– by Paul Nyamuda

It has been found that the state of appreciating is one of the highest and most fulfilling emotional states possible. It’s one thing to just say thank you, it’s another to communicate heartfelt appreciation. You can show appreciation verbally: “Thank you so much for taking the time out to make my favourite meal.” You can show appreciation through an act of service. “My Love let me take the kids to school today, you always do it and I think you need a break.” You can show appreciation through a gift. “I just wanted to give you this voucher for a massage; you’ve worked tirelessly this week and you need a bit of a treat.” You can write a heart-felt note on a card. 

What are we to appreciate our spouses for? What are the categories of appreciation?
You appreciate them for their deeds. “Thanks for filling my car up today.” You appreciate them for their abilities. “Thanks so much for your wise counsel. I would have made a big mistake if I had not asked you. I really appreciate your wisdom.” You appreciate them for their personality: “I was so relieved when you arrived because your bubbly personality and extraverted nature was what people needed. It took the pressure of me; thanks.”

How should we express appreciation?
Do it with passion. There is a difference between: “Thanks for the meal”, and “Thanks so much for the curry it was so delicious!”, whilst giving them an appreciative kiss. Be specific. “I really appreciated the way you hosted everyone today. Your sense of humour really kept things light-hearted.” Acknowledge the impact of their action or behaviour on yourself. “Thanks for joining me for my work function. I felt much more relaxed than usual just having you there next to me.” Try to be timeous about it. Don’t thank your spouse for the lovely meal the following day. Try to thank your spouse three times for something; when they promise to give it; while you are enjoying the experience; and after the experience. For example, “My Love, please may you get some grocery items from the shops on your way back home.” “Yes, sure” “Thanks so much. Here’s the list.” During the activity, “Thanks for taking the time out to do this, I know you are tired.” When the deed is done; “Thanks for all these lovely goodies!” 

Acknowledge the sacrifice that might have been made
You appreciate them for going the extra mile. You appreciate them for taking initiative when it was not their duty or responsibility. “Thanks so much for coming to the doctor with me today. I know that you are under a lot of pressure at work.” Acknowledge their current pressure or physical condition. “I really appreciate your help with this assignment that I am struggling with, particularly as you are not feeling well yourself.” Try to use specific times for appreciation such as dinner time when everyone is seated around the table. It’s important to show others what you appreciate about your spouse. This deepens their sense of security. Gratitude lists. Each time you start to feel critical and ugly thoughts toward your spouse, write down a gratitude list that highlights 5 things you are grateful for about in her. You get what you appreciate.


JOY! Magazine (October 2017)

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