Appreciate Your Spouse

Welcome to our first post in this 26 week series, written by my husband Matt and me. We’re excited to be working together on this and in case I haven’t mentioned it lately – my husband is awesome.  ;)

Appreciate Each Other

Show and Tell – Matt’s thoughts

In grade school Show and Tell was when the boys brought cool toys from home and told us about them. I could hardly wait for recess to play with them.  The girls brought items that I thought were silly and boring. Obviously, there were differing perspectives involving Show and Tell.

In marriage we need to show and tell our spouse of our appreciation. This isn’t necessarily what I would appreciate my spouse to do for me. We need to crawl into the mind of our beloved by asking, “What could I do for my sweetie that would make him/her feel loved?”  If I’m unsure then I need to ask my spouse how he/she would like for me to show and tell my appreciation.

If we aren’t doing this, we take for granted the roles that our spouse plays and the holes that our spouse fills in our life.

We all know Laura enjoys cooking.  Bonus for me – she is good at it. Amazingly efficient too. I, on the other hand, measure everything out precisely and find it challenging to prepare more than one item at a time. I sure appreciated Laura’s work and proficiency in the kitchen…meal after meal. How did she know I appreciated it? That’s where I needed to show and tell. Eventually, I learned that she enjoys cooking even more when I express my gratitude for her work and help with the clean-up. She really feels loved and appreciated when I say, “Thanks! That was great,” and then I hop up and start rinsing dishes and/or get our boys going on their clean-up chores. In a healthy marriage, the husband and the wife both seek out ways they can show and tell their appreciation often.

When we practice this, we empower our spouse to continue doing the action or having the attitude that we praised them for.  In our case, neither of us enjoy doing our taxes, but Laura thanks me profusely for taking care of that. My motivation for doing our taxes comes directly from her words of appreciation. When I’ve finished I can’t wait to tell her and receive some appreciation.

How Could You Not Appreciate Seeing My New Stuffed Pink Bunny During Show and Tell? – Laura’s Thoughts

You know why I feel appreciated by Matt? Because he’s intentional about showing and telling me what he appreciates. Appreciation doesn’t just happen. I’m not sure any element of a healthy marriage just happens without being intentional. Showing and telling our appreciation takes thought and work – which means we often need to do things we don’t necessarily love doing. What, you think Matt really just loves rinsing dishes? C’mon. But he does the job cheerfully, because he loves and appreciates me. And boy do I appreciate the way he appreciates me.  After all, we have a lot of dirty dishes at our house. ;)

Now regarding grade school Show and Tell and the adorable toys I would bring to bore the boys – here’s something else I think we need to appreciate:

God made men and women different – on purpose. Instead of scoffing at our differences, I believe we need to appreciate how God created us to complement one another’s strengths and weaknesses.  Then, we need to show and tell our spouse how we appreciate that they are different from us.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that Matt can handle doing the taxes when I’d never make it through the first line of instructions without my eyes glazing over. Yep, God knew what He was doing when He made us with differences. 

And now, I believe I will go show my appreciation to Matt by making one of his favorite meals. Which he will then show me his appreciation by rinsing the dishes I dirtied. Ah, the appreciation never stops around here. :) 

What are some ways you can show and tell your spouse you appreciate him/her?

Ladies, we know you’re reading here more often than the guys. ;)  We’d love husbands to read this article as well. Please send the link to your husbands, or if it’s easier, we’ve created a downloadable article for you to quickly print off and share. Print Healthy Marriage Tips A to Z – Appreciate.

Comments

  1. Cari Walters says

    Wonderful post!! People really need to read more things like this and learn how awesome their lives could be if they just appreciated their spouse!! Im guessing one of your love languages is words of affirmation! I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!! :)

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  2. Julie in Houston says

    Although I’m not married-i try to show my man appreciation for him by simply telling him. I try to remove the distractions and look into his eyes and tell him the specifics. I also try to do extra things for him that let him know. Great post! I love your site!

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  3. says

    I love this post, and I am so excited about this series! I think every marriage needs to constantly be learning how they can better love/appreciate their spouse. I’ve only been married for 4 years, but my husband and I have learned so much during that time.

    We have learned to never settle or be content with our relationship. We have learned to always strive to make our relationship better by reading books, taking marriage enrichment classes, reading post like this…. ;) Thanks for the reminder and encouragement! :)

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    Laura Reply:

    Great to hear that both of you are being intentional about your marriage relationship. – Matt & Laura

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  4. says

    I can’t wait to share this with my husband. It is simple and not a long read, but very powerful and thought provoking!! Right up our alley.

    So thanks! Excited to see how this series blesses our marriage.

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  5. says

    My hubby has a lot of hobbies that I don’t necessarily share a love for. I, do however, love spending time with him….so I share in the hobbies. Just being with him makes the hobbies tolerable. I know he likes it when I am doing something he knows isn’t my favorite thing to do for him.

    Not a hobby, but for an example, last night he was fixing our riding lawnmower. I went out and asked him if he needed any help. Nothing big, but I know he likes it if I do nothing more than sit out there and chat with him while he’s working. I think I went and got him one tool…such a simple act, but I know it made him feel important.

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  6. Rebecca says

    You should read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It is a fantastic book, easy to read that talks about the importance of learning how your spouse needs to be loved. Words of appreciation are good, but if your spouse needs to be loved with acts of service, those words are not as effective. It really helped both my husb and I to see that our partner needed to be shown our love in different ways than we prefer to receive love. It has made a huge difference.

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    Laura Reply:

    I’ve read it and Laura and I have had beneficial discussion about it. It has helped me “crawl into Laura’s mind.” – Matt

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  7. Samantha says

    My husband does work on cars along with his full time job because it’s something he enjoys. I on the other hand, don’t. But I love him so I go help sometimes, or I bring him a snack and big glass of sweet tea and sit with him while he explains his tasks at hand. He does the same thing for me though. I do the yard work and gardening, but he will mow for me if it’d really hot outside or I just look “cute” (as he calls me) in my garden =]

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  8. Lois says

    My husband did something for me the other day that I so appreciated. My daughter and I were gone for a few days, and he stayed home from work to keep our son company. They cleaned out the fridge! My goodness, I hate that task. So, after I thanked him profusely what did I do but criticize him for forgetting to water the garden? The things I’d asked them to do they forgot, but they did something not on the list. So, 3 days without water in 100+ Texas heat, husband is frantically trying to doctor our garden back to health. I felt bad, I didn’t yell at him, all I asked was, “Did you remember to water the garden?” Somehow it sounded like criticism. But I love my man.

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