I challenge you to build a firm foundation of admiration in your relationship by verbalizing appreciation and admiration for your partner each and every day! Many partners struggle to remember to give words of affirmation to each other. If your relationship needs reminders for doses of appreciation, I suggest you set an alarm on your phone if necessary to help you remember. When the alarm goes off, think about something that you appreciate about your partner and tell them in a text message, a note, a phone call, or tell them in person!
A house is built on a firm foundation – and … so is a relationship according to marriage and couples research. Gottman’s Sound Relationship House is made up of seven levels, and one of the foundation layers is building a culture of appreciation and friendship. So, we spend part of each couples therapy session discussing positive strengths and communicating appreciation.
I am active in a Marriage Support Group Facebook Group, and posted this question recently: As a therapist, we spend a lot of time focusing on problems. To turn conversation around on a positive note…let me hear some positive things you can tell me about your partner…
“My husband is very loyal. He has had a lot of toxic friends that have tried to come between us in the 15 years we have been together. Through all of it, he has been loyal, loving, and supportive. He is a wonderful dad. My babies love him so much. He’s not perfect, but he is perfect for me.” By Amanda Bishop.
“My husband spent all weekend making an insulated cat condo for outside strays in our neighborhood. His compassion is one of the main reasons I fell in love with him.” By Trisha Eckert.
“Honestly, one of my favorite things about my husband is he’s still a kid at heart. We’re able to joke, be silly, and play. It makes our relationship fun. He’s also such a hard worker, loving father, and supportive husband.” By Nicholle Chavez.
“My SO works to support me and my two kids which are not his Bio children. He runs himself down to nothing during the week working 70-80hrs. On the weekends if he isn’t working he is cleaning house or playing with the kids. I don’t tell him often enough how much I appreciate what he puts into our relationship. He is a very strong, loving, & supportive man and I am so incredibly grateful for him.” By AS
“Some say opposites attract, but my husband and I are very similar in many ways. I love that he ‘gets’ me. Therefore he makes me laugh every day. It’s a small thing and a huge thing.” By JCB
Most of us, including myself, can find many things to appreciate about our partner when we stop to think about it. For myself, I would say, “I am a fortunate woman because my husband is extremely patient with our special needs child, he is very generous spending time coaching our teenage son’s sports team, and he was thoughtful enough to buy flowers for our teen daughter on Valentine’s Day. Brendan has supported me through business problems, family concerns, and health challenges. He works a lot to make sure we all have what we need financially and mentally. So,
I urge you to take a Thirty Day Challenge to stop to say at least one positive appreciative remark about your partner each day! This is one way to build a culture of appreciation in your relationship.