Skip to main content

Marriage Manners Matter

Photo Credit: Thought Catalog
"Fine!" and "Whatever!"  These 2 powerful words have the incredible potential to bring nearly any discussion to a screeching halt.  They send the insensitive message of "I don't care. Discussion over.  Period. Full stop!"   As married couples, we have probably used these or similar words.  And, if we have raised children we have probably employed time out, taken the car keys or other forms of discipline.

Those 2 little words are not  the focus of this blog.

For as much pain as these words inflict, 2 phrases that we teach our 2 year olds  have the power to elevate and affirm.  Too often as husband and wife we neglect their incredible power.  These words are "Please," and Thank you!"

MF:  Tom was helping me tackle some ragweed in the garden yesterday.  I heard him say "Please" as he asked me to get a tool. This simple one-syllable word took me by surprise.  Don't get me wrong; Tom is far more likely to say "Please" and "Thank you" than I, but we expect higher standards of our grandchildren than we set for ourselves in this regard.  (We are not demanding grandparents by any means!)

I assume please and thank you are understood in the tone of my voice so I sometimes eliminate them for the sake of efficiency.  Really!  One and 2 syllables makes me more efficient?  Sometimes I am just plain sloppy.  Ouch!  My surprise in hearing his "Please" was a poignant reminder of the power in sharing our need, desire and gratitude for each other.  Tom knows I need him and am grateful for him, but he needs to hear it.  He enjoys  hearing it.  I was frustrated at the time and Tom's "please" softened my heart as I fetched the requested tool.  I was reminded of the love and grateful for the tenderness and caring I appreciate in our relationship.  That simple one-syllable word had the power to elevate the rest of my day.

Tom:  Little words are important. They convey the attitude of our heart every bit as much as the tone of our voice.  "Please" conveys my need for Mary Frances -- which is a good thing!  Need is not  dependency.  It expresses humility and has the power to elevate her.  This strengthens the bond in our relationship.  It gets rid of any demand in my tone and 'begs' for help.

"Thank you" not only expresses gratitude, it is an opportunity to spontaneously express endearment.  Thank you is so formal.  "Thanks, Hon!" just rolls off my tongue and implies a love that is bubbling up following a request tenderly implored with a "Please."  These words are as powerful as "Fine!" and "Whatever!"  There is a reason we teach our toddlers "Please" and "Thank you."  As husband and wife, may we  never out grow them!

Editors Note:  This post first appeared in April, 2018.  As always we appreciate your feed back.  Tom+MF


  1. Please and thank you - two simple phrases so easily overlooked in the familiarity of our marriage relationship and communication. "Thank you" both for helping us to remember this simple courtesy. May it "please" our spouse to hear use such loving kindness.

  2. After being together for some years, it's a good reminder to treat our spouse with respect by using simple everyday courtesies - please and thank you.

  3. Great information. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have saved as a favorite for later!

  4. Tony & Cathy WitczakJuly 5, 2018 at 6:13 AM

    So true. "Please" and "thanks" have the power to heal relationships when spoken with love and tenderness. Forgetting them contributes to judgments of being taken for granted.

  5. Thanks for the reminder to keep using the simply positive words for our spouse. I try to do much more for others, and sometimes forget the simple kindnesses to my spouse.


Post a Comment

Other Popular Posts

Sex: Spontaneous or Planned . . . Let the Conversation Begin

  Happy New Year to all!  We are so grateful that 2020 is clearly in our rear-view mirror.  What a relief.  The start of a new year is traditionally set aside for reflection and resolutions.  For us, 2021 was no different. We often make couple as well as individual resolutions.  Stress and busyness, age and life in general had cooled our sexual relationship to a slow simmer.  Our 2021 goal is :  " Some is good.  More is better! "  Planned or spontaneous -- all is good! Let the conversation begin.

Tell Her She’s Pretty and Let Him Go Golfing

     Kids say the funniest things. But sometimes, the things they say can teach us a thing or two. Our friends Greg and Cecilia have five children between 1 and 11 years old. They asked their four oldest kids to answer some questions about marriage. Here's what they had to say: Why do people get Married? Because they love each other.  Because they kiss each other. How do you know Mom and Dad love each other?

Verbal Judo – Harmonizing Your Tone of Voice

Some time ago, we wrote about the importance of being aware of the Tone of Voice we use with our spouse. The gist of the post was that our Tone of Voice is the key culprit that begins most disagreements, hurts, and fights between spouses. We want to revisit this important topic and provide some additional helpful hints we’ve learned along the way.

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

Looking Forward with Hope and Promise to 2021

2020 will soon be in our rear-view mirror . . .  We look forward with hope and promise to 2021.     W e at The Couples Post   have shared in a practical way how we are so much stronger together as a couple.  May that strength help us navigate 2021 and beyond. 

The Elf on the Shelf

It’s that time of year – you know, when our kids are all on their best behavior and the most frequent threat you hear parents utter is “Santa is watching!” The latest craze is the Elf on the Shelf. The elf moves around your home, keeping its eye on your kids and causing a little mayhem along the way. Maybe your elf plays a game with a few of the stuffed animals in the house. Perhaps it gets into your cookie jar. Maybe it even spills flour in your kitchen. No matter what, the kids know it’s watching them. So, what if the elf was watching you and your spouse? Would he tell Santa to bring you a present or put a lump of coal in your stocking?

Great Sex!

Photo by  ijeab  /  Freepik     Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”     So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, t

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.  

I Married YOU, Not Your Family

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Growing up and getting married means that we leave our family of origin and start a new family.  We’re not asked to forget about mom and dad, but we do need to remember that our spousal relationship is important to take care of because it becomes the solid ground where we plant our new roots.

Marriage is a VERB

Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb.  It isn't something you get.  It's something you do.  It's the way you love your partner every day."