Updated: Dec 22, 2020
At times appreciation comes naturally. When you are hungry and someone feeds you, when someone does you a favour, in these moments, appreciation happens spontaneously. But most of the time we fail to appreciate. If you cultivate appreciation for your partner then both of you will benefit. The more you notice the many ways your partner contributes to your life, the more satisfied you will feel in your relationship. Ands the more your partner feel appreciated the more he/she is likely to turn to you with warmth and kindness.
Following are a few exercises I suggest to my patients to cultivate appreciation of their partner:
Each day notice (at least) three things you appreciate of your partner. They don’t have to be big things. It might be the way he/she smiles, or the way he/she describe things, or the warmth of his/her body beside you. It might be the way he/she walks or the kiss he/she gives you on the cheek or the sound of his/her laughter.
Contemplate what your partner adds to your life. If you are stuck for ideas, consider these questions: If my partner were in his deathbed, what would I tell him I appreciate most about him? If my partner died what would I find hardest about living alone? Each day notice (at least) three ways in which your partner contributes to your life. Again they don’t have to be big things. It might be the simple fact that she goes to work to earn money to pay for some of the things you enjoy having. Or the simple pleasure of having someone to talk to over dinner. Or the feeling of added security you have when you are not alone
Think back to when you first met your partner, what personal qualities and strengths did he/she have? What did he/she say or do to made him/her attractive? In all likelihood, those strengths and qualities are still there today, you are just not noticing them anymore. Each day notice (at least) three things your partner says or does that are representative of his/her personal qualities.
At the end of each days write down in your journal whatever you have noticed in these exercise.
How will he/she know you appreciate him/her? Stay tuned.