Can I let you in on a secret?
The power of gratitude can change your life and marriage relationship trajectory.
In this Thanksgiving season, you might struggle to express thankfulness, especially when discovering your partner’s propensity to visit secret places online. Gratitude doesn’t minimize the pain you feel or the reality of this damage to your relationship. It’s not ignoring the issues and the work needed to recover from the fallout of your discovery of his porn use. Not. At. All.
It’s easy to see the problems and gaps in your relationship. Every marriage has them, even without the discovery of his porn use. You do need to work through these issues to grow and strengthen your marriage relationship. Each time you do this, you mature, he matures, and the relationship deepens.
But this Thanksgiving week, I encourage you to train your brain to look for and recognize the small daily wins that ignite your gratitude.
How can capturing small wins enhance the power of gratitude in your marriage relationship as it’s healing?
1. Focus on the present.
Spending time looking back with regret, shame, embarrassment, or longing does nothing to heal your marriage relationship. Acknowledge what happened and grieve the loss of your expectations and early dreams, but don’t get stuck there.
Today is a gift. Therefore, you can find something positive. An easy way to capture these small wins is with your journal. Schedule a time every day to write three things you noticed on that day for which you are grateful. When you add this simple practice, suddenly, you see more small things.
I learned this practice from one of my coaches after she encouraged me to read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.
Capturing the thankful moments in each day helps anchor you in the present. These small wins train your mind on what is good, true, honorable, and more.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
Check your face.
Sometimes, you feel grateful, happy, or excited, but your face doesn’t show it. One day, I felt so relieved after working through a complicated project. I took a moment to make myself a cup of tea in the breakroom. A coworker walked in and asked me if everything was okay. Surprised, I mentioned my joy at finishing this major project. “You might want to inform your face,” she commented. Whoa. I quickly looked in a nearby window to see what she saw—tense, furrowed brows.
Life might be a struggle today, but capturing those grateful moments allows you to smile more. Or at least, let your face relax into a more pleasing expression.
What happens when a person smiles at you? What do you do? Each time you find a moment of thankfulness, you feel lighter. Your circumstances may not change, but your heart and mind do. When you allow your face to show this lightness by smiling, you might encourage another person without saying a word.
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. Proverbs 15:13
Invite your partner into a deeper relationship.
There’s sweet power when you allow words of gratitude to invite your partner into a healthy, deep relationship. Did your husband tell you about his recent struggle and how he reached out to his accountability partner to work through the trigger instead of looking at porn? Tell him how thankful you are for his honest step forward. This is huge! Rather than focusing on the trigger, celebrate his positive progress. Healing usually happens one step at a time.
Your husband leaves for a trip and promises not to use the internet in his hotel room or access the television. However, you trigger on his travel because he’s told you about his past struggles with porn when on the road. When he calls you from the hotel and shows you how he’s keeping this promise, thank him. Tell him how much keeping this promise means to you and how much you appreciate him. Nothing builds a person up like expressed honor, respect, and gratitude.
After a long day, your husband sees how tired you are and cleans up the kitchen after dinner. Tell him what that means to you, whether he did it exactly how you want it done or not. He’s showing his appreciation for you.
Acknowledging the little things heals and strengthens your relationship, trust, and friendship. Do it often with a sincere smile.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:9-10
Being grateful can be the secret to powerful healing in your relationship.
Gratitude changes your outlook and thoughts. Expressing thankfulness even when everything isn’t right in your world lightens the mood and the burden you carry.
Remember, God walks this healing journey with you. This week, tell God what you appreciate about him. Spend time writing what you love about God. Use simple sentences like “God, thank you for never changing.”
Open your eyes today to see the blessings in your life. You do have them.
Look around you. Blessings abound: the smiles of children, the beauty of a glorious sunset, the comfort of a warm bed at night. Small, great, there are plenty of reasons to say to God, “Thank you.” Joni Eareckson Tada
If you need help developing your power of gratitude, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. This fee does not affect your purchase price.