being a good listener. Instead of pretending you don’t notice that there’s something on her mind, ask her if there is anything you can do to make her feel better; and listen without giving advice.
10. Whistle. Watch your dog and see how he reacts to a whistle. Imagine how your spouse would react if you showed admiration through a playful, "Wow, you look hot" whistle or a genuine compliment. This is not the type of "snap and whistle" that accompanies a request for more popcorn.
11. Discourage barking. Just like a dog drives the neighbors crazy when barking at a squirrel in a tree, you will incite the same response when you nag about things that are insignificant. Choose your battles and lighten up on the issues that really don’t matter!
12. Rub him behind his ears. A pat on the back or a genuine compliment goes a long way in creating goodwill.
Pets can bring a lifetime of happiness to a home. So can a marriage that is based on respect and love for each other—the very least you can do is treat your spouse as good as your favorite pet!
Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.protocolschooloftexas.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @: www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman.