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.

9 responses to “4 Proven Secrets to Long Marriage Part III: Express Gratitude

  1. This is a great post! The attitude of gratitude is something I truly subscribe to, if you want to see more of something, then show your appreciation for it… By focusing on the good things, I believe you create room for even more good things.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Shannon. I wonder if people are predisposed to be more positive or if it takes as much effort for everyone, but you would like a positive-energy lady. Thanks!

  2. I just read your fantastic post here. I am re posting it on http://www.facebook.com/gratefulnation. It seems like we are both fans of the attitude: “Gratitude is good for you.” Grateful Nation is an online community that gives grateful people the opportunity and resources to connect, give back, and be thankful. Jump into the unending cycle of gratitude here at Grateful Nation Thank you, Vanessa

  3. Lori, thanks for this uplifting series of Secrets to Long Marriage.

    As for your questions, I feel my wife’s gratitude most with simple statements like, “I am so glad I have you” or “I am so thankful for our marriage.”

    My gratitude often falls along the same lines, but I also try to express gratitude even for little things: a delicious meal, an unexpected kiss, an outfit that I know she chose for my preferences, and the thousand other things she does for me on a daily basis.

    • I’m glad you liked the series. I suspect your wife becomes more grateful as a result of your gratitude. A positive cycle!

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  6. Pingback: Are you or your spouse being taken for granted? Check out these obstacles and keys to gratitude. | Marriage Gems

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