In long-term relationships or marriage, it’s very easy to end up taking each other for granted. People tend to see the efforts their partner is putting into the connection as something they are obliged to do. That decreases the gratitude in the relationship. Gratitude is key in relationship maintenance behaviours and should be demonstrated by both partners.
According to a study titled, ‘The Function of Gratitude in Marriage: Building Ties That Bind’ by Brigham Young University, people without gratitude for their partners can act as a “weak link” in the relationship, contributing to the decline of marital satisfaction.
While deep down, we may be thankful for our partners, it’s also important to consciously feel it and express it. Here’s why the expression of gratitude is very important in relationships.
It strengthens your commitment
Feeling gratitude for your partner means knowing how precious they are to you. It means appreciating their presence in your life and doing everything you can (especially when the going gets tough) to keep the relationship healthy and alive.
It increases mutual appreciation
Don’t you love it when you put a lot of effort into a project and your manager goes on to appreciate your hard work? How do you feel when a manager is completely oblivious to what you bring to the table? You don’t feel motivated to keep doing your best and then one fine day, you give up and do just the bare minimum. You don’t want this from your relationship. This is why, it’s important to practise gratitude as it promotes mutual appreciation, which in turn ensures the efforts keep coming in.
Makes you more responsive to each other’s needs
We are more likely to get defensive and tune out of each other’s needs when we don’t value our partners. But a partner who loves you and is thankful to have you will always care enough to take your needs into account.
It helps resolve conflicts
Just simply expressing gratitude to each other irons out the little creases in your relationship. Everyone needs to know that when in a fight, their partner still loves them and appreciates them. It can get difficult in that moment as sometimes we end up saying hurtful things when we are angry. According to the same study, “The emotions that come with expressions of gratitude enable positive change by motivating individuals to broaden their thought processes and actions toward more uplifting directions that lead to healthier functioning and emotional well-being.” This means you will be more motivated to make peace.
Brings you happiness
When you’re grateful for having a high-value partner who treats you well and who loves you deeply, you just glow differently. You’re full of love, life and happiness. And knowing what you have is special contributes greatly to it.
Redefining 'happily ever after'.
It allows you unwind after the wedding and enjoy a better and longer trip later!