Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 21 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Agnes
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

What to do when your spouse complains that you don't appreciate what they do

couple, arguing,

© VGstockstudio | Shutterstock

Edifa - published on 02/13/20

It's a common complain between spouses, but you can put an end to these daily grudges.

It’s hard to overstate how frustrating it is when you make an effort for your spouse that goes totally unnoticed. “You didn’t notice that I arranged to get home 15 minutes early”; “You didn’t notice that I did the cleaning”; “You didn’t notice that I took care of the kids so you could have some peace.” The reply of the accused is often, “Of course, I noticed. I just didn’t mention it, that’s all.” And therein lies the problem—it’s not enough to notice; you also have to say so.

To love is to take notice

If we’ve noticed our partner has made an effort for us, but we don’t thank them, chances are we don’t quite how much that effort means to our spouse. He or she may wonder: “If my partner’s so blind to my attentions and gestures, do they really love me?” Such a lack of recognition can be felt and interpreted as a lack of love. When we truly love someone, shouldn’t we have eyes to see and to interpret the meaning of their little gestures?

Imagine this scenario: On his death, a man stands at heaven’s gates before St. Peter, who points out to him that he has often neglected to respond to his family’s needs. The man protests, “But believe me, dear St. Peter, I’ve always met all the reasonable demands of my loved ones. Unless, the only explanation can be, that I didn’t notice what they wanted …” To which St. Peter retorts, “That’s exactly what you’re accused of … You didn’t notice. And to love is to notice.”

Yes, truly, to love is to take notice. It’s maintaining the ability do this day after day, to stand in wonderment before your spouse. So let’s open the eyes of our heart. Let’s be supersensitive to our spouse’s little kindnesses. And without false modesty, let’s tell them that their gestures inspired by love are not unnoticed or unappreciated.

By the way, it’s also a good occasion to thank the Lord, who is certainly at the heart of these little but wonderful kindnesses!

Father Denis Sonet


HUSBAND

Read more:
Pray this prayer to be a better spouse


CHRISTMAS

Read more:
What to do if you don’t like a gift from your spouse

Tags:
Marriage
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
3
MARTIN LUTHER KING
Jorge Graña
Did you know Martin Luther King appreciated the Rosary?
4
Philip Kosloski
What are the corporal works of mercy?
5
couple
Anna Gębalska-Berekets
Couple praises Padre Pio's recipe for a happy marriage
6
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
7
EMOTIONAL
Bret Thoman, OFS
Need healing? An exorcist recommends this 12-word prayer
See More