When was the last time you expressed gratitude towards your spouse? If you think you don't need to thank them for everything that they do for you, even the simplest of all things, think again. There are many reasons to be grateful to each other everyday- for daily household chores, for doing the dishes every night after supper, for a kind word of acknowledgement "“ but they are often lost to time without a word of thanks. Not appreciating them at opportunities like these could impact your marriage in more ways you thought was possible.
In fact, according to a recent study on spousal expressions of gratitude, all you need is a simple "Thank you, sweetheart", expressed more often, to absolutely transform your marriage. And in some cases, save a marriage that may have gone sour due to ravages of time and because the way some relationships work.
The first thing to note from this study is how the number of times you express your gratitude for your partner reveals how good (or, bad) your marriage is.
Quoting from the study:
"Results elucidate how demand/withdraw patterns link financial distress to marital outcomes and highlight spousal gratitude expressions as a promising, yet understudied, process within couples that promotes and protects marital quality."
"Thank you, sweetheart"
Never underestimate the power of these 3, seemingly small, words. Because, packed within these three little words, are two of the most important ingredients for any healthy relationship – appreciation, and love.
It's a potent phrase capable of rejuvenating your relationship and strengthening the special bond you share. As human beings we crave for both love, and appreciation – two things that are easy to get lost in the tumults of daily life.
Conveying these words of appreciation for your partner opens up other doors. One such is communication. It's no secret that communication is the key to a positive, successful, flourishing relationship. To be able to openly express their feelings is what separates a healthy marriage from one that is troublesome.
While being able to communicate is something you take for granted from a relationship, at times it's possible for emotions to get bottled up. If gone untreated, these bottled up emotions lead to harboring negative feelings towards your partner. Until a time comes when these feelings explode into all sorts of nasty, heated exchanges. The solution – don't wait for your feelings to sour beyond a point of no return. Always, always, always communicate. And what better way to open up new communication channels by saying those three magic words?
Another positive effect that these 3 wonderfully simple words have is on anger and conflict resolution. As you move ahead in life, criticism and arguments are bound to happen. That's normal. What's not normal is to not resolve them immediately afterwards. If not checked, one fight leads to another and in no time, anger and feelings of resentment go out of control.
When you feel things going this way, stop. Pause. Take a time out. Tell yourself to stay calm. And wait for the next opportunity to diffuse this tension by complimenting them. And do this with love. Say, "Thank you, sweetheart." Then, watch the smile grow on your partner's face. Now's the time to talk about what happened earlier. To apologize. To move on.
When you thank your partner for every little thing they do, you don't leave any room for negative outlook. It's not uncommon for couples to express a negative outlook on everyday issues. Statements like, "Will you ever change," or, "There you go "“ I have had enough of it" are not out of the ordinary.
The prime cause for this negative outlook is frustration festered from not being appreciated for every little thing that you do to keep this relationship going. But just 3 little words could change all that- "Thank you, sweetheart!"
To cut a long story short, do not miss an opportunity to tell your sweetheart how much you appreciate them. This will make them feel a lot more positive about themselves, about their relationships, and help you power through tricky situations, together, as a team. As the great Allen Barton mused, "It goes to show the power of 'thank you,' so go ahead, get hold of the love of your life and tell them- "Thank you, sweetheart!"