This is the time of year when many of us are thinking a lot about gratitude. We gather together with family and friends and we give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. Do you include your partner among that which you are grateful?
It's not always easy to feel genuine appreciation for your mate. After all, he might leave the toilet seat up. She may nag at you to fix the leaky faucet. He could habitually leave out key details of his day. She could make decisions for you. 4 Ways to Turn Your Ho-Hum Relationship into Phenomenal
We all have personality quirks and habits. Some of these are endearing and easy to love while others are downright irritating, sometimes even repulsive or upsetting. What tends to happen in a love relationship or marriage is that, initially, we mainly see the aspects in the other person that we find attractive, alluring, funny and charming.
Over time, those endearing aspects can become tiresome. The very things that initially drew us to the other person may start to feel unbearable. This isn't the way it has to be. In fact, the more genuine gratitude you can cultivate for your partner, the happier you will be, individually and as a couple. 6 Tips For A More Compassionate Relationship
You cannot force yourself to appreciate your partner. You can't put a fake smile on your face and tell him or her that you are grateful when that's not how you truly feel. What you can do is to acknowledge how you feel, what you want, and encourage yourself to open up to feeling gratitude.
Be A "Good-Finder"
If we asked you to list off your partner's most annoying habits, we bet that you'd pretty quickly be able to rattle off a decent-sized list. If we asked you to come up with some positive attributes of your partner, you may or may not be able to come up with examples as rapidly.
Invite yourself to be a "good-finder" with your partner. This means that you intentionally look for the things about your mate that you can genuinely feel appreciative of. This could take some practice on your part. It's kind of like when you've worked for hours to bake a gourmet cake from scratch. It smells great and tastes delicious, but one edge of the cake's icing is clumped up. All you can see is the clumped icing when you serve this cake to your friends. For you, it overshadows the entire cake. Are You Feeling Appreciated In Your Relationship?
If you have a tendency to pick out the one thing that annoys you about your mate, you might be fixated on his or her "clumps" and missing so much more about this person you love. Remind yourself to expand your view of your partner and to find some things that you can be grateful for.
This "good-finding" doesn't work if you're not real about it. Roots and Wings: Maximize Similarities & Appreciate Differences
We're not suggesting that you ignore it when your partner lies to you, yells at you, or says or does things that you find upsetting. Please, treat yourself with respect by being honest about the relationship changes you'd like to have happen.