I am a total Words of Affirmation guy.

If you haven’t read The Five Love Languages, I highly recommend you find out your “love language” as well – and listen to my interview with Dr. Gary Chapman while you’re at it.

Well, I was recently reading a post from my friend Fawn at Happy Wives Club…yes, I’m a guy who reads articles on a women’s site, it’s a curse. 🙂

Anyway, her post really struck a chord with me, and she was gracious enough to let me share it with you here at Engaged Marriage.

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As you read it, please reflect on all the good and awesome things your spouse does for you every single day.  I know that my wife Bethany blesses me in ways that I don’t deserve, and I miss too many opportunities to simply say “thank you” to let her know how much it means to me.

Let’s read and reflect – and definitely head over to join the Happy Wives Club so you can stay inspired.


by Fawn of Happy Wives Club

Is it a sign of weakness to be grateful?  This may sound like a silly question but I wonder if it’s possible some people feel this way when considering the need to show gratitude toward their spouse.  Maybe it’s just that we feel so entitled to being treated well and cared for by our husband that we don’t feel gratitude is necessary.

Every time Keith buys something for me, whether something as small as frozen yogurt or a bottle of carrot juice, I always say, “thank you.”  And it’s not just empty words, I truly am grateful, and make sure to tell him such.  It wasn’t until recently that I noticed how often I say, “thank you” or “I’m grateful.”  I could easily conclude that buying me dinner, taking me to the movies, bringing home groceries and helping around the house are all expectancies in the give and take of marriage.  But since it costs me nothing to simply say, “thank you” or “I’m grateful,” I do it as often as possible.

I need to feel appreciated.  It’s invigorating to know my efforts, no matter how great or small, have been received by my husband with gratitude.  I imagine you feel the same way.  We’re a little more vocal in telling our spouse this is important to us.  Although they may not say it, men need to feel appreciated even more than we do.  They are simply wired that way.  They need to feel our gratitude and to know what they do each and every day does not go unnoticed.

“Thank you” is not a phrase that should be reserved for strangers serving us at restaurants or handing us our coffee at Starbucks.  Showing gratitude toward our spouse for even the smallest thing causes them to want to continue doing more.  It’s no wonder I am continuously saying thank you.  The more I show him how much I appreciate what he does for me, the more he is inclined to do. Of course, this should not be used as a manipulative tactic but rather come from a genuine place of gratefulness.

Wanting a pat on the back or recognition for a small gesture isn’t a sign of insecurity.  Just as expressing our gratitude to our spouse as we would to a stranger helping us with something is not a sign of weakness.  It simply means we recognize the relationship we have is special; more important than any other in the world, and we desire to nurture it each and every day.  Expressing gratitude for the little things is just another way of accomplishing that.

What has your husband done today that deserves a “thank you,” “I’m grateful,” or simply, “you’re the best”?  There’s something.

Just make the effort to figure out what it is and show him a little bit of gratitude.  I promise, it’ll go a long way.


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Thank you, Dustin, for sharing this with your readers. I love seeing the smile on my husband’s face when i say “thank you” for the little things. We all say thank you for the big things (I hope) but it’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that usually get overlooked (taking the trash out, making dinner, clearing the table and washing the dishes). It’s things we think our spouse “should” do that we sometimes forget deserve a thank you.

    On a side note, someone started a forum in our Happy Wives Club community a couples days ago about whether couples should have separate or joint business accounts and I see you just wrote on that topic so I’m going to snag the link and post it in our community for them to come read it :). Thanks again, Dustin!

  2. Dustin, I just voted for you to be in the Top 10 Marriage Blogs for 2011. I know you’re a shoo-in but I wanted you to know you got my vote! I’ve cast my vote for three sites and yours, mine and Alisa’s. Take care!

  3. Dustin, I read a number of women’s sites as well. They give amazing insight into my wife’s thought processes and provide quite a number of conversation starters. 😀

    It’s so easy to overlook the daily opportunities to thank your spouse for the things they do. I still find myself struggling at times. The best advice that I can give is to pick a single thing to pay attention to and try to verbally express your appreciation for that each day. Perhaps your spouse does the laundry, packs your lunch, picks up your clutter, opens the car door for you, cleans off the table after eating together… whatever they do, it’s so much easier to build the habit with a single action than trying to be more appreciative of “Everything”. Once the habit is in place, you can expand.

  4. During one of our “tough times,” my husband made it perfectly clear to me how important it is to him to feel appreciated. To help us through that time, we each had a list of 5 things posted on the fridge that we needed from the other person, in order of importance. Acceptance for who we are and appreciation for all that we are and do ranked very high for both of us.

    Today, the “thank you’s” flow freely from both of our mouths, not only for the one-time great things we do for each other but also for the everyday things like my making dinner and making lunches for him and the kids. While some days I wish he would show a little more appreciation, I know where he came from and am grateful for all the kind words that leave his lips, all the wonderful things he does and the beautiful person that he is.

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