We all have things about our spouse we don’t like. Things like…
- How they leave their shoes lying around.
- How they make noise when they eat.
- How they tend to procrastinate.
- How they go off on rants.
- How they always/never want sex.
- How they’re too tight/loose with money.
- How they’re too introverted/extroverted.
- How they drive.
- How they crunch on the ice in their drink. (My wife’s personal favorite)
We all have our own list, and we just keep adding to our list as time goes on.
MORE DIFFICULT TO BE THANKFUL
It’s easy to see the things we don’t like about our spouse, but developing a thankful attitude doesn’t come as easily. Sure, there are some people who seem to be naturally thankful, but most of us have to learn to develop a thankful attitude.
DEVELOPING A THANKFUL ATTITUDE
Because developing a thankful attitude doesn’t always come easy, here are three steps you can take to develop a thankful attitude toward your spouse:
People tend to find what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for the things you don’t like, you’re sure to find them. So if you want to develop a thankful attitude in marriage, you have to train yourself to look for things for which to be thankful.
I encourage you to keep a small, pocket-sized notebook with you. Then, once or twice a day, think of something you’re thankful for about your spouse and write it down. It could be things like:
- They are a good provider.
- They are a good parent.
- They take good care of our home.
- They always keep the grass mowed.
- They have a good sense of humor.
- They keep me organized.
- They love me.
- They are faithful.
Some of the things you come up with may seem like you’re grasping for straws. But noting even the smallest of things will prime the pump of thankfulness and help you see more and more things to be thankful for.
Make it a daily habit to find things to be thankful for.
Training yourself to find things to be thankful for is just the first step. Next, you have to train yourself to stay focused on those things. After acknowledging something your thankful for, it’s easy to then quickly turn back to complaining.
I call it “yes/butting,” and it sounds something like this…“Yes, my spouse is good with the kids, but they never want to spend time with me.” Do you see how quickly “yes/butting” squelches the thankfulness?
When you find something you’re thankful for, then stay focused on that throughout the day. Don’t get side-tracked.
Finally, once you’ve begun a list of things you’re thankful for about your spouse, then continue to feed that list with new things each day. You may think that it will be a very short list, but you’ll be surprised. Once you begin to train yourself to find things to be thankful for, your list will grow and your attitude will change.
A FINAL WORD…
Now, I’m not naïve. I know that this will not make all your problems go away. Those problems will still be there. But at least the problems will be balanced with some better things. And since you probably don’t need any help spotting the problems, you should spend more time finding things to be thankful for.
So, keep your eyes and heart open for things to be thankful for, and happy hunting!