The Grateful Spouse


If gratitude is good for building resilience in children and bolstering hope in adults, it’s close to a miracle drug for an ailing marriage. Here are three sure ways to use gratitude to transform your experience of your marriage from dull and burdensome to joyful and blessed.

  1. Daily Appreciation. So simple, but oh so important! Make it a personal discipline to name at least one thing that you’ve appreciated in your spouse each day… and tell him/her!
  2. Gratitude Alchemy. Take any negative event or encounter, such as an argument or your spouse losing a job. Acknowledge that it’s been tough. Now think about any pearls of blessing that has resulted. For example, maybe your argument gave you a new insight into each other’s perspective, maybe the job loss galvanised your spouse to make a long overdue career change. Give thanks for that.
  3. Inverse blessings. Imagine what your life might be like if you never met your spouse (The George Bailey Technique). Spend a full ten minutes and make a list of the things, people and experiences that would be missing from your life.

Pumped-up Gratitude

Science tells us that the element of surprise makes it easier to be grateful. For example, if every day, your say “I love you” as you spouse leaves for work, over time he/she will likely begin to take it for granted. Make it easier for your spouse to appreciate you by mixing it up a bit; one day sing it, another write it on a note and slip it into a pocket, leave a sticky note on the dash board of the car, text it etc.

St Valentine’s Day 2013

Make a gratitude commitment for your honey this St Valentine’s day. Do the 40 Day Gratitude Challenge – a dose of appreciation every day for 40 days. For more information, download the flyer from the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council for St Valentine’s Day – Grateful.

Author: Francine & Byron Pirola

This article featured in the February 2013 edition of CathFamily e-Magazine. For more check out:

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Francine and Byron Pirola

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