Marriages thrive in good times and survive the bad times when spouses appreciate each other.
To appreciate someone is essential to any relationship. Whether you’re dating, engaged, or married, you probably know by now relationships go through hard times. Maybe you’re in a “busy season” and not spending as much time together as you’d like. Perhaps you’re in a rut at work and your day-to-day attitude is unpleasant. Or maybe you and your partner are going through a life change that you don’t know how to handle.
Feeling a lack of emotional closeness, or even lack of emotional love, does not mean you have a bad relationship. How you treat each other during those lacking times is what shows your true relational stability. The constant factor that will help you strengthen your relationship is: appreciation.
What does appreciation for your spouse look like?
Appreciating your spouse means acknowledging, out loud, their value in your eyes. It’s easy to get into too much of a routine in marriage. At a certain point, we expect our spouse to do certain things. Whether it’s play with the kids, run errands, do chores, attend appointments, or simply go to work- we expect those things. But just because we’re “supposed” to do those things doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate our spouse.
I am grateful every day that my husband goes to work for our family. He is grateful every day that I am home with our children. We try to remember to say that out loud, to appreciate each other. When couples stop validating each other for the everyday sacrifices and duties, their cups will become empty. We will hit a particularly hard day, and we won’t have enough appreciation stored up to get us through it. Resentment can build in an instant if we are struggling to carry our load and feel like our spouse does not appreciate us.
Appreciating our spouse can be so simple too! A few ways to do it are:
- Thank them for going to work
- Ask them how their day was
- Offer to help with whatever task they’re doing
- Exchange a long hug and kiss when you get home
- Make dinner (or bring home dinner) for the other if you have the opportunity
- See a chore you know they’d like done and do it
Appreciation is acknowledging your spouse’s value and communicating it to them. So think about this: if you’re not thanking them, asking them, offering, doing, etc., then what are you communicating?