Gratitude journal.

Gratitude: It’s Good for your Marriage

Marriage Dynamics InstituteCommunication, Connection, Contentment, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Listening, Marriage Health

‘Tis the season for gratitude, aka Thanksgiving.

And traditionally, Thanksgiving is marked by gathering around the holiday table with family and friends.

(And watching football games on television. While enjoying another piece of pie.)

Hopefully, in the midst of all the food and fun, we take time to give thanks for our blessings.

Because Thanksgiving is all about gratitude.

But expressing gratitude isn’t a once a year thing.

Gratitude—or the lack of it—impacts our lives and our relationships all year long.

And this is especially true in marriage.

Studies show that:
  • Expressing gratitude for your mate heightens feelings of connection to one another and deepens feelings of love.
  • Expressing gratitude often can help break cycles of negative communication.
  • Gratitude is one characteristic of longer marriages.

And there is lots of research that confirms grateful people are happier and generally healthier than ungrateful people.

So it’s in your best interest to be grateful!

But feeling grateful isn’t much good if you don’t share it.

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

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

Simple ways to express gratitude:
  • Say “please” and “thank you” to your spouse consistently.
  • Look your spouse in the eyes and let them know that you are listening when they are talking. Active listening communicates respect and appreciation.
  • Write down two or three specific reasons you are grateful for your spouse. Do this for several days. Then tie a ribbon around the pages and give them to your spouse. Or find a time when you can read your thoughts out loud to the one you love. This could become an annual tradition, and a very fitting way to celebrate the season.
  • Pray out loud together. Thank God for your spouse. Do this often.

And on the big day, before dinner is served and the games begin, why not wrap your beloved in a big 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.