When you lose someone that is close to you, getting past the grief can be difficult and can take a very long time. So, how to you get past that grief without it consuming you? When I lost my husband to a car accident, I struggled for months trying to find my footing. I missed a lot of work, couldn't pay my bills and had a difficult time getting out of bed each morning. That was until I began going to grief counseling. This was one thing that I never thought that I would do, but it has helped me in so many ways. To learn about some of the tools that I have been using to get past this difficult time, visit my website.
The best fuel for improving your relationship with your mate is a blend of appreciation and gratitude. This combination has benefits that will enhance your time together, and your life in general.
Differences Between Appreciation and Gratitude
While it is common to believe these words mean the same thing, noting the differences between the two can enhance your experience of using them.
Appreciation is recognizing or being attuned to the presence of a thing or a person, of their qualities, or their actions, and it often includes element of enjoyment with these perceptions.
Gratitude is slightly different. It is an awareness too, but it differentiates between goodness and not-so-good, and can imply a judgment. It usually includes having a need being filled, and you may feel you owe something to another because of this recognition. It calls for an acknowledgement.
Of course, it is good to acknowledge what you appreciate, but it is not as expected as when you feel gratitude for something.
Examples of the Differences
For an example of how this comes to play, say you are both at a party where everyone is joking around and your mate is keeping up with the best of them with his/her special brand of humor that you love. You are appreciating your partner's wit, but you aren't necessarily feeling a need for it at the time.
On another occasion, you could be deeply hurt over something that happened at work. You tell your partner, and while they are being sympathetic, they also say something so witty and smart about it, that you can't help but to burst out into laughter while you are wiping a tear from your eye. In this instance you were lacking in perspective, and your partner helped you to find it again. This would be a good time to express your gratitude.
Both Are Important
It is important to cultivate this blend of perceptions into your married life, because without these things your love for each other will wane. It's hard to even like a person when all you can see are their faults and poor behavior. The other person will feel your disdain and may try harder to please you, but eventually realize that, while you are in that mode, they can't win and give up. Then the things you didn't like will multiply, and the other person naturally is going to feel less love for you in this situation. These kind of things can be reciprocal, and devastating to a relationship.
To keep the love alive and thriving, you have to make a conscious effort to appreciate and be grateful for the things your partner does that are positive, and beneficial to you and others. Even benign personality quirks are ripe for appreciation. Most everybody enjoys being appreciated and receiving expressions of gratitude for the things they do for others, and it will cause their love and appreciation for you to increase -- fortunately this too is reciprocal.
Not only will an appreciative mindset encourage your mate to do more things you enjoy, but it will generalize into other areas of your life so you will feel happier. One way to practice this is to daily jot down things you appreciated and the things you are grateful for in your mate.
They Are a Protection, Too
While these things are important, if you have serious issues in your relationship, these too have to be honestly dealt with -- preferably with professional help.
If you are getting the support you need, and you are diligently working to embrace your mate's positive aspects but your relationship continues to deteriorate, then you to face this reality head on. For an example, if your partner is verbally or physically abusive, continues to abuse drugs and alcohol, and/or engages in extramarital affairs, this probably is a person who is telling you by their behavior that they are wanting the relationship to end. In this case, you can say you honestly tried, and you won't feel regrets later about being overly judgmental or impatient.
Just To Recap
A daily blend of appreciation and gratitude increases positive feelings between you and your mate, and can strengthen your love for each other. You will feel happier and have less regrets. For more help strengthening and maintaining a relationship, work with professionals from a company such as My Marriage First.