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Appreciation: The mark of a true spouse

BY: Dr John Boakye

Marriage is the most difficult work in the world. It’s  about two people with different temperaments, sexuality and background sharing a life for life.  The temptation to leave is high. 

One easy way to motivate yourself and your spouse in this difficult life journey of marriage is to show appreciation and expressing admiration and approval for what your lover does for you. Some see appreciation simply as ‘thank you’ for recognition of something that someone has done for you.

Importance of appreciation
Everyone needs appreciation in relationships to feel his or her efforts are acknowledged and not taken for granted. Appreciation makes you feel valued and important, special, cherished and loved. You are motivated to give more to your lover who in turn is empowered to give back to you more love and attention.

When both partners show appreciation to each other, great things happen. Your mood improves. Good times, good memories and joy become a common place in your relationship. Disappointments, tension and rage become less and less frequent. You never make divorce or separation an option. A sense of gratitude is, therefore, one of the most effective ways in building your relationship. On the other hand, nothing good comes into your relationship without appreciation.

Unfortunately many partners tend to take their partners for granted and see whatever they do as normal and expected. For example, if a man gives ‘chop money’ and the woman cooks both partners find the actions as expected and, therefore, not worth commenting on.

Fact, however, is that if you do not show appreciation to your lover, you are tempted to focus on your lover’s weaknesses and what goes wrong in your relationship. Small issues get blown up on your mind and the temptation to give in is strong. You break down your relationship unaware instead of building it. Lack of appreciation is, therefore, the fastest way to kill your relationship. No doubt, studies show many relationships fail for lack of appreciation.

How to show appreciation
Show appreciation by your kind words: The bible says positive words protect life, prevent trouble, calm anger, provide encouragement and give happiness. Simple words like “I love you, you have been so good to me, I am happy I found you, thinking of you, what would I do without you in my life, thank you for your love and support, for all you do, for who you are , I will forever be grateful to you, your thoughtfulness will always be remembered… “ have profound positive effect on our lovers. Words have psychic energy and your kind words blesses your lover who in turn reacts more kindly to you.

Therefore verbalise your appreciation. Tell your friends and relatives how good your lover has been to you. He or she will hear it and do more for you because words have the power to build your marriage.

Write very often to your lover to thank him or her : Choose your words carefully and wisely but mean what you say. You may add some cartoons and romantic songs. By writing out your feelings you inspire yourself and your lover. You may also use social media to talk about the good things your lover does for you. Appreciate, however, that saying something is powerful but transitory. Therefore, verbalise your appreciation all the time for the good things your lover does for you, big or small.

Hug and touch often: Physical touch is an asset for calming anxiety, transferring courage, reassurance, alleviating stress, depression and blood pressure. It, therefore, improves emotional and physical health. A tender touch when your lover is doing ordinary tasks like reading or cooking communicates loving messages that speak more than words can and sustains long term relationship.

Send gifts often: They are signs of love and goodwill. Giving increases your intimacy because if you give your lover feels loved, accepted and valued and is more likely to treat you in similar ways. Gifts creates goodwill and dispels hurts. They are expressions of your love. When you give you see each other as valuable, worthwhile and good.

Giving, therefore, increases intimacy because if you give, your lover feels loved accepted and valued. Therefore, let your gifts be regular, simple and spontaneous especially things your lover considers intimate and memorable. Don’t wait for festive occasions to send gifts. Be spontaneous in your giving but your gifts need not be expensive. It is the idea that is important.

Celebrate your marriage: Anything unrecognised remains uncelebrated and anything uncelebrated exits your life. Celebrating your relationship makes it grow in health and fulfilment. Set aside special times, places and events to celebrate how much your spouse means to you. Remember special days such as the day you met, your birthdays and wedding anniversary. Include important days such as Easter and Christmas. Celebrate any progress you make.

Go out often even if for a walk or drink. Invite friends and relations for a meal or drink. Studies show that relationships celebrated often grow in health. Celebration also encourages you to endure the challenges in your marriage and keep up your team spirit.