A recent article in the Wall Street Journal asked an all-encompassing question: do you go out of your way to show your spouse you care? If you don’t, you probably should. “Why?” you may ask. Because experts say that a common cause of divorce is the feeling of being unappreciated by one’s spouse. This is often a problem that sneaks up on couples as they are often unprepared for the sadness and resentment that results from being ignored by their partner. However, there is good news. Studies show that demonstrating appreciation for your partner not only makes them feel better, but you feel better, too. According to experts, one of the best ways to show your spouse you really appreciate and care is to go out of your way to celebrate good things that happen to him or her. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals whose spouses were supportive when things were going right believed that their partner would also be helpful if things went wrong. Dr. Shelley Gable, co-author of the study, said that “just the perception that there would be support during bad times increased their emotional intimacy, trust, and marital satisfaction”.
Therapists advise couples to leverage positive experiences during good times by showing each other appreciation – capitalization, which is the enthusiastic celebration of a partner’s victories and accomplishments. Here is a list of therapist approved ways to ‘capitalize’ on your relationship
- Bring your partner their morning coffee to his/her bed
- Keep the kitchen stocked with his/her favorite snack
- Bring his/her car to be washed or filled with gasoline
- Have a special dinner waiting when he/she comes home from work
On special occasions
- The boss recognized your partner’s hard work. Brag about it to his/her family – when she is there to hear it
- The diet is working – treat him/her to the tastiest salad in town
Now let the capitalization begin!!