While I think it is important for us to come from a place of gratitude throughout the year, I am thankful for a month in which the desire to do so becomes more prevalent. I love looking through my Twitter and Instagram feed and Facebook timelines and reading reasons why people are thankful. And I love the idea of vocally expressing our thanks and especially giving them (thanks). What I am most grateful for this time of year is the power that lies in the 30 days in which so many of us express our gratitude.
During the time in which my husband exchanged sticky notes, each of them starting with the words “thank you,” I was reminded of the power of appreciation. Not only did I notice that it impacted the way my husband and I interacted with each other, but it also impacted the way I perceived him. Yes, I was grateful for him. I was grateful for the fact that he was a part of my life, but what about all of the little things he did to make my life better, easier even? The things that I overlooked as I texted him to ask if he remembered to pay the bills, or to remind him to please not mix the light colored clothes with the darker colored clothes. The things that I admit I sometimes took for granted, because I had come to expect them. In me taking the time to write out a thank you and engaging in #writtengratitude, I let my husband know that not only did I see what he was doing each and every day, but I was grateful for it as well.
As we continue into this season of thanks, I wanted to share some ways that we can show our spouses gratitude. What I love most about the season of thankfulness is that if we genuinely come from a place of gratitude, most often it spills into the seasons after. The thing about gratitude, as Melody Beattie put it:
“[Gratitude] turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Here are 12 sweet and simple ways to show your spouse gratitude:
12 Sweet and Simple Ways to Show Your Spouse Gratitude 1 of 13
Take a look at 12 sweet and simple ways to show your spouse gratitude.
Write a note 2 of 13
Write them a note or letter expressing your appreciation.
Give them a hug and/or kiss 3 of 13
Never underestimate the power of the human touch.
Listen to them 4 of 13
I mean really listen. Perhaps you know they have wanted to share something or get something off their chest, but in the daily hustle and bustle, you just haven't made the time to sit and connect. Make the time. Sit down with them, and give them your undivided attention.
Spend quality time with them 5 of 13
While listening is important, sometimes we just crave the desire to be close to our loved ones. Sometimes sitting side-by-side while watching a favorite television show or cuddling before bed is enough.
Do something without them asking 6 of 13
Fill up their car with gas, help prepare dinner, vacuum the floor, or mow the lawn. Offer to help your spouse complete a task without them asking for your help.
Remind them you are in their corner 7 of 13
Sure we know our spouses are there for us, but sometimes we just need to hear it. On hard days especially, hearing your spouse say "I believe in you," "I'm here for you," or "I'm in your corner" can make a world of difference.
Exercise patience 8 of 13
Sometimes we fail to exercise patience when it comes to our loved ones. Make more of an effort to be patient.
Act like they matter! 9 of 13
You tell your spouse you love them and appreciate them, but do your actions show it? Do you snap at them and insult them with your words? Even if you don't mean it to be, such behavior can be hurtful. If your spouse is important to you, act like it!
Ask them about their day 10 of 13
Sometimes, we are so quick to get straight to business, telling our spouse what happened at school with the kids or that we have a doctor's appointment next week and will need them to do morning drop off — but what about the small talk? When was the last time you asked your spouse how their day was?
Say thank you 11 of 13
As parents, we make it a point to teach our children to say please and thank you, and we always remember to say it when it comes to coworkers, friends, and even complete strangers. But what about our spouse? How wonderful is it to hear the words "thank you"?
Be kind 12 of 13
Treat your spouse in a kind and caring manner.
Thank them publicly 13 of 13
While saying thank you is wonderful, sometimes saying it publicly can be even more meaningful. Give a speech or make a toast during a holiday dinner. Take the time to let your spouse and everyone else around you know how much they matter.
While public recognition isn't everything for some people, experiencing it from time to time feels nice. And don't think it has to be an audience of strangers either — telling your spouse how you feel in front of your children can leave a lasting impression on both your spouse and your little ones.
Photo source: iStockphoto