Appreciate Your Partner

This is an excellent intervention I have been using for years with couples. 

Whether you are (or have ever been) married, dating, or labeled your relationship status as "it's complicated," I think we have all felt unappreciated by a romantic partner at some time or another. In some cases, this could have been true... However, there are also lots of times when we genuinely appreciate our partner, but maybe, just maybe, we don't do enough to show it.

We all like to feel appreciated. Even in relationships when we know deep down that our partner appreciates us, reminders still make us feel good. There are many times when we appreciate each other in subtle ways, but our actions seem as though we take the good things for granted. Unfortunately, this lack of communication can lead to the #1 enemy in relationships, RESENTMENT.

That's why this simple intervention works so well. As opposed to merely instructing you to "tell your partner how much you appreciate them more often," this is a more tangible way to do that. Plus, it serves as a daily reminder, thereby leading to it becoming more of a habit.

All you need is a dry-erase board with magnets on the back to put on your refrigerator. Or you can choose another location, as long as its in a place that is seen several times each day by each member of the couple. Obviously, you will also need a dry erase marker. You can find these dry-erase boards (attached marker included) at the Dollar Tree, or similar stores.

Once it's on the fridge, write at the top of the board "Thank You For." You can underline this, make it bold, or make it as pretty as you want; as long as it says those exact words.

Now for process, which you will see is very simple. 

Each day, you and your partner should take turns writing something SPECIFIC that you appreciate about each other. This can be something specific he or she did recently or a specific characteristic about them that you especially like/love (though these should be used only once each). These things can be big or small, as long as they are honest and positive. You write something one day, and your partner writes something the next day. WRITE, ERASE, REPEAT. 

Here is an example. Partner 1 is in green, Partner 2 is in orange


Taking the trash by the road


Letting me vent about my mom


Asking me how my conference went


Looking extra nice for our date night this week

As you can see, it should not be hard to come up with one little thing each day that you can appreciate about your partner. The fact is, you probably already appreciate these things, but you might not think to say them all the time. I have seen this small intervention work wonders in couples that have become stagnant and even those that are on the verge of a break due to resentment. Therefore, it is the smartest move to take this action BEFORE it gets to this point! 

In a very short time, two things will likely happen. 1. You and your partner will both start to feel much more appreciated, and 2. You and your partner will find yourselves being more aware of all the good things that you appreciate about each other. 

Stay consistent and remember, you are with the person you chose for many reasons, NOW LET THEM KNOW!

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