What if I told you there was one thing that you could do this week that would drastically improve the quality of your marriage, regardless of the current state of affairs? I have always been skeptical of “silver bullet” claims and I rarely make them myself. But this one thing is so powerful and effective, it really is the closest thing I have ever seen to a silver bullet. Not only is it powerful and effective, I have seen it work its magic in good marriages that transitioned to great marriages and broken marriages that were saved. I have seen this technique practiced by individuals in their marriages for seasons without their spouse, and it be the catalyst for reconciliation. I have seen couples practice this “silver bullet” as part of their marital DNA and they have the most beautiful marriages I have ever seen. On top of all of this, what I am about to share is extremely well researched and supported by academia. The research is conclusive. Would you like to know what this “silver bullet” that can drastically improve the quality of your marriage is?
Researchers from the University of Georgia conducted a telephone survey of hundreds of married individuals throughout the United States. The survey participants were asked a myriad of questions about their level of marital satisfaction as it related to sex, finances, child rearing, communication, and how they expressed gratitude to their spouse. The study found, expressions of spousal gratitude was the number one predictor of marital quality.
Allen Barton, from the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research, and the author of the study stated, “Even if a couple was experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship helped promote positive marital outcomes.” The study found that couples who showed higher levels of spousal gratitude were less prone to seek divorce. When couples expressed gratitude or showed appreciation for each other, it counteracted or buffered the negative effects of their conflicts. According to researchers, feeling appreciated and believing that your partner values you can have a great impact on how you feel about your marriage and your commitment to making it last. There is tremendous power in saying, “Thank You”.
This week, if you and your spouse are in a good marriage relationship, discuss how you are doing in terms of expressing gratitude and appreciation. Make a commitment that you will take some time on a daily basis this week to mutually express gratitude and appreciation. Talk about how you can make this part of the DNA of your marriage. (My Monday Marriage Moment Video this week is also about this topic). If you are in a broken marriage, don’t wait for your spouse to begin expressing gratitude and appreciation before you do. Take the lead. Try to find small things that you can be grateful for on a daily basis. I always recommend to all of my clients to start a gratitude journal when they are trying to save their marriages. Gratitude is not only attractive, it is highly contagious. The happiest people in the world, are also the most grateful. (I wonder why?)
Please share this post with anyone who may benefit. If I can be of any service to you and your marriage, or if you would like to learn more about my non traditional approach to marriage counseling or to schedule an appointment contact us today or call 314-606-4272. Until next time, keep falling more in love.