It’s easy to take our better halves for granted. We may neglect to thank our partners for, say, picking up milk on the way home, preparing dinner or devoting Saturdays to coaching a child’s soccer team. Over time, we may stop noticing what they do to make our lives better and perhaps focus too much on what we feel they don’t do.
This familiar dynamic can be bad news for relationships. A growing body of research finds that couples who regularly express appreciation to each other, even for minor things, enjoy a stronger, more satisfying and committed bond.
We often underestimate the impact that our gratitude has on others, which may make us less likely to express it. In a study published in June in the journal Psychological Science, participants were asked to write a letter of gratitude to someone in their life. They were also asked to anticipate the recipient’s reaction—specifically, how happy or surprised they would be to receive the letter and how awkward it might make them feel. The researchers then sought reaction from the recipients themselves.
Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal