As a master life coach for the past 16 years, I've discovered some ground-breaking people science that could drastically improve your marriage, but he following tips could also be used to help you become an amazing parent, friend or co-worker too.
When you understand another person on this level and work on these things, you can create a healthy relationship with almost anyone.
1. Know what your spouse values most
A large portion of human behavior is driven by what we value most. We believe there are four value categories to choose from. See if you can tell which one is true for your wife.
Some of us value people most
These people thrive with connection and hate to be alone. They need connection and communication and are almost always seeking companionship. They treasure and nurture relationships all the time.
Some of us value tasks most
These people wake early in the morning with a to-do list in hand. They are driven to get things done and can be workaholics. They feel a sense of value in the world from what they accomplish.
Some of us value things most
These are the artists, inventors and tycoons. They can be the beautiful models or successful businessmen, and they love beautiful, rich, amazing things.
Some of us value ideas most
These people have strong opinions, great knowledge and passion about principles. They can talk a lot about their ideas and get offended if you don't agree or do things their way.
2. Validate your spouse on those things
Everyone needs validation that they are appreciate, admired, respected and wanted. But the best validation you can give your spouse is validation around what they value most.
If they value people most, validate and praise their ability to connect with others and build great relationships. Notice how kind, compassionate, intuitive and friendly they are. Never make them feel inadequate because they don't like to be alone - it's just a beautiful part of who they are.
If they value tasks most, validate and praise their accomplishments, their know-how, their hard work and brilliance. Never make them feel inferior because they can't relax and are always thinking about tasks.
If they value things most, validate and praise their appearance, leadership skills, or inventions and brilliance. Notice what they spend time doing, building or creating and acknowledge the talent it takes to create it. Never make them feel inadequate because they are so focused on the things of the world.
If they value ideas most, validate their right to think the way they do. Acknowledge the time it takes to learn about what interests them, and praise their desire to do everything right. If you disagree with them, acknowledge their right to their opinions and still praise their commitment to their values.
3. Know what your spouse fears most
There are two core fears, and one will always be a bigger trigger.
Does this person fear failure most?
Are they deeply insecure about what other people think of them? Do they feel devastated when they get any negative feedback? Do they need a great deal of validation to feel they have any value?
Does this person fear loss most?
Do they often feel mistreated, taken from, worried or stressed? Do they notice when things aren't fair and tend to keep score? Do they get angry or upset when things don't go the way they want them to?
4. Once you understand your spouse's fear triggers, understand what they need most when they are triggered
If this person fears failure most, they need lots of validation that they have the same exact value as every other human being and no matter what they do, they will always be enough. Remind this person often that their value is not tied to their appearance, performance, property or the opinions of other people. If you need to give some feedback, start with a lot of appreciation and validation first and then ask if they would do this one thing different moving forward.
If this person fears loss most, they need lots of reassurance that things will be OK and that no one is trying to do them wrong. Remind them you are always on their side and it's you two against problems, not you two against each other. Remind them there is order in the universe and when things go wrong, they are still here to teach us something or benefit us in some way.
When you can pull them out of their fear reactions, they will feel more safe in the world, and they will behave much better towards you.
5. Work on your own fear triggers
Make sure you understand which of the two core fears is your bigger trigger. Your main job on this planet is to improve yourself and grow (not fix the other person). If you spent all your time working on not reacting to fear yourself and showing up in trust and love, all your relationships would be amazing.
Be constantly responsible for your own fear-driven behavior, low self-esteem and overblown reactions. Work on being more emotionally mature and respond to issues that trigger you with patience, wisdom and love. If you need some additional tools and skills to get here, seek out a coach or counselor to help you.
6. See the relationship accurately
If the main objective for our being on this planet is to grow and learn, then this relationship is your classroom and this person is your perfect teacher. They often teach you by pushing your buttons though, so you can see your weaknesses and fear reactions and work on them. Every day this person is probably giving you opportunities to practice, rise and become the person you are really meant to be.
When you see your relationship every day as YOUR classroom, you will stay focused on your own self-improvement, which is exactly where you need to be.
Understanding human behavior at this level will help you to be an amazing spouse and an amazing, wise and balanced human being.
You can do this.