Gratitude: It’s Good for your Marriage

Marriage Dynamics Institute Communication, Connection, Contentment, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Listening, Marriage Health


When someone mentions Thanksgiving, what comes to mind?

Turkey defrosting in your refrigerator? Traveling to see extended family? Preparing your home for out of town guests?

Perhaps you think about watching the big games on television. While enjoying another slice of pumpkin pie. And after that the annual backyard football game with your siblings or cousins.

Thanksgiving is marked by gathering around the table with family and friends.

But it’s really about something much more profound and lasting than seasonal festivities.

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude.

And gratitude impacts our lives and our marriages all year long.

A few interesting facts:

  • Studies show that expressing gratitude for your mate heightens feelings of connection to one another and deepens feelings of love.
  • Simple things communicate gratitude—like saying please and thank you to your spouse consistently.
  • All couples argue sometimes. Feeling appreciated in your marriage actually helps counteract damage from relational conflict.
  • Expressing gratitude often can help break cycles of negative communication.
  • Active listening is a powerful way to communicate gratitude. When you lean in and listen attentively to your spouse, it communicates that you value them and what they have to say.
  • Gratitude is one characteristic of longer marriages.

So what are you particularly grateful for this year?

As Thanksgiving approaches, think of ways to let your spouse know you are grateful for them, and for your marriage.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” —William Arthur Ward

Here’s one idea: In a simple notebook or journal, write down two or three reasons you are grateful for your spouse. Start this at least a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and do it every day. Then find a time to present your gift of gratitude. You might tie a ribbon around the book and leave it on their pillow. Or you might find a time and place to read the words aloud to your love. This could become an annual tradition, and a very fitting way to celebrate the season with your spouse.

And then on the big day, before dinner is served and the games begin, why not wrap your beloved in a hug, look them in the eye and say, “I am so grateful for you!”



About the Author

Marriage Dynamics Institute

Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis.