Appreciating Your Partner
Have you ever noticed that the more positive you have in your relationship, the more positive your relationship is? One way to achieve this is by letting your partner know that you value him.
You can do this by expressing gratitude for being with someone who has qualities that are important to you such as compassion, playfulness and honesty. You can also share an appreciation for a specific behavior like him coming home earlier from work to give you a longer break from childcare.
You might combine both too. For example, “I appreciate you making me dinner last night and I am grateful for your thoughtfulness in making my favorite meal.
You don’t have to wait until he does something for you to share gratitude or appreciation. The next time you’re sitting next to him or lying in bed together, share something from your heart that you admire about him.
You might let him know:
- Why you're attracted to him
- What you respect, honor and cherish about him
- That you recognize his efforts to make your relationship better.
You may be wondering, how can I share something positive about my partner when we’re in the middle of an argument? Here’s something I ask my couples to do and yes! Right in the middle of an argument.
I want you to imagine you’re holding hands (or actually hold hands) throughout the conflict. It’s a ‘both...and,’ not an ‘either…or.’ You’re letting your partner know that you care about him and there’s something about his behavior that you don’t like.
Sharing something positive doesn’t negate or sweep his unloving behavior under the carpet. It also doesn’t mean that you accept or condone his unloving behavior. What it communicates is that you know who he truly is and that he’s not defined by his unloving behavior.
Reminding yourself and your partner why you’re together can help you keep your disagreements in perspective. You’ll discover that it’s possible to stay emotionally connected even when you’re feeling disconnected from each other.
And what is your partner doing while you’re sharing your gratitude? First, he’s taking your gratitude into his heart with a deep breath.
Then he’s acknowledging what you shared by letting you know how he feels, telling you what it moves him to do and expanding upon what you shared.
Expressing gratitude and sharing appreciations verbally are not the only ways you can communicate your gratitude and appreciation. You can also do this physically by giving him a hug, or by planning something or giving him a gift that has special meaning to him.
I have found that couples who consistently express gratitude and share appreciations feel more emotionally connected, hopeful and happier. If you’re looking to have more of this in your relationship, then I recommend that you consider setting time aside each day to intentionally value each other. It’s free, it’s quick and it’s loving!