When someone appreciates you, how do you feel? Acknowledged, validated, and loved- right? It shows that you matter. That your hard work and effort is noticed. That you aren't invisible to them.
It feels good when someone appreciates you. You feel warm inside and closer to that person.
Knowing how good it feels to receive appreciation- do you give it out to others enough? How about your spouse? Are you more likely to acknowledge what they do right, or more likely to point out what they do wrong?
We live in a world that gets caught up on all that is wrong, rather than looking for what is right. Changing this mentality is practicing an attitude of gratitude with people around you.
Doing this can change the way you look at life. There are no guarantees in life, so I make efforts to not get lost in this crazy busy world and miss the moments I might not ever get again.
Practicing an attitude of gratitude highlights my blessings and helps me negotiate my trials with the positives I have in life. It is easy to get caught up in all the negativity in life and be a victim of this world's madness. But what fulfillment does that bring in life?
So how can you have an attitude of gratitude in your marriage?
1. Catch them doing something right- and say something- How many times do you ignore the good, but point out the bad? Doing this can feel like nagging and like you are focused on the negative. Reinforcing something positive you see your spouse doing will likely result in them doing it more. It's a win-win!
2. Practice an "At Least" mentality- Finding and optimistic lens in life can help life look a lot better. When we have an "at least" mindset, we are switching our thoughts from the negative to find any tiny positive we can. For example, "It is so cold" can shift to, "At least I have this warm jacket and gloves to help!"
Doing this with your spouse can look like this…" He is too busy at work, but at least he will get his bonus check to pay for our great vacation next month!"
3. Say thank you more- even for the little things- Yes we are adults but come on…ALL of us need a thank you for the adult things we do. This helps your spouse know you don't take them for granted.
Here are some suggestions to say or write in a note:
- Thanks for taking out the trash.
- I appreciate all your hard work around the house to make it look nice.
- That was a great meal, thank you for taking the time.
- Thank you for your help with the kid's bedtime tonight.
- The yard looks nice, thanks for your hard work.
- I know it is a pain to get up with the kids in the morning and get everything ready for school. Thanks for all you do to make mornings go ok.
All of these are simple and only take a couple of seconds. Remember to be specific about what you are thankful for. It means more than just a simple thanks. Swallow your pride and let the easy words cross your lips.
I know many of you might struggle with thanking someone when they don't seem to be thankful for all you do. But don't let the resentment trap keep you from it. Believe me, if you start the gratitude cycle in your relationship, it might just come back around to you!
So it's time to adopt an attitude of gratitude in your relationship and your life. The more you communicate your thankfulness, the closer people will be drawn to you because you genuinely appreciate them.
THANK YOU for reading!