Choose to Be Grateful for Your Spouse

A number of years ago Nathan was on a bus heading home after having completed an interview for a new job. The interview went well, but at the end of the interview they had asked about his salary expectations and he felt he may have been too aggressive with his answer. As he sat pondering the possibility that he may have priced himself out of this new job, he realized how blessed he was. He realized that even if he didn’t get this job, which he wanted, things would be okay. Over the next few moments he took the opportunity to enumerate the vast blessings he had in his life. Family, health, freedom, education, a current job, and numerous other blessings. As he did this his concern about if he would get the job or not disappeared. His worry was replaced by a much more powerful feeling—gratitude. A feeling of peace accompanied him as he traveled home that day. He ended up not getting the job, but he gained something of far greater value.

Gratitude allows us to see the world with more happiness and with more appreciation. The tough part is to realize that this is true at all times, not just when times are good. If you look hard enough you can always find things to be grateful for.

Gratitude enables us to stop focusing on the problems in our life and instead focus on the blessings in our life. As we do this our hope in the future will increase which will enable us to trust that we can get through our current challenges. With gratitude we can shift ourselves from wallowing in self pity to a mindset of finding solutions and moving forward.

As you likely already know, this month for "The Couple Project" we have been focusing on showing our love for each other through acts of love. As we have gone through this month we have noticed a difference in how well we are paying attention to what our spouse appreciates. But we have also noticed that cultivating a feeling of gratitude for these acts of love makes an even larger difference. If we aren’t careful we often fail to appreciate all the nice things our spouse does for us each day.

It isn’t complicated to be more grateful, but it does take time and work. Here are some ideas we have used:

  • Create a list of 10-20 things we appreciate or love about our spouse.
  • Regularly spend time focusing on the things we are grateful for. This may be writing in a journal, meditating, or while riding on a bus.
  • Spend time talking with our spouse about what we are grateful for in our relationship. As we share and as we listen it will often help us find even more things we are grateful for.

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Each day we can choose to have gratitude for the things that we have. We can choose to work together and find solutions to our problems. We can appreciate what our spouse is doing, the effort they are making, and who they are. Each day we can cultivate a feeling of gratitude and as a result we will be more likely to see all the good around us.

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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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"A United Marriage: 5 Biblical Principles to Ponder"