I know, I know, you're going to tell me that I can't speak for the other side of the coin because I'm a writer--I truly must have bias, right? Well, yes, but I can put myself into my wife's shoes for a minute (however small they are) and speak from her perspective.
Artists are fragile. Even Stephen King tells in On Writing that if there ever was a moment before he was published that if Tabitha told him to quit writing, he would've gotten discouraged and quit. Done deal. My wife is great. In our over fifteen years of marriage, she has never once told me to quit and has also never called my writing a pipe dream.
Artists need constant encouragement. Yes, they can take a little time and put the trash out on the curb or wash the dishes, but if the artist's spouse gives him or her a "to-do" list, please put WRITE as one of the things to do.
Artists need an outlet. I'm not talking sex here--although I could, but that's for another blog, and possibly not one written by me. I'm talking about sharing in the artist's progress. A perfect example is from the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm.
There is a scene when, as a gift to his wife, Chevy gives her a present: the first few chapters of his new book--artists, please don't do this in that fashion; just share as you see fit. She was very discouraging to him, albeit he took the criticism way too hard. Bottom line though on this is to prepare to share in the artist's progress and encourage them along the way.
So, as an artist's spouse, make sure you are giving your artist plenty of encouragement and provide an outlet to share in their work. Their egos are fragile. In the end, you will have a much more rewarding life because of it.
Are there any other tips, as an artist's spouse, that you can share with everyone?