Marriage is the most difficult work you could ever do in your life. A husband is traditionally expected to be the leader, protector and provider while the woman is expected to be the homemaker.
If the man gives ‘chop money’ he is expected to do it and if a wife cooks it is her duty.
Many Ghanaian husbands take for granted the critical roles wives play in physical, emotional, mental, social and sexual fulfilment.
The Ghanaian wife is a dietician, dishwasher, housekeeper, housemaid and does the laundry.
She is sometimes the teacher, gardener, seamstress and repairer. Above all, she has to keep constant close watch over her family to ensure their welfare. Soon it is nightfall. Another call to duty. A baby cries and the husband who is nearer the baby wakes her up to go and attend to her child.
She is a working machine. Yet, this woman but for the interstate law stood a high chance of being sent away empty handed if her husband passed away.
It is important to remind ourselves each day that everyone needs appreciation in relationships to feel his or her efforts are acknowledged and not taken for granted.
Appreciation makes one feel valued and important, special, cherished and loved. You are motivated to give more to your lover who in turn is empowered to give back to you more love and attention.
Importance of appreciation
When both partners show appreciation to each other, great things happen. Your mood improves. Good times, good memories and joy become a common place in your relationship.
Disappointments, tension and rage become less and less frequent. You never make divorce or separation an option.
A sense of gratitude is, therefore, one of the most effective ways in enriching a relationship. On the other hand nothing good comes into a relationship without appreciation.
If you do not show appreciation to your lover, you are tempted to focus on your lover’s weaknesses and what goes wrong in the relationship.
Small issues get blown up on your mind and the temptation to give up is strong. Lack of appreciation is, therefore, the fastest way to kill your relationship.
No doubt studies show many relationships fail for lack of appreciation.
How to show appreciation
Show appreciation by your kind words. Simple words like ‘thank you, I love you, you have been so good to me and I am happy I found you, ‘ have profound positive effect on our lovers.
Words have psychic energy. Your kind words bless your lover who in turn reacts more kindly to you.
• Verbalise your appreciation. Tell your friends and relatives how good your lover has been to you. He or she will hear it and do more for you.
Write very often to your lover to thank him or her for everything he or she does for you. Choose your words carefully and wisely but mean what you say.
You may add some cartoons and romantic songs. By writing out your feelings you inspire yourself and your lover.
• Hug and touch often. These simple acts stimulate the production of chemicals that stimulate bonding, Physical touch is an asset for calming anxiety, transferring courage and reassurance.
A tender touch communicates loving messages more than words can do
Send gifts often even when it is not for a special occasion. Gifts are signs of love and goodwill. They expel hurts and anger.
When you give you see each other as valuable, worthwhile and good and enhance your lovers personal worth.
Giving, therefore, increases your intimacy because if you give your lover feels loved accepted and valued.
Let your gifts be regular, simple and spontaneous especially things your lover considers intimate and memorable. They do not have to be expensive. It is the idea that is important.
• Celebrate your marriage. Go out often. Invite friends and relations for a meal or drink. Studies show that relationships celebrated often grow in health.
Appreciation, the heart of relationship
Your relationship is the best agent in enriching your life. Take time and show your lover, who makes your life richer, how much you appreciate everything he or she does for you.
Happy lovers always have a sense of appreciation. Appreciation warms your heart to love. It warms your lover’s heart to be loved and to give you more lover.
Without it your heart will be too cold to love. Appreciation, therefore, warms your heart to give and receive love.
A catalyst is any substance that alters the rate of a chemical reaction. This means a catalyst may slow down the rate of a chemical reaction or hasten it.
In marriage also we have ‘substances’ that alter the rate of happiness in marriage. ‘Substances’ like selfishness, dishonesty, criticism, immorality, inequality and intolerance may slow down your happiness in marriage.
On the other hand ‘substances’ like unconditional love, respect, companionship, support, forgiving spirit and appreciation will hasten happiness in marriage.
One good thing about appreciation is that like a catalyst you don’t need big things from your lover to show it. In fact, little things are the big things.
The smile, tender touch, hug romantic moments you share are the important agents for happiness. Therefore don’t look for big things from your lover to show appreciation. Each day find something good that your lover does and show your appreciation for what he or she does. If you see your lover as good you will find many things he or she does as good.
Each day find something good that your lover does and show your appreciation for what he or she does. If you see your lover as good you will find many things he or she does as good.
Show appreciation to your lover for all the small and big things he or she does because appreciation leads to other virtues which make you commit more to each other and nurture your marriage.
You will be happier in your marriage and keep it healthy, fit and alive just by showing appreciation. Do this everyday to enjoy the beauty of love.
-Dr. John Boakye