Two words that can add years to your marriage

Thank You. Two words we often say to complete strangers, but rarely say to the people who deserve it most. We thank the gas attendant for pumping our gas, we thank the person who helped us bag our groceries, we even thank the cashier for taking our money. When was the last time you thanked your partner?  

In today’s world, it's common for men and women to share the same role; both work full-time jobs, and both help out with the kids. The lines of appreciation can get a little blurred, but it's not much different in the more traditional households; for many couples saying "Thank you" to one another isn't routine. 

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At a recent dinner party, we got into the topic of gratitude with two other couples, who have a more traditional set-up. The women stay home, either working part-time during school hours or not at all. The men, work full-time.  

In my house, the work schedule ebbs and flows. For ten years I was a stay-at-home mom. Now, there are certain months when I work full-time, and months when I am strictly at home with the kids.

The dinner conversation...
The wives said: Their husbands don’t see how much they do at home - how their day is filled with things like getting their kids off to extracurricular activities, managing a household, running errands, overseeing school work, making meals and cleaning up after other people - just to name a few.     

The husbands said: Their wives don’t see how much pressure they are under at work or how stressful things can get.

Both are right! They can’t fully understand what the other person is dealing with regardless of how hard they try. But, a little generosity goes a long way; saying "Thank you" for the little things can make a big difference in your relationship. 

In my marriage, I don’t completely understand how it feels to carry the burden of being the sole breadwinner, even when I am contributing financially. I do, however, appreciate my husband for taking on that role, so I thank him.

And, I don’t expect my husband to fully understand how it feels to have given up a career to be home for our children and have to reinvent myself in order to remain relevant in the workforce, although he makes every effort to be supportive. Or, how much work goes into being a stay-at-home parent, even though he is the most helpful partner on the planet - but, he thanks me anyway!

Research shows that couples who show appreciation for one another create stronger, longer lasting marriages. Couples who make a habit of saying "Thank you" are less affected by poor communication and other marital troubles. The more you feel appreciated in your marriage, the more you appreciate your marriage. 

The next time your partner does something you appreciate, even something as small as having the refrigerator stocked with food, say “Thank You.” If you are enjoying the comfort of your home, thank your partner for working so hard to provide it for you. 

If you fill your relationship with gratitude, you will always be thankful for having it!

Thank you for reading.