We all feel gratitude in slightly different ways

noun grat·i·tude \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\: a feeling of appreciation or thanks.

While Merriam-Webster’s definition of gratitude is pretty clear and encompassing, I think we all might feel gratitude in slightly different ways. To me, gratitude differs from appreciation in that I can appreciate a good book, a dry sense of humor, or a killer pair of shoes. However, I am gratefulfor the things (and people) that I feel I don’t entirely deserve.

Whatever your personal definition of the word, recent studies have found that gratitude may be a key factor in making your relationship last. What if we could replace annoyance, anger, or resentment with feelings of gratitude instead?

Here are 4 ways that feeling and expressing gratitude for your partner can improve your relationship:

  1. Gratitude prevents you from taking your partner for granted. It is not a given that he/she will be there each and every day in the future. When you focus on whom or what you’re grateful for, you realize how truly lucky you are to have that person in your life and cherish them accordingly.
  2. Expressing gratitude promotes positive interaction. I’m sure you’ve heard of John Gottman’s magical ratio of 1:5, which means that for every negative interaction in a relationship there should be at least five positive interactions. When expressing genuine gratitude to your partner, it is highly unlikely that you are rolling your eyes or being dismissive. Instead, you are much more likely to give them a hug, a smile, or a loving look, or maybe all three. And you might receive some in return!
  3. Gratitude helps you see the big picture. It drives me nuts when my husband leaves dirty clothes laying on the floor—in the bathroom, the bedroom, you name it. But in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? I realise I am grateful to have a home in which to carelessly toss those dirty socks. I am grateful for my husband and that those dirty socks mean he is there almost every day. I have many friends and relatives whose husbands are deployed for months at a time and would probably not mind picking up dirty clothes if it meant their husbands were home and safe. Thinking about what I’m grateful for helps me see that the little annoyances really are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
  4. Gratitude can help to counteract conflict. Have you ever noticed how annoyance and resentment can build and build upon itself, until the tiniest, most innocent offense can spark a rage rivaling the heat of a thousand suns? Okay, maybe that’s just me. But in all seriousness, sometimes those little things just add up. Gratitude can help to temper that. I am more willing to let the socks slide if I can recall him telling me, “Hey, thanks for being a great wife,” earlier in the week.

Feeling gratitude in the midst of anger, stress, or annoyance is easier said than done, I know. In fact, it might even take a conscious effort and feel like something you actually need to work at. But gratitude is to your relationship what exercise is to your health: it prevents a whole myriad of other problems, both immediate and long-term. Plus, it just makes you feel good.

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The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Source: PREPARE/ENRICH Blog: https://blog.prepare-enrich.com/

Couple Checkup with laptop

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