When the relationship is new, showing love and gratitude comes naturally. Everything looks and feels dreamy when the love is fresh and brewing. At the start of every relationship, people feel that their love for each other is enough to keep the relationship going. What people don’t realize is that the rose glass in front of their eyes, which is present at the start of their relationship, will break eventually. Once the normalcy of everyday routine sets in, “love” won’t be enough to survive the twists and turns a relationship will face.
Your spouse, like every human, needs to be assured time and again that he\she is loved and appreciated. It is important for the well-being of your spouse. You need to tell them that you love them, verbally and by actions. They need to be reminded that they are important. Generally, people forget that even though the relationship is old, people have new insecurities every day. They need assurance of their importance and significance in someone’s life.
Marriages today, in this day and age, have become fragile. Even the relationships that seemed strong runs into troubled waters very soon. Although there might be many reasons behind it, one particular reason that always comes up in studies and research is the lack of appreciation or gratitude towards each other. Psychologists mention that most couples who come in for marriage counseling have few complaints that are very common “My partner doesn’t love me anymore” or “The relationship is not how it used to be” or “There is no spark left” or “My partner never has time for me”. Although they are expressed in different ways, it comes down to one thing that your partner doesn’t feel appreciated by you and hence is unhappy in the relationship.
Showing gratitude and appreciation in the relationship is like salt in the food, a very essential and important element. The presence of it might go unnoticed, but the absence will make the food tasteless. You have to let your partner know you appreciate them, and that you are thankful to have them. Appreciating all the little things they do for you and not taking that effort for granted is key to a happy and successful relationship.
What’s also important to understand is your partner’s language of love, that is what makes them feel appreciated and respected. Everyone has their own way of showing and accepting love. What makes you feel loved and appreciated might be completely different from what makes your partner feel loved and respected. Say for example, you feel loved when someone does something for you, that is an act of service, i.e cooks for you or washes the car for you or waters the plant for you; meanwhile, your partner might feel loved when you people spend quality time together.
Understanding each others’ love languages and taking efforts to show love and appreciation in a way that your partner understands is a very important aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship.
The power given to us as humans is the power of communication. We tend to forget the importance of communication when things go wrong. Instead of communicating what’s troubling us and what can help us mend it, we choose to ignore it.
Showing gratitude and love can work like a magic potion in the marriage, it can add the charm back that has gone missing. Showing gratitude, importantly showing gratitude in a way your partner understands and needs can be tricky, especially if your partner’s love language is different from yours.
Here are a few tips and ways you can show gratitude in your relationship and keep the spark alive:
1) Spend quality time with your partner:
Spending quality time with your partner is very important to keep the love alive, doing things that you both like, or taking time out to explore each others’ hobbies can be a very satisfying experience. As they say, time can heal, it is therapeutic. You can set a routine for your relationship, where you can manage to steal some time just for the two of you.
I repeat the time that you spend should be quality time, where your entire focus is on your partner and doing things together. People get so busy in everyday activities that they forget that spending time alone away from responsibilities is also very important.
2) Voicing your appreciation:
Reminding your partner about things you admire about them and the love you have for them can actually make them feel wanted and needed. Showing gratitude for the little things that they do can make them feel fulfilled and happy. In our relationship, we mention the negative attributes of our partner and their shortcomings so often that our partners start feeling annoyed and distant. So mindfully mentioning things that you like and admire about them can make them feel appreciated again.
3) Actively listening to your partner:
I can’t stress enough on the necessity of actively and attentively listening to your partner. When your partner feels heard, they feel important. When you and your partner have a conversation, attentively listen to what your partner has to say. Don’t interrupt when your partner is stating their point of view, and give them focused attention when they are talking about their troubles. These small things can go a long way in making your relationship a happy one.
4) Understanding the unspoken words:
Not every time your spouse feels bad or feels low they are going to come crying to you. Sometimes they will expect you to understand that by yourself, which means that you have to be attentive to them and their behavior. Understand and notice the small hints in their behavior that might give you a clue. Understanding your partner’s pain points without them saying it in words is a great way to show that they are loved and cared for.
5) Be romantic:
Don’t lose out on the romance. As time passes by, people stop doing romantic things that they used to at the start of the relationship. We forget that it requires continuous efforts to keep the spark alive. After all, we( most of us) grew old watching romantic Hollywood and Bollywood movies, and how much ever we say that we are practical, in our hearts, we know we are hopelessly romantic, and like being treated special once in a while.
In the words of some wise men, marriage is work, and you have to work on it every day. It won’t always be a 50-50 effort, sometimes you will have to give your 70% because your spouse has the energy to give only 30%. You will have your share of ups and downs, but if you are assured that you are loved and wanted, then it is possible to go through any and all the hardships together.