One recent Saturday, I found myself stewing with frustration as I washed up our breakfast dishes in the kitchen. What had started out as a nice family morning had devolved into tension upon tension — if you’ve ever tried to please a 3‑year-old who doesn’t know what he wants to eat and needs to have “the dark blue plate, not the light blue plate!” you can imagine how that happened! I was rushing around trying to get the laundry started, clean up the table, get snacks ready for later and plan my weekly shopping list. When someone asked me to do just one more thing, I started fuming. Have you ever been there?
Reflecting on it later, I realized I was feeling unappreciated. In a moment of clarity, I apologized for snapping at my husband and son, and said, “I think I just wanted someone to say thank you.”
In every healthy relationship, it’s crucial to express gratitude and appreciation, and this is especially true with your partner. Appreciation not only strengthens the bond between you but also gives a sense of care, validation, and being seen. Do you need a reset in your relationship in how you express appreciation to one another? Here are some simple ideas of how to get started.
- Express your feelings: Take time to tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Speak or write out some heartfelt compliments, express gratitude for their efforts, and acknowledge the qualities you admire about them. A simple “I appreciate you because…” can work wonders in making your partner feel valued.
- Ask for help: If you find yourself stewing like I was because you feel under-appreciated, consider speaking up about it to your partner. It can feel vulnerable to tell someone that you need to hear a simple “thanks,” but you might just be able to give them a helpful window into your feelings that can stop things from escalating into a more serious conflict.
- Actions speak louder than words: Show your appreciation by taking care of a task or responsibility that your partner typically handles. Surprise them by completing a household chore that you’re not usually in charge of, running an errand you know they dislike, or offering to prepare a favourite meal.
- Say it with a snuggle: Physical touch is a powerful way to express appreciation and strengthen intimacy. Hugs, kisses, holding hands, or even a gentle touch on the arm can communicate love and reassurance. Regular displays of physical affection create a deep sense of connection, reminding your partner of your care and appreciation.
Why not take a moment even now before you click away from this blog post to show or tell your partner how you appreciate them?