“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, “thank you.”?”
~ William A. Ward
When is the last time you said a word of appreciation to your husband or boyfriend? It is hard to tell which comes first, his lack of appreciation for you or yours toward him. Rather than debate this, I suggest that you pump new life into your relationship by giving your man the gift of appreciation. I have chosen to make this article one-sided because I occasionally catch grief from other men who complain that I am always asking them to make the sacrifices in order to make their woman feel special. I still believe this and I believe appreciation should be a two-way street. I also believe that a man will do a lot more for the woman he loves if he is appreciated.
You see, when a woman is not happy, the man feels like a failure. When she is happy, he feels that he is successful. Men may give up in their efforts to make her happy if he doesn’t see results. A woman’s show of appreciation is his scorecard. So, ladies this is ultimately in your best interest to give your man one of his deepest longings, appreciation.
Dennis is frustrated that the vision for his marriage is out of sync with his wife, Nancy. She throws him “under the bus” every time they are around their family and friends. Everybody knows something is wrong. Dennis seems very unhappy. He is frequently ill and has nothing to look forward to. Nancy’s belittling of him has led to him feeling inadequate as a man. He pouts like a child and acts in a passive-aggressive manner. For instance, he seems to always “forget” her birthday, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. This is how he has learned to retaliate for her lack of appreciation. He dreads going home each day. Their marriage is in real trouble. Don’t let this happen to your relationship.
Here are some ways to let your man know how much you appreciate him:
1) Greet him with enthusiasm. Light your face and his with a smile. Be glad to see him.
2) Build him up in front of others. Refuse to say anything negative about him to anyone else. Look for opportunities to sing his praises to his friends and relatives as well as yours.
3) Tell him the things you admire and appreciate about him. Men love to hear how great they are. This also serves as positive reinforcement which in turn will promote an even better man. Point out how hardworking he is. Thank him for being thoughtful and patient, and a good listener. You will be surprised at how much better he will become.
4) Be playful. Draw out his fun side. Once couples get established in the relationship, they tend to forget how playful and goofy they can be. Being playful will keep you young.
5) Ease up on the guilt trips. Women typically hate to ask for the things they want or need. Instead, they complain about what the man doesn’t do. Men interpret this as, “No matter what I do, it is never good enough.” Don’t make him feel obligated through guilt provoking statements. Learn to make direct requests such as, “Will you take out the trash?” instead of, “You never take out the trash!”
6) Make a big to-do when he achieves something. Fix him his favorite meal or a special dessert. Put the children to bed early and break out the candles. Use your imagination. The bigger the better.
7) Tell him how much you love him. Not with a card. Most men are not into receiving cards. Tell him face to face. A sincere statement can penetrate the toughest of hearts.
8) Thank him for providing for you and your children. I know he is supposed to do this, but a wise woman will never take this for granted. Men equate long hours of hard work to a show of love. Receive this with a thank you.
9) Thank him for supporting your career pursuits. Behind every great man is a supportive woman. The reverse is also true.
10) If you want to see a huge difference in your man, listen to him. Listen to his goals, his dreams and his frustrations. Give him a chance to talk without correcting him or getting defensive. Let him vent without taking it personally. A man will give his right arm for this one.
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” ~ Nigerian Proverb
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William A. Ward
Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. Mark Webb is also the author of How To Be A Great Partner and founder of Partner Focused Relationships™. Sign up for Mark Webb’s “Relationship Strategies” Ezine ($100 Value). Just visit his website at http://www.powerfulrelationshipadvice.com or http://www.therelationshipspecialist.com