The Secret to a More Passionate Marriage
I recently read a blog on Greater Good (All You Need is Love, Oxytocin, and Gratitude) that revealed an interesting secret for building a stronger, more passionate marriage. I will give you the secret if you promise to try it out for several weeks. It works…even though it is not that hard! Here’s the secret. You’re going to love it! In order to have a more intimate, passionate marriage, express gratitude for your spouse. Wait a second. Don’t quit yet. When I say gratitude I do not mean a simple thank you. Gratitude is more than appreciating what your spouse does. Gratitude is appreciating who your spouse is…not just appreciating that they brought you home a gift or emptied the dishwasher but appreciating that they are thoughtful enough to know that such a simple act would mean something to you. When we express that kind of gratitude (thus the secret) to our spouse, our marriage will grow more passionate. Research shows that sharing this type of gratitude increases joy and enthusiasm for both partners as well as the overall quality of the relationship. Couples that express and receive this type of gratitude from one another are also more peaceful, confident, and amused. Both partners perceive the other as more understanding, validating, caring, and responsive. These “feel good results” arise because of the oxytocin released into each person’s system in response to this type of gratitude. Interestingly, sharing a personal positive event with your spouse does not produce all these great results. Instead, sharing a personal positive event simply increases joy and enthusiasm. It seems that focusing on the other person with an attitude of gratitude has a special effect…an effect that goes beyond merely telling my spouse about the good events of my life. So, go ahead and talk about the fun events you experienced while apart from your spouse for the day. Share the positive experiences you enjoyed as an individual. That will increase joy and enthusiasm in you and your relationship. But, if you want a really intimate and passionate marriage, get beyond your own experiences and start to express how much you appreciate your spouse’s actions and, even more important, the person behind those actions.