Are you currently facing some dissatisfaction in your marriage? Or perhaps it’s full of demanding, nagging and other harmful conflicts? Do you feel like divorce is just around the corner? If your answer to these questions is “yes,” it could be that your relationship is in for some serious trouble.
But, before you give up and throw in the towel, you can try this simple act that will not only save your marriage but will also make your partner feel happy, appreciated and valued – it’s gratitude.
According to the study conducted by the University of Georgia, gratitude might be the key ingredient to improve relationships among married couples. The same study also concludes that spousal expression of appreciation is the most notable forecaster of marital quality.
Why Your Marriage Needs Gratitude?
In the golden age of technology and research, it seems like one study promises us to give a few key points for a successful marriage. Not that we’re complaining, those of us who are married or want to be married always have one goal in mind – to stay married.
The study published in the Personal Relationships journal states that showing gratitude to your partner is the key to improving a relationship. Hence, gratitude can make all the difference in your marriage. Now you reflect and think about when was the last time you said “thank you” to your spouse for something he or she does.
Verbalizing and showing appreciation to your spouse is essential. If both you and your partner feel loved, valued and needed, the tendency to argue, complain or nag will eventually shrink. Even though you have arguments and disagreements, showing gratitude may offset the problems that stem from these conflicts.
What Science Has To Say
According to Allen Barton, a postdoctoral research associate at UGA’s Center for Family Research and lead author of the study about the effect of gratitude on marriage, even though a couple of experiences difficulty and distress in other areas, appreciation within the relationship helps develop positive marital outcomes.
The result of the study also supports the research about demand-and-withdraw communication among couples. It transpires when one partner tends to nag, criticize and demand while the other response by avoiding the confrontation or withdrawing. It also tackles the effect financial problems on marriage.
When a couple is under stress for making ends meet, they’re more likely to get defensive and critical of each other – all of which are preventable by gratitude. Barton also adds that couples with high levels of spousal recognition have greater immunity to divorce compared to that couple who rarely shows appreciation to each other.
The Reasons Why You Need To Thank Your Spouse
Saying ‘thank you” can do wonders to your relationship. Sometimes, expressing our gratitude to our partners can beyond these simple words.
As stated by Dr. Ramani Durvasula, the writer of the self-help book “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist and a licensed clinical psychologist, there are various ways on how you can express your gratitude to your spouse.
There are simple formats that you can start. For example, “I appreciate how…” or “Thank you for…”
- Accepting and loving me for who I am.
- For being a great wife or husband.
- You work hard for our family.
- Help out around the house.
- Cook for our family and me.
- Laugh at my jokes.
- Stick to our budget.
- Take a vacation with us.
- For taking care the house.
- You take care of our finances.
- For doing your best to make our marriage work.
- You take care our children with love and kindness.
- You do good for our family, friends, neighbors community.
- Ironing my shirts, mending rips in clothing and taking out the trash.
Or other positive or appreciative phrases such as:
- I love you!
- Good job!
- You make me happy.
- I love you for who and what you are.
- I am glad you’re my wife/husband.
How Will You Show Your Gratitude?
As you start giving thanks to your partner for the things he or she does, more positive things will follow. This practice will also change both of you and allows for your positive attributes to come out and shine. You can start with the following approaches below to express how grateful you are to your spouse.
Make It a Point To Reach Out
It’s crucial for couples to set aside some time to reach out to each other and talk about their day. Couples may not be able to express their gratitude directly towards each other, but it allows them to voice out their sentiments.
According to Dr. Ramani, one should learn how to do things for his or her partner, those that they don’t like to do without asking. And it should be done without making too much noise. For instance, clean the toilets, weed the garden or take the car in for an oil change.
Give Them a Surprise
Surprising your spouse doesn’t have to be grand and painful in the pocket. It could be a romantic dinner on the table, a jewelry with sentimental value, or you could bring him or her to a relaxing vacation or a favorite restaurant.
Don’t Forget To Ask
In marriage, it’s not enough that you listen, it’s also important to engage in a conversation. For instance, if your spouse tells you something about work, always ask to follow up questions. It will bridge connection between you and your partner and will make him, or her feel like you value everything he or she has to say.
We’re living in a world full of noise and chaos and to have someone listen to our daily sentiments about life is the best way to show gratitude.
Make it a daily mission to fill your spouse’s’ ears and home with positivity and gratitude. See to it that you say thank you more than necessary and do it with earnestness. Appreciation and love go a long way in making your marriage joyful and full of contentment. And it’s one experiment in a wedding that will never go wrong, what harm would there be in saying “thank you?” None! So, start your grateful journey today. What do you feel grateful about your spouse?
Sofia Larosa is a writer by profession who has a strong liking for pieces of natural jewelry and fashion. Apart from her day job as a writer, she also juggles her time as a life coach and advocate of responsible parenting. Whenever her time permits, Sofia embarks on outdoor adventures.