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This little jar can do wonders for your marriage



Nelly Glassmann - published on 02/05/18

Expressing your gratitude on a daily basis is simple and effective.

Do you say “thank you” enough to your spouse? Every day? Even for the smallest helpful things he or she does? Do you even notice them? If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, then this little gratitude jar could do a world of good for your marriage! Here’s why …

What is a gratitude jar?

Gratitude is the acknowledgement of a kind deed. A gratitude jar is, therefore, a place where you collect all the little helpful deeds of that special person who shares your life, so you can show you are thankful. All you need to do is write on a piece of paper words of thanks for each of those things, and fill the jar with them. The note can be as simple as, “Thanks for taking out the trash!”; there is no gesture too small to merit thanks, when someone is doing you a favor! Lastly, we put this jar in a visible place in the house, such as in the hallway, or the kitchen, so you won’t forget to add things every day, and so that your spouse can find this tangible expression of your appreciation.

What are the benefits of a gratitude jar?

For couples who find it difficult to communicate, the gratitude jar allows us, in a discreet but sincere way, to thank our spouse and to show what we appreciate in them and their words and actions. For other, more demonstrative couples, it’s another way of focusing our attention on the person we’ve promised to spend our lives with, showing them our gratitude on a daily basis.

The gratitude jar does require a little effort on our part to identify the good and generous things our spouse does each day, and to find the right words to express our thanks. But very quickly, the effects will be felt, and there’s a great possibility that this first jar will quickly be joined by a second, which our spouse will fill up with notes of gratitude for us too.

Showing our gratitude will no doubt strengthen our marriage bond. By pointing out the positive, we are filling up on kindness and love. The occasional complaints or criticisms will become easier to handle, because they are put in perspective. This ritual of the gratitude jar can also be a simple conversation starter.

How can you make a gratitude jar?

  • Recycle or buy a glass jar. The fact that the jar is transparent will allow you to focus on filling the jar; however, if you prefer, or it is more convenient, you can use a metal or plastic box. You can also decorate it with love, using ribbons, stickers, photos, etc.
  • Every day, write expressions of your gratitude to your spouse on little pieces of paper. Be sure to describe what you are thanking them for, not just the words “thank you.”
  • Fill your gratitude jar with all your little words of appreciation.
  • Wait for your other half to discover the jar (placed in a prominent place). It will no doubt encourage them to do the same for you!
  • Don’t forget to add one or more notes to thank your spouse each day.

Going a little bit further:

The gratitude jar is not exclusively reserved for spouses. It can very well work for the entire family, where children can also thank their parents and/or brothers and sisters every day. It’s a small daily effort, but it can have great results!

This article was originally published in the French edition of Aleteia, and has been translated and adapted here for English-speaking readers.

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