The more time you spend with someone, the easier it is to take him or her for granted. That’s just a simple fact of life, even outside of marriage. We just get used to someone’s company, the things they say or do, how they fit into our lives, etc.
In a marriage though, when the time we spend together includes romance, sharing a living space, sharing finances, dividing household and family responsibilities, sharing a sexual relationship, and all of the other nuances of married life – taking your spouse for granted is the fast lane to a stale, dissatisfying relationship!
By “take for granted,” I mean not remembering or recognizing how your life is improved by the small things your spouse does, or, even if you do recognize what they do, you simply assume it’s part of the every day course of events, and you don’t voice your appreciation.
It isn’t necessarily an A-to-B, cause and effect connection here, but neglecting to show your gratitude for the little things can eventually grind away at the happiness in your marriage.
Think about it from your own perspective – even something very small, like completing a chore or solving a minor problem, feels a little bit more satisfying if someone says “thanks.” Or, even if it’s not a direct “thank you,” it just feels nice when someone notices when you’ve put in some effort. It’s encouraging and endearing. In a marriage, it says, “we’re on the same team, thank you for doing something that benefits us both.”
Now, this may seem like it could get a little out of hand, thanking each other for every little action. You may be thinking that some things should just be expected, and don’t require an expression of gratitude – and you’re right! They don’t require gratitude by any means, but by taking a moment to show some, you let your spouse know that you are both a: paying attention, and b: acknowledging their contribution to the relationship.
No matter how many times one of you makes dinner, does the laundry, fixes something around the house, picks up the kids, etc., it’s still something that the other person didn’t have to do that directly benefits the stability of the marriage – and that’s worth being grateful for!
It’s just another way of connecting and spreading positivity. It helps you remain observant and appreciative of the little things that make your life better – or just easier. You and your spouse should both be trying to improve each other’s lives, and with it, the life you share together. A little gratitude goes a long way in encouraging each other to stay engaged in the relationship, and inspired to do the small stuff that makes a big impact on happiness.