Gratitude is to marriage as oil is to an engine

Lisa Ryan's photo of a wedding couple holding hands“Gratitude is to marriage as oil is to an engine. It needs to be applied liberally and throughout and is of such importance, that a fresh supply must be added regularly to ensure success and longevity.” Matthew Smith

Remember when you started dating your spouse/significant other?  Those were the times when everything he or she did made you smile.  You were thrilled when the phone rang, ecstatic when you heard the doorbell announcing his or her arrival, euphoric to receive a kiss.  You felt “butterflies” whenever your loved one was around. Life was good.

Over time, your relationship became comfortable. You still have the same feelings for your loved one but you don’t feel the need to go out of your way like you used to. Maybe you stop doing the little things you used to do because your partner also stopped the surprises that added variety and spice to your relationship.  What do you do now that the butterflies are flying in formation?

Add gratitude. Look for specific reasons to thank your spouse. Did you come home from a hard day at work and find dinner waiting for you? Say “Thank you.” You may be thinking, “But Lisa, my spouse makes dinner for me all the time. Are you saying I have to be thankful every single time?” The simple answer is, “Yes.”

As you continue to express your gratefulness, chances are good that you will also start to be the recipient of your partner’s appreciation. It’s a virtuous cycle that will keep your relationship going strong and growing for many years to come.

Have fun,


How about putting a note in their lunch bag or leaving one on the front seat of their car? How about meeting them at the door when they come home with a big smile, a hug, and kiss? It’s the little things that count BIG.

Check out the Relationships Chapter in “The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude”




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