Marriage, and improving MY marriage has been on my mind a lot lately. After a rough patch that lasted over a year, my marriage is finally on track again. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the three things I have been doing to help us be better together again. It’s still not easy, but its definitely easier than constant fighting and bad feelings towards each other. When I decided that it was time to focus on improving my marriage and working to keep my family together, I spent some time thinking about what marriage really is.
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Marriage is all about team work. It’s the ultimate team. Two people doing things for each other to achieve a common goal. This goal can be as simple as providing food for the family or making sure the mortgage is paid. One spouse might be the one going to work each day while the other is mainly the one who shops and pays the bills. Every single day we are doing things for each other, for our families.
A few weeks before writing this post, I wrote about how I have been working to improve our marriage and the three things I did to make our marriage stronger again. I probably could have written just one post on marriage, with the topic of this post being the fourth thing I did. But I felt strongly that it deserved a post of it’s own. Remembering to appreciate my husband with my words, actions, and even my unspoken thoughts has had the biggest impact on my marriage.
Appreciating My Husband
Through the process of trying to save my marriage and feel closer to my husband again, I was reminded about how much my husband does for our family. It’s truly amazing that he provides as well as he does for our little family. I have never worked outside the home for one day of our sons’ lives. He sustains us with everything we need and a lot of the stuff we want. I have always assumed he knows I am grateful for his hard work that allows me to be at home with our little ones. I show my thanks through my actions (ie cooking dinner, doing laundry, picking up after him). But I never really THANKED him for his hard work.
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In addition to not giving him verbal gratitude, through these hard years I have stopped FEELING appreciation. It’s like we were both still doing our parts without remembering the love that brought us together and made us want this life together. I was more focused on his part. Him not saying thank you when I had dinner on the table when he came home from work. Or I would think he takes for granted how much time I spend on laundry when he unfolds half his clothes while getting ready for the day.
I realized I have to take responsibility for my own lack of appreciation for him. Not just telling him out loud or showing him with my actions. I needed to actually FEEL appreciation for what he does for me each day.
It feels like magic
It must be some sort of magic or something. When I started to think a few times through my day how lucky am I to have this man working so hard for me, I noticed he started being more appreciative as well. It’s not always a spoken thing. He has been more open about saying he appreciates things I do for him, but it’s also a bond between us that I know we both feel. We do things for each other and for our kids all day long. In any situation, it’s hard to put in the work if you aren’t sure if your actions are appreciated.
The more I think about how much I appreciate everything he does for our family, the more appreciated I feel for what I do as well. Not just from my husband, but as my family as a whole. The daily life of a stay at home mom can be pretty mundane. It’s the same thing everyday and it’s usually not very glamorous. But knowing I am contributing to my family in a way only I can helps it be more enjoyable.
I feel more appreciated for everything I do, not only from my husband but my kids too. They are still little, 5 and 3 this year, but when my husband and I started being more open about our appreciation for each other, my little boys started showing more appreciation too. Even if it’s just a “thanks mom” from my toddler when I give him apple slices or a kiss on the cheek from my preschooler when I tell him he can have a treat. It feels good to feel these little acts of appreciation from my kids.
Even through the hard times, I won’t ever let my appreciation for my husband slip ever again. As a family, we depend on him so much every day and he never complains. I even think he finds joy on the days he’d rather be golfing than be at work because he knows its for us and he knows he is appreciated.