Wonder how you can build a stronger marriage relationship? Start with thanks.
Guest Post by Leah Heffner of Life Around the Coffee Cup
Ever wonder how to build a strong marriage relationship?
I know some days, my marriage cup feels full and hot—like a good cup of coffee in the morning. I wake up to savor it and find ways to linger over it all day.
And some days, it’s the mug that keeps getting microwaved over and over but never gets to be enjoyed. It feels like work and no one wants to drink stale coffee.
For the days when encouragement is definitely the espresso shot I’m needing, there’s one habit I come back to over and over again that has changed my marriage.
So, could you use a little encouragement in your marriage today? Want to know how to help build a strong marriage relationship?
Say “thank you.”
I know it might seem like something small. Maybe even so small that it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference.
But how do you feel when someone says “thank you”f or a meal you cooked, a blankie that you found, or for reading the same book for the 100th time?
Pretty stinkin’ great right?
So let’s fine tune this habit a little bit. How can a little “thank you” really change build a stronger marriage?
How Saying ‘Thank You’ Helps Build a Stronger Marriage Relationship
What you look for is what you see.
Say you have a bathroom you’d really like to remodel. Every time you go in there you see ANOTHER problem. A broken tile. Cracked grout. A dripping faucet. And every time you go in there you look for something else that’s wrong with it until walking in there at all is a stressful experience. You know everything about the bathroom is just the worst and you can’t take it anymore.
On the flip side, say someone mentioned to you that your bathroom looks really nice. The next time you go in, you start looking for what impressed your guest. “O maybe it’s this clever toothbrush holder.” “Perhaps it’s our plush towels.” And you’ll keep seeing more good things about your bathroom, that maybe you never even noticed before.
To say thank you for something, you have to start with noticing something to be thankful for. And what you look for is what you’ll see. So if you notice that your husband took the trash out – whether it’s the first time or the millionth time – and say “thank you” you’re more likely to notice something else about him that will send your thoughts in a positive direction. And this will continue to build.
Words have power.
Those old sayings “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and “If you can’t be kind be quiet” didn’t become tried and true expressions by being wrong. We know that words have power. We know how easy it is to say something in anger or frustration that can do long term damage.
Your words also have power in the positive. “Thank you” goes a long way with anyone. And when you’re needing a little encouragement in your day, in your marriage, a thank you can help start to ease tensions.
It’s about being seen.
To thank someone, to really thank them for something that impacted, helped, or supported you means that you have to notice them, see them, watch and observe them. You have to look for things, notice the good things.
And when you can extend a genuine thank you to your husband, he will feel seen and valued for the things he does.
So what are some of the most effective ways to use this little habit in your marriage?
- Find something to say thank you for at least once a day.
- Be sincere when you say it.
- Choose to give your thank you at a time when you have each other’s attention.
- Don’t shy away from thanking him in the moment.
- Or save it to savor together later.
Maybe it doesn’t feel like you have anything to be thankful for in your marriage. Maybe it’s not obvious. Or easy. Maybe it just feels like another to-do list item on an already busy day.
Dear friend, I know starting a new habit can be so challenging. Know that it’s another area where we get to see sweet grace – in starting something new that will impact your marriage and make it stronger.
Isn’t starting any new habit easier with a friend? Want to start running? Plan to meet a friend in the morning! Want to finish the book you picked up? Discuss it with a friend!
Want to build thankfulness in your marriage? Get a prayer emailed to you each morning for 10 days to get you started!
Being thankful in your marriage is a habit that will change your marriage. And it might be just the encouragement you’ve been looking for.
What is a time that being thankful has helped to change your perspective? Share it in the comments!
Leah Heffner the wife to a sexy, beard-sporting, man of God and mom to three cutie-pie-heads. She loves coffee, a good Netflix binge, and encouraging other women. You can find her giving encouragement to fuel the journey of marriage, motherhood, faith, and friendship at Life Around the Coffee Cup.