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

5 Things Men Want

1. RESPECT: (KEN) : When a man is asked, 'Would you rather be respected or loved?' most would choose being respected.  In his book Love and Respect , Dr. E. Eggerichs explains this tendency.   (JANINE) : For years, I didn't appreciate how important it was to Ken that I treat him with respect.  I also didn't understand how hurtful it was when I dis respected him.  When I show Ken respect ( by affirming his decisions,  avoiding sarcasm or by not using a demeaning tone) it translates (for him) into feeling 'loved.'  Another way to say this is: when a man is dis respected, he receives the message he is NOT loved. 2.  SEX:  

What Can’t You Afford to Edit out of Your Story?

Michelle: When I was a teenager, I remember coming home after breaking up with a guy and my dad asking me how it went. I gave the inevitable teenage response, “I don’t want to talk about it.” My dad responded, “You don’t have to. But you do need to remember that there are some things in life that you can’t afford to edit out of your story. Is this one of them?”

The 5 "P's" of Constructive Feedback

Photo Credit:  Ian Schneider (Reprise of post originally published on 09-16-2019) We once read an article on criticism in marriage.  The Author's bottom line was "don't do it."  Even asking: "Can I give you some feedback?" was cautioned against.  Sometimes suggestions given with the best intent with regard to work, chores, relationships with the kids can back fire.  Think back seat driving.  Experience has taught us 5 Key Points for when we just want to give each other a little suggestion.  These 5 simple points set the tone and enable us to let down our defenses and be supportive of each other when offering a little constructive feedback.   

Remember When...

It's easy to get lost in our day-to-day. Once we're out of the honeymoon phase of marriage and real life settles in, we develop routines and patterns of behavior. We become consumed by the here and now, and sometimes we can lose sight of the excitement and passion that brought us together and inspired us to get married in the first place.

The Healing Power of Touch

  Our last blog explored a super power we all have within us – the Super Power of Affirmation.    But did you know that you possess another Super Power?  It’s the Healing Power of Touch.  Holy Hole in a Doughnut, Batman!  Bet you didn’t know you had all that in you!

Easter Greetings!

 Dear Readers, As Spring unfolds and we continue to recover from this pandemic, there could not be a more wonderful time to nurture relationship growth. Wishing you a Happy Easter and a Springtime of Promise. From all of us at TheCouplesPost

When All Else Fails . . . Eat Ice Cream

For many of us the COVID honeymoon is long over.  Isolation, loss of routines, access to the gym, financial worries, working from home and changing school schedules has had us stretched too thin too long.  We'd rather eat an entire loaf of bread than bake one and if we hear how much someone enjoys the extra time with their kids we'll scream!  This is COVID Stress.  We've all experienced it.

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.  

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... 

Getting More of What You Want in Your Marriage

Recently, we attended a work-shop on how to incorporate more positivity into our lives. We were reminded how easily the challenges of life can dominate our thinking. This can be especially true where our couple relationship is concerned. Have you ever thought, “He never gives me any affection” or “She always nags me”?