Is 2022 the year you bring real thoughtfulness to your relationships?
If you want to focus on improving your relationships, especially with your spouse, it is important to be thoughtful and intentional. That means taking the time to listen, showing them you care for them, telling them you love and care for them, and looking for opportunities to reinforce your sentiment. If you can make a consistent and persistent effort to be thoughtful in your marriage, you will undoubtably see improvements in your relationships and response from your spouse.
Because new behaviors can be overwhelming, I've included just a few high-impact habits you can work on this year to improve your relationships. Good Luck!
Appreciation starts with gratitude, it is hard to appreciate what you aren't thankful for. When you are grateful for your spouse, you are more likely to appreciate them and their presence in your life. Being grateful for your spouse can also lead to a stronger relationship as you will be more likely to feel appreciative of the things they do for you. When you are truly grateful for someone, it permeates your entire communication and interfacing with them in positive ways.
Show appreciation with your actions
I was recently watching Shawshank Redemption with my wife, and one scene in particular really got me thinking about appreciation. The scene unfolded with prisoners working on re-tarring a roof under armed guard. I'll spare you the details but the main character Andy gets all the prisoners in his work detail 3 beers and a 30-minute break through some clever negotiation, and another character, Red, narrates the scene.
We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders, and felt like free men. We could'a been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation.
It has really had me exploring just how blessed I am to be free, to have love, to be able to hug my wife every day, and to get a kiss or two every morning from her, you know - the simple things in life. My appreciation for the big and the small things has really increased because of this revelation.
There are many different ways to show appreciation for your spouse, the key is to be consistent and proactive. Appreciation is best received when it is natural and proactive, otherwise, it can seem forced when it is in reaction.
Appreciation can take on a number of different forms, from doing the dishes and folding laundry, to an unexpected weekend getaway. If there is something your spouse does that means a lot to you, it can be very thoughtful to communicate your thankfulness to them, even for small things. If you take the time to do things like this consistently, your spouse will feel more appreciated and your relationship will thrive.
Communicate your love
While showing your love is important, sometimes being direct in your communication can be just as powerful. A good way to do this in a relationship is with a well-placed and well-timed "love note." This method takes the guesswork out of your actions and speaks boldly about how you feel. It can be a note that says how much you love them, or simply a note that says "I'm thinking of you." Love notes can be a great way to show your spouse you are thinking of them and that you care about them.
If communicating to your partner doesn't come naturally, or for more pointers on love notes, check out my recent article "How to Write a Love Note to Your Wife."
Follow Through on the Expected
One of the best ways to show your spouse your love is to come through when the time comes. Valentine's Day, anniversaries, Mother's Day, and birthdays are the big 4 occasions that come with a lot of expectations. These are all big pressure occasions that require a sense of premeditated thoughtfulness. Even in the most low-key relationship, the obligatory greeting card is an expectation, but in most relationships, expectations are much higher.
The expectations and stress of last-minute shopping for a card and gifts are what prompted me to create the y:MT products and service. If you purchase a pack of cards for y:MT, you will already have the cards you need for all big 4 occasions, which can free you up to focus on other aspects of delighting her. You can check out our occasion guides below:
Make 2022 The Year
With surprisingly little effort on your part, and by consistently showing appreciation and love to your spouse, 2022 will be a breakthrough year for your marriage. Good Luck!