Thanking Your Spouse Is Good for Your Marriage

Love & Sex 7

Giving thanks to your spouseMaybe I was just a little grouchy after having to spend Thanksgiving alone, but I admit that I'm one of those people who has been pretty annoyed with the "Thankful" meme that's been going around on Facebook. If you're not familiar, every day people post something that they're thankful for, some of which are lovely and others of which just seem to be a desperate attempt to stick with a meme for 30 days.

And while I understand that it's important to have gratitude and give thanks for even the small things, I wonder if those people have thought about taking the next step and actually saying "thank you" to those who need to hear it most. Like their spouses. And how it can make a huge difference in their marriages. 

I still remember when I had my oldest daughter, now 8, and had the shocking revelation that moms do so much, most of which is completely thankless. There's no recognition for loading the dishwasher day in and day out, for changing yet another poopy diaper, or even getting up in the middle of the night to put a baby back to sleep.

All that is just part of the job.

However, when someone recognizes the challenges of parenthood, even if it's just with a simple "thank you," it's amazing how much more bearable some of the mundane tasks can become.

So much of the early issues my husband and I had in our marriage stemmed from me not feeling appreciated and, as we're learning in therapy, from him feeling the same way. We both wrote each other's jobs off as "easy" or as something we just had to do, and we never really acknowledged each other's efforts.

But lately, we've both been trying to be more thankful. No, not grateful updates on our Facebook walls, but just simple "thank yous" for things that matter. I know it's not easy for him, not because he's ungrateful but because expressing himself is a challenge.

So when he said "thank you" to me the other day for packing our kids' suitcases for a trip he was taking them on, it meant a lot. And the truth is, I've done it many many times before, without any sort of thanks at all. But those words, well, I'm pretty sure they felt better than any sort of gift he could have given me. Now I'm going to do my best to follow suit and say it in return.

When's the last time you've said or heard "thank you"?


Image via compujeramey/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Rachel

My husband and I thank each other every single day. If I did the dishes, he thanks me. If he did the dishes, I thank him. Etc. It's a good habit to be in because even if you appreciate someone, they might not know it until you say it.

nonmember avatar ruthless1

Pretty much every day we thank each other for something....and if he goes into the kitchen he will ask if I need anything and vice versa. He tells me all the time how lucky he is to have me and I tell him all the time how much I appreciate everything he does for the family and how hard he works to take care of us. We have been happily married for 24 years and counting.

britn... britneykaren

It is so nice to hear those words!!! I seem to get them right at the point of resentment and it makes me feel like supermom!!!!

wamom223 wamom223

Every single day I say them and I hear them.  Plus it is the best way to teach your children to say thank you when they hear it being said every day with true appreciation.

Karma Grant

We've been together over 16 years, are a military family and like you/your husband went through a few rough patches but we went through it together and now you'll find us thanking each other many times a day. It's always heartfelt and it's always obvious the other person appreciates being appreciated, especially for the small things.

nonmember avatar Samantha

Im not married, but ive always made it a point to say thank you for the small stuff. If my bf makes me smile when ive had a bad day, i say thanks. If something nice is done for me, i say thank you. And once in a while i just randomly tell him i appreciate everything he does. Hes a little less verbal, but he tells me thank you every so often for putting him in a better mood, or for saying im sorry for his misfortune, and he says thanks when i tell him hes amazing or that i appreciate him. We exchange thanks often. For a long time i felt no need to express my appreciation to people bc i thought i was already showing them i appreciated them. We as adults never stop needing positive reinforcement. Plus i just like seeing my partner smile bc i said something nice to him. Its too cute.

MamaP... MamaP0123

My husband and I thank eachother for the small stuff too!! I mean it's not for every little thing, but the way I always thought of it was like we should always treat each other like we would any other person... If a stranger, friend, or family member does something for you that they didn't have to... you thank them. If we give our spouses the respect we give others and expect to receive ourselves our bonds will be that much stronger! I feel this is where many people go wrong in their relationships.

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