What is the best way to show your spouse appreciation?

TRANSCRIPT

[Brent]
Welcome to the Intentional Family Moment. Take a moment with us as we discuss our thoughts on your family questions, then join us in our weekly challenge as we work together to be more intentional in our families.
This is episode 6 hosted by married Coriaria founders Brent and Michelle. This episode is brought to you by Everflect – your free couple’s council app. Learn more at www.everflect.com.
[Michelle]
Today’s question is: What is the best way to show your spouse appreciation?
I really like this question because it means that the person asking this question appreciates their spouse. They recognize that they appreciate their spouse. They want to learn how to better communicate it to their spouse. It’s a great foundation to start with in the first place.
[Brent]
Absolutely. One of the best things that we can do is to catch our spouse doing good things. That’s a skill that works well with parenting. Frequently as parents, and for many people with spouses, they might be inclined to see the negative things that their child or spouse are doing. With children, we are attuned to saying “Don’t touch that, don’t do that, get off that chair,” and those types of things. When we focus on catching our spouse or children doing good things, that’s a really great way to have the right attitude towards them as people and as human beings.
[Michelle]
So, expressing appreciation right away, in the moment?
[Brent]
Yes. When we catch our spouse or children doing good things, and we recognize that during the moment, that’s a great way to start showing appreciation. Expressing that verbally would be a great way to start.
[Michelle]
This question is kind of general, but it needs to be specific to your spouse. What’s their love language? How do they understand appreciation? We all come from different family cultures and different personality preferences. Making sure that your spouse feels appreciated and loved in the way that they receive that communication is important.
[Brent]
What are some of the best ways to learn about love languages?
[Michelle]
There’s a lot from Gary Chapman. He coined that phrase. Getting to know your spouse in the first place. You can’t express appreciation without getting to know that about them. A good place to start is to express appreciation to them in all the different varieties. Whether that’s verbally or in a written note, or doing service to show appreciation. For example, when someone makes dinner you can show appreciation by cleaning up after. That’s a way you can show appreciation that is not verbal or a formal “thank you” for doing something.
[Brent]
Right. You can round that out with the other love languages that Gary Chapman talks about. You talked about words of affirmation and acts of service. Giving a gift is another option. A variety of physical touch, like giving them a hug as you say “thank you”. Or quality time with that person. A lot of those are going to depend on the circumstance. I don’t know exactly how one would work quality time in with saying “thank you” for dinner. I’m sure there are ways to do it. There are a lot of ways to approach trying out different things and seeing what works. Then, ask your spouse about it.
The most important thing is to develop and cultivate within your relationship that it’s okay to talk about the mechanics of your relationship. It’s okay to say “What’s the best way for me to express appreciation for when you make dinner?” That might sound stilted, but it actually goes a really long way to establish good communication patterns and deepening your relationship.
[Michelle]
That’s something we talk about a lot. It’s important to not assume but to ask and to do things of your own choice: to express gratitude, but also to be blunt about it. “How can I show that I appreciate that you made dinner? What would mean the most to you?” It doesn’t mean less because you ask, it helps you get to know each other. That’s important.
[Brent]
Absolutely. The fear that it means less because you ask is a natural tendency for a lot of people. When you take a step back and think about it, it’s not very constructive when you expect someone to respond a certain way to something you do without actually talking about it, it creates a lot of room for confusion and resentment. When you take a moment to talk about it and say, “What is the best way for me to express appreciation for you, right now or in these types of circumstances?” and then do something about that.
The way that you express your appreciation can change over time. You don’t have to have this conversation once and then it’s done. I’m not an expert, but I would be surprised if most people don’t appreciate all of the different love languages in different ways at different times, and maybe have a preference for one in particular.
[Michelle]
I like a little bit of variety in how that goes, we call it “20% of everything.” Another point to note is that you need to take away the expectation that might come attached to that. If I express appreciation to you by saying “Thank you” and then cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, I need to make sure that I am doing it sincerely and without any strings attached. I don’t expect you to thank me for that appreciation. While that would be nice, it’s not why I’m doing it. I’m not doing it to prove something, I’m doing it to be sincere and genuinely appreciative of the things you do for me.
[Brent]
As far as challenges are concerned, what challenges do you think would be meaningful for our listeners and for us?
[Michelle]
There are two sides to it. We could take the time to ask our spouse what ways we could express appreciation to them this week. To go above and beyond that would be to express appreciation in all five love languages?
[Brent]
So, what’s a way I can express appreciation to you this week?
[Michelle]
You can edit this podcast and get it posted for me.
[Brent]
Okay! That’s our challenge this week: Ask your spouse how you can better express appreciation this week. We’ll have a link to the love languages Gary Chapman has talked about in the show notes so that you can learn up on that more. If you’re feeling really excited about it, then try to express appreciation to your spouse in all the different love languages this week. Then, let us know how it goes.
Thank you for joining us, now go home and change the world by being more intentional with your family.

Challenge: Ask your spouse how you can better express appreciation.

For ideas on expressing appreciation through love languages, check out this blog post.

If you have a question you would like us to discuss in a future episode, submit them here.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The Love Languages of Appreciation (How To Tell Your Spouse Thank You) - Coriaria

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