If I had to name just one practice that is most critical in keeping my relationship with my husband Kiran strong, positive, connected and alive, I would say gratitude. By this I mean not just feeling a daily heartfelt appreciation for the Love of My Life, but expressing it aloud. We tell each other every day without fail, “You are the most important thing to me. I feel so blessed. You are extraordinary. I’m so lucky to be married to you.”
This habit comes naturally to us because we found each other in middle age. Both of us had been married before, divorced, and then spent several years struggling in unsatisfying relationships. When we came together at nearly 40, everything clicked—and we fully appreciated how rare that is. Our marriage feels like a 24/7 slumber party. We have so much fun, laughing, discussing topics grandiose and mundane, and creating together. And when we have to deal with life’s inevitable body slams, we’re there to support one another with compassion and tenderness.
But our attitude of gratitude is vital. What I love most is how gratitude unfailingly connects me to the beauty and magic of the present moment. Gratitude keeps me from dwelling on any perceived slights or injustices—getting upset or agitated if I feel that Kiran has ignored my needs, for example. I remind myself, “I’m so lucky. We adore each other. Surely I misunderstood.” And then we talk through what happened.
Gratitude also prevents me from spinning out into anxiety about the future. What we have here and now is a gift, and we can never know what might happen around the next curve in life’s highway. I can take a deep breath any time and sink into that warm, happy place in my heart where I know that I love and am loved. What else matters in life?
The way we express our gratitude for each other to each other every day keeps us both feeling secure and appreciated in our marriage. Insecurities fall by the wayside.
Trust builds with each passing year, creating a powerful foundation for our love.
You can’t overdo it when telling the people you love how much you love and appreciate them. Express your gratitude out loud every day.
[jbox title="About the author:" border="5" radius="15"] MeiMei Fox is the published author, co-author, ghostwriter, and freelance editor of hundreds of non-fiction health, wellness, spirituality, and psychology books, articles, and blogs, including New York Times bestsellers Bend, Not Break with Ping Fu and Fortytude with Sarah Brokaw. She has edited books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and she blogs weekly for the Huffington Post, and her articles have been published in Self, Stanford magazine, MindBodyGreen, Forbes, and numerous other publications.
In addition to writing, MeiMei works as a life coach, assisting clients in realizing their most ambitious dreams. She believes in integrating mind, body, and spirit into a total wellness program based on positive self-esteem and goal-setting. Please contact her for more information.
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