How to Improve Your Marriage with Gratitude

How to Improve Your Marriage with Gratitude // Young Wives ClubI’ve been in situations where I’ve felt under-appreciated. You probably have, too. It’s easy to feel that way at work and wonder if anyone cares or even notices the hard work you’re putting in.

Maybe your husband feels that way at work, too, and your words at home could completely turn his day around. Or maybe he feels needed and important at work already. This post will give you ideas to keep him from suddenly feeling unimportant once he’s home.

While expressing gratitude isn’t all about what you can gain, knowing the benefits can be a great motivation. So here’s a quick list of benefits you might find once you start expressing your appreciation for your husband.

7 Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

  • It makes him feel better, which helps him be a better person.
  • It makes you feel better because your time is spent on positive thoughts rather than negative ones.
  • It improves your relationship.
  • It lets him know things you’d like for him to continue doing.
  • It reminds you that he really does a lot.
  • It makes you want to do more for him, which creates a positive cycle in the relationship.
  • If you’re religious, it’s a way of obeying God, growing closer to Him, and showing Him your appreciation for the husband He created and placed in your life.

The most unexpected way I began to appreciate my husband more was by reading what other women expressed about their husbands.

At first I thought sharing this information might make us jealous of each other and all the amazing things the other husbands do. Instead, it turned out that it reminded me that my husband does many of the same or similar things. It’s just like when women complain about their husbands and I start focusing on the fact that mine does the same annoying things. If the people around you aren’t saying positive things about their husbands, get the conversation started yourself. Simply ask them their favorite things their husbands do.

I did this with the women in the Young-Wives Club Facebook group by asking what they’re grateful to their husbands for. Their responses made me so thankful for my husband. Yet even though I read those comments a month ago, I still haven’t told my husband all those things I appreciate.

As you read this list of things we’re grateful for, think about which ones you haven’t told your husband lately.

12 Statements of Gratitude

      1. His understanding and how he’s perfect for me.

I’m so thankful for his patience and understanding!! I get overwhelmed easily and he is so good at not making me feel badly for it. If the dishes just didn’t get done today, or the laundry is piling up, he never shames me for it and always helps out. He’s just such a sweetheart, and perfect for me!      – Megan B.

      2. His physical affection.

I’m so thankful for my husband especially when I need my husband to just hug/hold me. He takes the time to do this without complaint for as long as I need even when he is in the middle of a project. Oh how I love that man.    – J.B.

      3. His hard work, good attitude, and inspiring ways.

I’m so grateful that my husband works extra hard to provide for us, so I can stay at home with our son. (Life long dream! ;)) He does it with the best attitude, and it makes him happy knowing he’s bettering our future. His happy and content heart inspires me daily!       – Ellen

     4. His help and spiritual guidance.

I’m so grateful for how helpful my husband is and how he looks out for me and guides me spiritually, always eager to pray with me and to dive into God’s word.       – Rachel S.

     5. His expressions of appreciation and his openness and goofiness.

I’m thankful for his grateful heart. It’s not easy being a first time mother, he acts like crockpot beans and ham are a feast, notices the little things like laundry being done, a simple thank you and a hug/kiss goes a long way with me and he is so easy going. I’m thankful that he tells me when he is down and depressed, that he lets me in, instead of shutting me out. His goofiness and intense desire to please the Lord in all he does. Being married to him has given me a greater understanding of Christ’s love for an imperfect me!      – D. E.

     6. His support and positive words in difficult times.

He has been my biggest support through two miscarriages, and he has been there to remind me that they are not gone forever. I love my life with him and wouldn’t trade it for anything.    – Alicia

     7. His protection and faithfulness.

I’m grateful that my husband is protecting my freedom and how he’s always there for me when I need him. I’m also grateful for him blessing me with 2 little miracles.        – K. T.

     8. That he knows how to make me feel better and believes in me.

I’m grateful to him because he works so hard, he’s my biggest support system, he rarely complains, and even when I’m unreasonable or upset, he just knows how to make me feel better and calm down. Except for when he actually just tells me to calm down! Most of all I would say though, is that he believed in me when I couldn’t even believe in myself.       – Rachel M.

     9. How he doesn’t complain yet puts in so much effort.

He never complains! Even when he’s tired of being overworked or I ask him to do something that he doesn’t particularly like, he does it and he puts 100% into it.      – Hannah P.

    10. His personal development over the years and how he encourages me.

My husband works so hard for us to have a home & to fix it up. We struggled so much our first year and he was TERRIBLE with money. But two years later, he’s a whole new man. One who talks to me about decisions with money, who sees the bigger picture & loves our home/life. I also love that he’s truly made for me. He knows my anxiety, my stress and how I get overwhelmed. And he always talks me down, tries to ease my mind & encourage me.    – Sara H.

    11. How he actively grows in his faith, apologizes when he fails, and forgives me when I’m wrong.

I’m grateful that he’s actively pursuing Christ and seeking to become more like Him. And when he fails? He *always* apologizes. It means so much to me that he recognizes his mistakes and apologizes for them. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, it’s what you do afterward that counts—and I’m so grateful that he owns up to his shortcomings and seeks repentance and reconciliation, regardless of how ”minor” the offense. Further, He is gracious and forgives *me* when I am the one in the wrong. There are a lot of things I’m grateful for, but this is probably one of the biggest.        – Victoria

    12. How early he gets up so I can pursue what’s important to me.

I’m thankful he gets up early goes to work everyday so I can stay home with our daughter.       – Hannah A.

Words of affirmation is one of the top ways I receive and express love, so I feel like I’m pretty good at it. Even with all the compliments I’ve given him, I haven’t told him most of the things on this list lately or ever. I don’t know if the wives who wrote these things have even shared them with their own husbands!

We can be grateful all day, but if we don’t tell him, then he won’t feel appreciated. My favorite way to actually express my gratitude is through letters. Emails and texts are great, too, because they can be read over and over. Showing appreciation is a powerful way to build life in your husband. Sometimes a kind word at the right moment can go a long way. (If you want to make it extra special, you could combine your message with another expression of love, such as a gift or act of kindness.)

Another key to making him feel appreciated is to be specific. Find even just one example from this list to tell your husband in detail what you appreciate about him. How many times has someone paid you a compliment that you dismissed because it was so generic that it could be said about anyone?

The author of The Book Thief talks about how being specific makes your words believable. He gave the example of a time when he lost his coat in an airport. When he went to the desk to ask about it, they wanted him to describe it. He mentioned the color, but what really let them know he was telling the truth was that he told them about the wadded up receipt in the right hand pocket.

Let’s be that specific when we’re telling our husband what we appreciate about him. If a statement of gratitude is clearly thoughtful, it isn’t as easily mistaken for being done only out of duty.

So that’s my challenge to myself and all of you. In the midst of all the craziness the holidays can hold, let’s take the time to make our husbands feel amazing by sharing specific characteristics we appreciate about them.

How to Improve Your Marriage with Gratitude // young-wives.com
Megan Starbuck
Megan Starbuck

Contributor

M. C. Starbuck encourages fellow-millenials to use simple, yet unique, ideas to live a life they’d be jealous of. Even though she’s debt-free and on a small budget, you never know where she’ll be next. You might find her on a beach in Hawaii or on a mission trip to El Salvador. Join her on the journey and grab your quick-start packet while it’s free: Baby Steps for your Journey from Packrat to Clutter-Free.

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