Around holiday times the topic of gratitude and what we are grateful for is a common one. However, it is vital to practice gratitude and appreciation in our relationships and marriages every day. Marriage Coach David L. Banks says:

“A treasure is any act of service that you give to each other. You can invite these by making a request for a service. You can also discover a thoughtful action that the other one of you has done. Finding a treasure also provides opportunities to acknowledge how much you appreciate each other. Treasures are especially meaningful when you know that your spouse sacrificed time, made a special effort, or did something that you dislike doing. Recognizing these actions helps you value your spouse and be thankful for their presence in your life and home.” (2 Become 1: Creating Memorable Moments to Deepen Your Marriage Connection, a book written with Susanne M. Alexander)

Of course you will use the words that are natural for you when you express appreciation. However, the examples below will give you some ideas:

  • I’m grateful you were with me today when it got scary. You helped me feel safe.
  • Thank you for putting the dishes away. It made it easier to fix dinner.
  • I like your new nightgown. I’m happy that you want our bedtime to be special.
  • I appreciate you helping the kids do their homework. They are doing better in school with your assistance.
  • Thanks for picking up the dry cleaning. I needed the suit for work tomorrow.
  • The car looks great! Wonderful wash and wax job!
  • I noticed that you cleared the mess off the couch. That made it easier for my friends to come over last night.
  • I needed you at the doctor’s office today with me to ask questions and take notes. I just could not think clearly. Thank you for being there.
  • Can you please hand me that tool? Thanks!

When you are having a difficult day or when one of you is sick, it is especially helpful to hear uplifting and grateful words. Don’t hoard your appreciation for those times though. The regular and generous practice of sincere appreciation tells your mate that you don’t take them for granted. Appreciation builds love and unity between you.