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Appreciating Your Partner

By Michael Barmak
February 28, 2024

Appreciating and expressing gratitude for your partner every day can help your relationship.

loving relationshipHave you ever noticed that the more positive you have in your relationship, the more positive your relationship is? One way to achieve this is by communicating that you value your partner.


You can do this by expressing gratitude for being with someone who has qualities that are important to you such as compassion, playfulness and honesty.  You can also convey appreciation for a specific behavior like your partner coming home earlier from work to give you a longer break from childcare.


You might combine both too.  For example, “I appreciate you making me dinner last night and I'm grateful for your thoughtfulness in making my favorite meal


You don’t have to wait until your partner does something for you to express gratitude or appreciation. The next time you’re sitting next to each other or lying in bed together, share something from your heart that you admire about your partner. 


You might share:

  • Why you're attracted to your partner
  • What you respect, honor and cherish about your partner
  • That you recognize your partner’s efforts to make your relationship better.


You may be wondering, how can I share something positive about my partner when we’re in the middle of an argument? Here’s something I ask my couples to do and yes!  Right in the middle of an argument.


I want you to imagine you’re holding hands (or actually hold hands) throughout the conflict. It’s a ‘both...and,’ not an ‘either…or.’ You’re showing that you care about your partner and there’s something about your partner’s behavior that you don’t like.  


Sharing something positive doesn’t negate or sweep your partner’s unloving behavior under the carpet. It also doesn’t mean that you accept or condone your partner’s unloving behavior. What it communicates is that you know who your partner truly is and that your partner is not defined by any unloving behavior.

Reminding yourself and your partner why you’re together can help you keep your disagreements in perspective. You’ll discover that it’s possible to stay emotionally connected even when you’re feeling disconnected from each other.


And what is your partner doing while you’re sharing your gratitude?  First, your partner is taking your gratitude to heart with a deep breath.  Then acknowledging what you shared by letting you know how it feels, telling you what it moves your partner to do and expanding upon what you shared. 


Expressing gratitude and appreciation verbally are not the only ways you can communicate your gratitude and appreciation. You can also show this physically by giving your partner a hug, or by planning something or giving a gift that has special meaning to your partner.


I have found that couples who consistently express gratitude and appreciation feel more emotionally connected, hopeful and happier. If you’re looking to have more of this in your relationship, then I recommend that you consider setting time aside each day to intentionally value each other.  It’s free, it’s quick and it’s loving!  


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