A few months after our son was born, my husband and I hit a very rough spot in our marriage. We had been married 3.5 years at the time, and I was often not sure our marriage would survive. Besides going to marriage counseling, we did something else that strengthened our marriage.
I was impressed with Oprah’s idea of a Gratitude Journal. Thinking of that, I suggested to my husband that we should come up with three things we are grateful for in one another every day.
In the beginning, when neither of us was feeling particularly loving and there was a great abyss between us, coming up with three grateful things at the end of the day was a mighty struggle. It might be something like, “I appreciate that you unloaded the dishwasher” or “I appreciate that you turned off the showerhead so it didn’t drip on me when I got in the shower.” Yet, night by night, as we expressed our gratitude to one another, our relationship slowly started to heal.
For the last 6.5 years, we have come up with three grateful things every night. Sometimes still we have items like, “I appreciate that you cleaned the kitty litter.” At first it may seem trivial to thank one another for those little chores, but over time we both came to realize that both doing the chores and acknowledging our gratitude is yet another way to take care of, to love, one another.