Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s think about how to show your partner you appreciate them

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, which has always struck me as rather sad. It’s a great opportunity to think about how to show your partner you appreciate them.

I know Thanksgiving has a complicated history (it’s good to see awareness of the impact of colonisation finally starting to build around the world) and big family occasions can bring up a lot of difficult feelings, especially in a year like this.

It has, though, been a year when many of us have been feeling more gratitude than ever, often for little things we used to take for granted.

Expressing that gratitude out loud and often is one of the secrets to getting on well with your partner.

Gratitude And Your Relationship

One of the best ways to get the relationship you want is to build on the bits that are already good about it.

As G K Chesterton puts it,

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

Gratitude is a massive motivator, so if you want to see more of something, it helps to express your appreciation when you see even a tiny hint of it.

You can practise gratitude and build a culture of appreciation by making a conscious effort every day to notice the things you love and value in your partner.

This is especially important if things haven’t been going great between you lately.

Research has found that we need a 5:1 ratio of positive:negative interactions to keep our relationships out of the danger zone.

That’s right – you need to say five nice things to your partner for every one irritable or critical thing that slips out.

What would you say your ratio of positive:negative interactions has been like lately?

It’s actually pretty basic, but it can easily fall by the wayside over the years: We need to hear nice things from each other!

For bonus points, mention the things you appreciate about your partner to other people too, in front of your partner. Nothing makes a person feel more appreciated than hearing their partner show off about how great they are. (Do this for your kids too, and watch how much they enjoy it.)

How To Show Your Partner You Appreciate Them

Here are some ideas of ways you can show your partner how much you appreciate them:

  • Say thank you for something out of the ordinary that your partner did lately
  • Thank your partner for something they do all the time but you rarely acknowledge (any more)
  • Mention things about their personality that you value or find attractive
  • Start a routine of going around the dinner table each saying one thing you’re grateful for that day
  • Include something you’re grateful for about your spouse each time you journal
  • Write your partner a note listing things you’re appreciate about them
  • Do your partner a favour and when they notice, tell them it was an expression of gratitude
  • Plan a date based on what you imagine they might like to do with an afternoon or evening
  • Text them a little thank you for being so great
  • Buy them flowers (men as well as women!)
  • Ask them what they would like you to cook for a special dinner just for you two
  • Tell them how grateful you are that you get to wake up next to them each day
  • Help them with a job you know they hate, or even take it over entirely
  • Hide a little note somewhere they’ll be surprised to find it
  • Tell your partner how lucky you feel to have them in your life

Everyday habits that show your partner you appreciate them

And remember too that all of these everyday habits will help to show your partner that you’re thankful for them:

  • Greet them with a kiss and a hug
  • Say please and thank you
  • Ask how their day was – every day
  • Put your phone down and listen attentively
  • Tell them you’re proud of them
  • Offer them a drink too when you’re making one
  • Laugh at their jokes
  • Hold hands
  • Tell the kids how great their mum or dad is
  • Encourage them
  • Show an interest in their interests
  • Acknowledge how hard they work
  • Treat their ideas with respect
  • Give them the benefit of the doubt
  • Accept their compliments with grace (say thank you, and let yourself believe it)
  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Smile!

How to show your partner you appreciate them? Keep working on this stuff every day

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if it’s something you celebrate.

We’ll be going round our table talking about what we’re grateful for here. And I’ll be keeping an eye as always on that positive:negative interaction ratio.

Because even when you know all the theory, a great relationship doesn’t just happen. I have to hold myself accountable to keeping practising these good habits every day too.

Making that commitment is the best way to show your partner you appreciate them.

Get In Touch

If you would like to join my waiting list for counselling (on your own or with a partner), or book a relationships after kids coaching call, you can contact me here, or hit reply if you’re reading this on email.

You can sign up for Love In Lockdown here, and download the Back In The Sack Workbook here.