Tag Archives: expressing gratitude

Can You Show Love with a Sticky Note?

I apologize if you received this post twice. The e-book was unavailable last week, but was just improved and re-released. If you add a comment, you will be qualified for a free e-book giveaway!

I recently read an e-book called Sticky-Note Love by Matthew French-Holt. In it, Matthew shares advice about how to please women, after realizing he needed to be regularly reminded about simple ways to please his wife. (I don’t know if any guys out there can relate, or if you have us women figured out.) Because Matthew says he tends to forget how to keep the romantic streak alive in his own marriage, he  created a simple system to help. He believes other men have similar tendencies and can benefit from the same model. (You can find Matthew encouraging all kinds of adventure at Adventure-Some.com.)

The gist of his advice is to write your wife a love note every single day. While that can seem daunting, Matthew gives tons of simple suggestions, and even says a one-sentence love message on a sticky note will surely do the trick. The key is to write from your heart and to be consistent. As in every single day. I was surprised how easy and doable Matthew’s idea is; the hard part is in keeping it up.

The e-book isn’t quite as simple as that one piece of advice, as he gives you some of the reasonings behind why it works, as well as many tips and suggestions so you don’t have to sit holding that piece of paper wondering what to say each day. The three pages of ideas for your love notes is one good reason guys should consider getting the e-book! Of course, you want to be honest with your feelings, but it’s a great start.

In essence, the goal is to create a virtuous cycle rather than a vicious cycle. In the vicious cycle, your wife may be seeking acknowledgement that she is loved. When she doesn’t receive affirmation and hear what you love in her, she may question that love and be slow to give affection. This cycle can slowly make you feel out of touch. The virtuous cycle means that as you regularly express love, she becomes more secure and confident in your love. She then becomes increasingly affectionate toward you, which causes you to share your affection and feelings of love even more. In this cycle, you feel ever more bonded to one another.

One of my blogging pals, marital therapist Dr. Michelle Gannon, shares a story in an article for Hitched Media that seems to support Matthew’s theory.  She explains how to have more gratitude and positivity in your life and marriage. Then, she shared this story:

My husband and I were presenting at a conference, and I met a lovely 70-year-old gentleman who told me that he had been happily married for 50 years. I asked him what was his secret to success? He immediately answered that when he was married for one week, his new wife came to him and asked, “What are three things that you love about me?” He answered, “You are beautiful, smart and a great cook.” The next week, she asked the same question. He gave the same answer, and she responded, “You already told me those three things. Tell me three new things.” So he did–week after week, year after year. He claimed that every week for 50 years he has given her three new compliments or expressions of appreciation and gratitude.

So whether you want to be put on the spot by your wife, or whether you want to think in advance and make one grateful comment or write something you love about her every day, it seems clear that this kind of activity makes a wife feel more loved and appreciated. Interestingly, the act of sharing your love and gratitude will also help you as a husband. (See my past post about the benefits of gratitude.)

The e-book is available for $19.99 at: http://snl.adventure-some.com/.

Decide how you plan to express your love and gratitude today. Then figure out a way to be consistent. Whether it’s a sticky note on the mirror, a daily verbal expression, a text sent every day at the same time, or a love note under the pillow each night, you’ll find these expressions go a long way to strengthening a marriage bond.  What are you waiting for?

Photo credit: ©Chad McDermott/PhotoXpress.com

4 Proven Secrets to Long Marriage Part IV: Cultivate Healthy Passion

Wrapping up our 4 secrets to long marriage is maintaining a healthy passion. What’s an unhealthy passion, you ask? Funnily enough, psychologist Robert Vallerand of the University of Quebec says, “Obsessive passion—a type that seems to control you—is as detrimental to the relationship, making it less satisfying sexually and otherwise, as having no passion.”

A healthy passion, on the other hand, means “a voluntary inclination toward an activity or person that we love or value.” It helps us relate better and increases our intimacy while retaining our own identity.

You can cultivate healthy passion by participating in an activity you and your partner both enjoy, says Vallerand. While exhilarating activities are ideal, competitive ones are not. (The object is not winning, it’s bonding.) Go sledding. Share a boat ride. Take a run. Have sex. You get the idea.

Another way to boost passion: write the reasons why you love your spouse and why the relationship is important to you. Bonus points if you read it aloud to him or her.

To summarize the 4 Secrets to a Long Marriage as shared in Scientific American’s article “The Happy Couple”: Share Joy, Stay Positive, Express Gratitude, and Cultivate a Healthy Passion.

So what’s your big secret to a successful marriage? Did any of the four resonate with you as strengths or weaknesses in your relationship?

4 Proven Secrets to Long Marriage Part III: Express Gratitude

The 10 most frequent positive emotions include: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love, according to psychologist and author Barbara L. Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In her book, Positivity, she says the most important of these emotions to a relationship may be gratitude.

Why? Because expressing gratitude regularly helps us appreciate our partner and not take one another for granted. For example, when you tell your spouse you appreciate the great dinner, it makes you aware that s/he put effort into preparing that dinner for you, and more appreciate of having them in your life. And it makes your partner feel appreciated. So, expressing gratitude benefits both partners in the relationshipthe recipient and the giver.

One researcher found on days when couples felt more gratitude toward their partner, they felt more connected to him or her and more satisfied even the following day. Recipients of gratitude also increased their relationship satisfaction on days when it was expressed. Researchers refer to gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationships.

“Each unit of improvement in expressed appreciation decreased by half the odds of the couple breaking up in six months,” according to Scientific American’s December 2009 article, “The Happy Couple: Secrets to a Long Marriage.”

What makes you feel the most gratitude from your spouse? When are you most likely to express it?

Read Part I, Part II and Part IV.