During the Thanksgiving holidays, we spend one day remembering all of the blessings we share, all of the provision throughout the year. We teach our kids to be grateful for a full table and a loving family, but do we remember to be grateful, too?
Taking your spouse for granted leads to so many common marriage problems.
A lack of intimacy, boredom, arguments and even infidelity can often be traced back to feeling unappreciated. Acknowledging and expressing gratitude for your spouse not only helps them feel better, but it also gives you a healthy reminder of how fortunate you are.
Hitched.com just posted a terrific article called “The Importance of Gratitude in Your Marriage” and author and couples therapist Michelle Gannon says that Thanksgiving is the perfect tie of year to cultivate a grateful attitude toward your spouse.
When couples express gratitude for each other, they feel more loving and accepting. Research by Dr. John Gottman has found that happily married couples have the magic ratio of 5:1 positive to negative interactions. For every negative interaction, disagreement or hurt feeling, they have five positive, loving, caring or playful interactions to counterbalance it. What is your magic ratio these days?”
She suggests a conscious effort to focus on what you do have in your relationship, the good things your mate does rather than the not so good and the character traits that brought you together rather than the ones that irritate or bother you.
She also relates a wonderful story regarding marriage and gratitude.
I met a lovely 70-year-old gentleman who told me that he had been happily married for 50 years. I asked him what was his secret to success? He immediately answered that when he was married for one week, his new wife came to him and asked him, “What are three things that you love about me?”
He answered, “You are beautiful, smart and a great cook.”
The next week, she asked the same question. He gave the same answer and she responded,
You already told me those three things. Tell me three new things.” So he did—week-after-week, year-after-year. He claimed that every week for 50 years he has given her three new compliments or expressions of appreciation and gratitude.”
Try doing this yourself for just one month, during this month of Thanksgiving and gratitude. The appreciation your spouse feels and the gratitude that you feel just must save your marriage.