Whether you’re married or dating someone, you know that relationships take work. When you’re frustrated because you aren’t getting everything you need, you wonder if it’s all worthwhile or maybe, there’s someone better for you out there. If you think about it, how is it that you can spend your entire life developing your personality only to grow up, meet a man and expect him to be able to know every corner of your heart and serve your relationship in the way you need? It’s remarkable that any of us get together and stay together.
Each Love is Unique
After all, we each love differently. And, most of the time, the way we give and receive love comes from our upbringing and childhood.
When I’m putting couples together, I’m known for delving deep into this as a way of creating the ideal match. Long before I ever read The 5 Love Languages (get this book if you don’t have it already), I asked my clients how they gave and received love. It’s vital to your relationship success to know this about yourself, so you can not only choose the right partner but know how to easily articulate your needs.
But what if you’ve articulated until you’re blue in the face and still not getting what you need? Is the relationship doomed? Not necessarily.
What You’ve Been Given
Many couples throw in the towel way too soon. Our precious egos (and our well meaning friends) tell us to cut and run. We deserve better after all. Now, there’s a big difference between being with the wrong partner and being with someone who adores you but doesn’t do everything exactly the way you need it. You are never to accept bad behavior, lying, cheating or someone who doesn’t care for you or respect you.
Perhaps your significant other is great at being a provider and protector but you wish he would communicate more. Or, you’re with someone who is an introvert which is the opposite of your chatty, social nature. Whatever your current situation is, there’s a way to not only get more out of your relationship, but to also create more of a positive feeling between the two of you at the same time. It’s a win win!
How? It’s your expression of gratitude.
If you’re in a long term relationship or marriage, it’s easy to forget to say thank you. We take it for granted that our partner made us dinner, took us out for a date night, took the trash out, or helped out with the kids on a day you were frazzled and spent.
Small Moments of Love
My parents have an incredible marriage. Just last week during a visit, I witnessed the gratitude they have for one another and their ability to vocalize it every chance they get. No matter how small the gesture.
My mother brought my father and I cheese and crackers while we chatted on the patio. “Thank you, Dear,” my father said with a smile.
Later that evening, my father covered my mom with a soft blanket when he noticed she was a bit chilly. “Thank you, honey,” my mother responded, with her own girlish smile.
Whatever they do for one another, they speak up and express gratitude. It’s one thing to think it, it’s another thing entirely to verbalize it.
My husband has been working on several projects with me lately. Last week on a particularly busy morning, he woke up, made me a yummy latte, a delicious breakfast and walked the dogs so I could focus on my meetings. I couldn’t help but notice the sparkle in his eye (and the spring in his step) when I stopped to really thank him. Not just a “drive by” thank you, but a real eye to eye intentional THANK YOU.
“You are wonderful Todd. I so appreciate what you did for me this morning.”
Take Time to Say It
If you’re already great at verbalizing appreciation, good for you! Keep doing it! However, if you feel like your expression has waned with the passing time of your long relationship, take time to notice and give your partner the gratitude he or she deserves.
As human beings, we are all motivated by the elusive thank you. We need it in the work place to stay motivated but we need it just as much in our relationships to stay equally as driven and motivated.
Today and always, give and receive gratitude. Become a leader in your relationship. Rather than complaining what your partner doesn’t do for you, focus on what they are doing. Shine light on what is working, and the universe will listen. Spoken and expressed gratitude is like a big wish list to the world.
My Thanks to You…
I am grateful for you. You are in my community and because of you, I do what I do.
Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving. May you gather with friends and family and share your gratitude for what they bring to your life.