A four-year research study found that gratitude contributes to a mutual process of relationship maintenance, in which each partner’s maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other partner’s behaviors, perceptions, and feelings. In other words when a spouse felt gratitude towards the other, and they expressed that gratitude in some external way, this outward expression produced and influenced the other spouse’s feelings and behaviors of gratitude. This process between the two spouses was like a continuous feedback loop because gratitude motivates partners to engage in relationship maintenance.
Feeling gratitude without expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
After reading this article, I started thinking about my relationship with my husband. I examined my acts of gratitude and relationship maintenance. I believe I am consistent and sincere when I express how much I appreciate him and everything he does for me. I am conscious of my behavior simply because my husband constantly shows me gratitude and I want to do the same to him. Actually he is good at showing everyone (who deserves it) gratitude. Anyone that knows him will attest to that. Based on this research, I’m sure that I conscientiously show him gratitude in many ways, because it is a natural response to his gratuitous behavior towards me.
So, the next time someone does something nice for you, don’t forget express your gratitude…it’s as easy as saying Thank You!