With almost everyone sheltering in place, working from home, or not working at all, it can be easy to lose focus on the relationship with your spouse. Maybe the two of you were close before and now there is a lot in the way, or maybe you were already living individual lives, and this has shown that to you more. Here we can review (or learn) a few ways to keep connected to your spouse and leave them feeling appreciated. If you know how your spouse likes to be cared for with either words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, or quality time you have a leg up. If you are not sure, you can always ask them or try out a few of these activities. Remember that your spouse is going through any array of feelings, just like you are or even more so and could be reminded that you appreciate everything they do for you.
When they are doing a household or family task that they do every day or often, say “thank you for working so hard” or “I couldn’t do this without you.” If you can offer to take over one of their errands and encourage them to rest, they may be incredibly appreciative of your thoughtfulness. Perhaps they will begin to offer the same to you when you are tired and busy. You can hold their hand and smile or be with them in a tender way that shows you still treasure them. When was the last time you got your spouse a card that was not for an anniversary? How about a “happy I’m with you” or “this week has been great because of you” middle of the week card? You will only have things to gain with these short and easy exercises. So, go out and appreciate the person you are with and you will only have your cup filled even more as you fill theirs. If you need support, do not hesitate to ask, reach out to a professional or trusted source.
Alan Godfrey is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #102925.