Marriage is work. And while there are times that could be written in the most beautiful love movie, many of us also experience the muck of wading through the mud. But part of that is all relationships worth having take work.
My husband came home from spending a guys’ night out with other dads from Jenn’s school. He talked about how nice it was to share common issues as the men he spent the night with. But he also told me about talking with Jack, the father of a kid in Jenn’s class who felt stuck in his marriage.
“Would you rather go through the ups and downs of this marriage to make it to 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years or be the guy who keeps trying to find Hollywood-perfect that doesn’t actually exist?” My husband asked him. “My wife and I sometimes hate each other. There’s a fine line between love and hate. But we come into the marriage relationship with expectations. And our spouses will inevitably fail us.”
Those words he spoke were very true. I mean, I even saw my own grandparents celebrate nearly 70 years of marriage. But I also saw very little love between them for many, many years. But it wasn’t because they didn’t love each othr. Probably that they just didn’t really like each other in the moment.
However if we work diligently to find ways to appreciate our spouses, it builds a greater love within us.
So I challenge you to write out one way for each day of next month to show your spouse gratitude.
As you do it, you might find your fondness growing. Maybe you start looking more inwardly than outwardly at the problems happening in your marriage. And hopefully your children will hear and see gratitude modeled for them.
30 Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Spouse
It doesn’t matter if you are a newlywed or you’ve been married for a decade or more, it’s easy to sometimes find yourself taking your spouse for granted. Politeness and gratitude gives way to tiredness and screaming kids.
I get that.
The same person you used to thank for all the little things, now feels unappreciated for all that they do every day.
If a stranger holds the door open for you, you are quick to thank them even before their kindness is completed… because you haven’t even walked through the door yet. But so often, we forget to show gratitude to a spouse’s hard work. And they have finished. And you do know them.
What we tend to forget is that expressing gratitude is beneficial for both partners. When you show appreciation to your partner, you often receive more in return.
Research shows that, on days when spouses felt more gratitude toward each other, they felt more bonded and were even happier the next day.
Gratitude is like a recharge to the batteries that keep your relationships going. Every single day is filled with opportunities to tell your loved one how grateful you are for your relationship. Here are some simple ways to shower your partner with well-deserved love and appreciation… and remember, you don’t have to both do it for it to spark a new sense of gratitude.
- Praise him in front of other people.
- Buy her a gift for just because.
- When he’s right about something, let him know.
- Give her a heartfelt compliment… that you’ve never given before.
- Share your dreams with her.
- Be free with your “thank you’s”.
- Don’t multi-task while she’s talking to you, give her your undivided attention.
- Tell her you’re proud of her.
- Tell him that you believe in him.
- Notice when she changes something about the way she looks or is wearing a new outfit.
- Compliment him on how nice he looks.
- Write him a thank-you note for something he did or said.
- Give him a big smile and hug when he comes home. Show him that you missed him.
- Ask him to teach you something and listen with true interest.
- Remember the names of her closest friends.
- Ask him for his opinion.
Need more ideas on how to cultivate a healthier marriage? Check out this A-Z Marriage Guide through my partner link from from the Dating Divas!
- When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and do it with a humble heart.
- When she asks you about your day, share details.
- Leave a love note where he will find it.
- Ask her about her dreams and goals.
- Don’t judge.
- Tell her how she has made a difference in your life.
- Celebrate his successes.
- Hug and kiss “just because”.
- Brag about her to your friends.
- Give him a foot rub after a long day.
- Text “5 Reasons You’re The Greatest”.
- Run a hot bubble bath for her.
- Give up control of the remote for a night.
- Compliment him on being a great dad.
- Get a babysitter without telling him and greet him with his favorite meal… just the two of you.
Comment below with some other ways you can show your spouse how much you love and appreciate them.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!