Saying “Thank You” is key to a happy marriage

We often hear the wisdom to “Simplify.”  Well here’s one simple practice to put into your Valentine’s Day gift bag.

In Imago, expressions of appreciation are an important part of the work.  Couple sessions typically begin and end with such expressions.  More than just feel good exercises, we know that couples who regularly express their gratitude to one another strengthen their bond and build in a buffer for conflict.

Findings by researchers at the University of Georgia concur with this idea.   They interviewed nearly 500 couples about their financial well-being, communication style and frequency of expressing gratitude to one another.  As reported in the September edition of the journal, Personal Relationships, they found that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent predictor of marital satisfaction.  Furthermore, those couples were less affected by differences in their communication style and financial stress.

So keep that attitude of gratitude strong by telling your spouse something you appreciate about them today.  Tell them in either specific (“Thanks for making me coffee in the morning”) or general (“I feel so taken care of by you”) terms.  Add a few more lines to tell them what it means to you and how it make you feel.  Your marriage will thank you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

About the Author