Couples usually come to me because they don’t know how to communicate with clarity or ease. One or both partners aren’t satisfied with their communication and relationship.
What I see in so many couples with whom I work is they’re not satisfied in their relationship because something very important is missing. What’s missing is they don’t know how to express gratitude to each other.
All of us want to be seen, acknowledged and appreciated. But how our partner sees us and whether our partner acknowledges or appreciates us holds more weight than how anybody else sees us. Why? Because our partner chose us.
The assumption your partner already knows you’re thankful for them and so you don’t need to say it weakens your relationship and misses important opportunities to strengthen it.
The daily expression of gratitude is a constant reminder of that choice. Saying thank you and meaning it is saying “I choose you.”
Pay Attention to Your Language
When you talk about your relationship to your partner or others if your language is filled with complaints, blame, criticism or disappointment, you’re going to experience more dissatisfaction and friction in your relationship.
Notice how you feel when you read these phrases “We’re not connecting.” “She’s too proud.” “He can’t accept any feedback.” “We’re still yelling at each other.”
Just by reading these phrases, you may sense tension, sadness, tightness. This is because the language uses negative labels or focuses on what’s not happening.
When your attention is solely centered around what’s not happening, you forget to see the relationship in its fullness. You don’t pay attention to what is happening, which includes connection and choice. By focusing on what’s missing, you become dissatisfied in yourself, the other and the relationship.
The Language that Deepens Connection
Once we commit to seeing another fully, we can connect to the support, care, love and other qualities your partner brings to your life and relationship. The next step is to acknowledge and appreciate those qualities.
Expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to deepen and maintain your connection.
And if you want to increase satisfaction and connection in your relationship, the expression of gratitude cannot be saved only for Thanksgiving, a birthday card or an anniversary celebration. Although it’s important to express gratitude on those occasions, expressing gratitude out loud in daily life really makes your relationship stronger.
Say Thank You to Your Partner Every Day
And if you need some inspiration here’s how Matthew and I do it:
Before we share a meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner and sometimes even a snack, we hold hands, look at each other and tell each other what we’re grateful for about our life together.
We have an agreement in our home that whoever leaves the house first for work, will receive breakfast from the other. And every day, one of us thanks the one who made breakfast. We usually say something like “Thanks for making breakfast for me today. It made my morning much easier. Thanks, Baby!”
We also tell each other how grateful we are about the support we give to one another. When I’m done writing this, you can bet I’ll go to Matthew and say, “Thank you for supporting my work and clear communication, my Love. You’re contributing to a lot of people by editing what I write!” Yes, Matthew is my beloved and my great editor in chief.
So, don’t wait until Thanksgiving or a special occasion. Start expressing your gratitude to your beloved or those you contribute to your life right now. You’ll notice you’ll feel more connected and satisfied in those relationships.
And by the way, I very much appreciate your reading these blogs. This is my way to support you in your communication. When I see your comments or questions on the blog, my heart expands, I smile broadly, and it motivates me to continue to devote my life’s energy to help you communicate with clarity, confidence, and compassion.
Of course, let me know how it goes! I love to hear from you. Thank you!
And if you’d like to receive a blog a month on conscious communication directly in your inbox, sign up here. I would love to contribute to you and your relationships!