Animal lovers rejoice! Having a pet can actually help improve your marriage!
There are a few direct benefits that having a pet can bring to your marriage – and we’ll get to that soon – but first, let’s think about how most people treat their pets…
With most animal lovers, pets are the recipients of a TON of affection.
We bring them toys and treats. We shower them with pets and scratches. We feed them, walk them, pick up after them…
They have it pretty good!
But do we treat our spouses in anywhere close to the same way?
• Do you rush home to see your husband or wife?
• Do you bring them little gifts or treats just because?
• Do you show them affection because YOU enjoy it too?
So, before we even dig into some of the other reasons, you can see how caring for a pet helps you understand your own capacity for love.
The first real benefit, then, is the reminder that we can treat our spouses in a similar way – loving and appreciating them for their companionship… And showing it!
Even the act of showing your pets affection can help prepare you for a more loving and connected life.
When you bond with your pets, your body produces oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”), which helps prime you for connection with others, feelings of love and being loved, and helps build trust.
This is just the beginning though…
Taking care of a pet together can teach you and your spouse some important lessons about teamwork and patience as well. You’ll have to share some responsibilities, and you’ll likely encounter some tough situations, messes, or problems that will test your resolve and your temper!
For dog lovers, having a pet can also help you stay in shape – since dogs likely require some walking, you’ll have to walk too!
If you and your spouse walk the dog together, it helps you both burn some calories AND spend some quality time together.
For each of you individually, interacting with pets is a great form of stress relief. It can calm you down, improve mood, trigger positive thoughts… Even reduce blood pressure!
Spending time with pets – taking care of them, building a bond with them, etc. – is just good for your heart and mind in a general kind of way. It has a way of bringing out the best in people.
Who can resist those warm, fuzzy feelings when they’re playing with a cute kitty or snuggled up with the family dog?
Now, we can also learn some pretty important lessons from our animal companions about how to treat one another. Think about it…
• Accepting of imperfections
• Always happy to see you
• Quick to forgive
• Glad to give and receive affection
• Happy to spend time with you
Each and every one of these qualities – when expressed from you to your spouse – can have a hugely positive impact on your marriage.
The simplicity of a pet’s adoration is something we could all bring to our relationships, and simply love our spouses despite their shortcomings…
To help them grow and be their best, instead of getting mad or holding grudges.
And besides, wouldn’t it be great if your spouse were ecstatic to see you at the end of a long day?
Of course, talk to your spouse before you go out and get a pet…
If you aren’t both sold on the idea of pet ownership, it’s going to create more problems than benefits. It is taking responsibility for another living thing, after all!
If you do, though, it could be a great way to grow closer together, and an even better way to gain some insight on unconditional love.