Strengthening our Relationships by Expressing Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a holiday that we associated with gratitude. It’s a good time to be thankful for those things that we have and especially for our friends and family. It’s also a good time to express our gratitude to our love interests. Gratitude is a feeling or attitude we have in recognition of something from which we have gained a benefit. What may come to mind is a gift we have received or a favor that someone has done for us.  But there are many things to be grateful for and we often just need a little practice identifying what those are. 

The gratitude we have for our partners centers around who they are and what they bring to the relationship. It could be something material like “I am grateful for the way you remember my birthday every year with flowers” but more likely it is an attitude or a behavior like “I am grateful for the way you sit quietly and listen to me when I vent about my stress at work” 

To help discover what it is that you are really grateful for, start a gratitude journal.   

Begin with a blank journal or whatever you like to record your thoughts in best. Every night before you go to bed (or when you first get up in the morning), begin writing in your journal, starting each sentence with “Today I am most grateful for...” and just fill in the blank. 

Set a timer for 5 minutes the first time you do this exercise. Start writing when you start the timer and stop when the timer goes off. Do this every night for a week. At the beginning of the second week, set the timer for 10 minutes. At the beginning of the third week, set the timer for 15 minutes.  Fourth week, 20 minutes.  

After that, don’t use the  timer; just write your gratitude statements until you feel “done”. 

As you continue with this exercise, you will find the things you are grateful for becoming much clearer.  

“I am grateful for a car that runs great and gets me to my job everyday”
“I am grateful for the sun on sunny days”
“I am grateful for the rain on rainy days”
“I am grateful for my gift of patience in difficult times”
“I am grateful for the productive talk I had with my assistant at work this morning” 

When you write gratitude statements about your partner or lover, think about a special time you had together and walk through the event, seeing and feeling again all of the things your are grateful for: 

“I am grateful for the way you hold hands with me when we walk together”
“I am grateful for the time you spent driving me around when my car was in the shop”
“I am grateful for the way you call me ‘Sweetheart’ in front of my parents” 

The gratitude you have for your partner or lover comes from the feeling you have for them in your heart. And that will be where the thoughts come from that you will be writing down. 

And now for the best part of writing down your gratitude statements - saying them to your partner! 

This will really add some magic to your relationship! Pick a quiet time to be with your partner or lover.  Tell them “I have been keeping a gratitude journal and would like to tell you some of the things I am grateful for in our relationship” I guarantee this will have an amazing impact on your partner.

Because most of us don’t really know why someone chooses to have a relationship with us. And when they hear your words, be prepared to hear back from them “I never knew that me doing ... meant so much to you!” 

Expressing gratitude to your partner in this way will definitely create a powerful connection between the both of you! 

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