Everyone wants to be appreciated and get recognition. It goes back to when you were little and lived for the moment your parent or teacher praised you for something you did right. And we never really grow out of this; we just mask it better as we get older. But the truth remains that we all like to be applauded for things we do right. And this is such a key element in your marriage… creating a culture of appreciation will save you from countless fights and misunderstandings.
Creating a culture of appreciation happens with intentionality. Appreciation is a small deposit that will yield massive returns in your marriage. Here are a few appreciation pointers that will get you on the right track:
Open your mouth! A lot of times, your wife is clueless about what you appreciate them doing simply because you don’t tell them! Make sure you start by communicating to her the things that really mean something to you or that you enjoy the most when she does them. Be sure to encourage your wife when she does things that really mean something to you. When she does it again, make sure you lavish thanksgiving on her. And when she does it again, thank her again.**
**Note: Creating a culture does happen with a one time thanks; there needs to be ongoing appreciation every time they do it. I have yet to meet a woman who says their husband overdoes appreciation and I am willing to bet you’re not the exception to that rule…
“Catch” your wife serving you and praise them for it. Be aware of the things your wife does for you, especially if it is something she routinely does. The best type of appreciation is the kind that she isn’t expecting, especially when you appreciate something that is usually a thankless task like getting the kids ready for school or taking them to baseball practice. So if your wife always cooks, thank her for dinner every night and tell her something specific about the meal that was fantastic. (For any ladies reading, same for you; if your husband always mows the lawn, be sure to compliment him the day after about how good it looks). This completely destroys any internal thoughts or rumblings about not being appreciated if everything you do is being recognized and applauded.
Thank her for everything no matter how small. My wife hates taking out the trash. She never told me this, but it would always conveniently be in the middle of the kitchen when it was full… yet she never would take it out. At first I got very annoyed because I thought she was forcing my hand to take it out. We eventually talked about it and she told me she hates taking it out and asked if I could serve her by doing so. Now when I take it out, she always says, “Thank you so much for taking that out. It really means a lot.”
That changes everything.
With that simple shift to thanksgiving, taking out the trash for me has moved from being a frustrating duty to a delight because I know it is a way to serve my wife and I know she really does appreciate it. So leverage your words and position your heart to be thankful. This seemingly small shift has the ability to make huge gains in your marriage!
Samurai Challenge: Find two things your wife did today you appreciate and thank her for it!