With Thanksgiving approaching, it is easier than ever for most people to reflect on what they’re thankful for. When talking about your life partner, most of us can think of myriad ways that our spouse has made our life easier, better and more enjoyable. Do we take the time to show them our gratitude?

Dallas-area counselors like those at I Choose Change say there is no reason to wait for the turkey to hit the table to show your spouse how thankful you are for their presence in your life. It is important to make an attitude of gratitude something you strive for every day in your marriage, as well as in other important relationships.

Why Thankfulness Should Not Be Dependent on the Calendar

The concept of carving out a day and a season of the year in which to focus on thankfulness is a wonderful one. Many people find themselves better able to call to mind their blessings during the holiday season. However, giving your partner praise and thanksgiving only during the last few weeks of the year simply isn’t enough to maintain a healthy marriage. If you want to show your spouse how much you care, you need to make gratefulness a habit, rather than a holiday tradition.

Allen family counseling centers agree with the thoughts shared by the Huffington Post – offering the best to your partner can literally save your relationship, and should be a part of your daily routine as a pair. By waiting until Thanksgiving or other holidays to express our love and thankfulness to our spouse, we negate the things they do for us, our children and our families every day. To demonstrate your gratitude for those things, it is important to show your lover that you value their time, attention and contribution on days with special significance, and those without.

How to Show Your Partner Your Gratitude

There are many small, everyday ways to show those around you – especially the person you spend most of your time with in life – that you care and are thankful for their presence. Babble gives us some tips on how to show gratitude to your spouse throughout the year, regardless of what else is going on in your life. Some of their “simple and sweet” suggestions include:

  • Put your thoughts down on paper with simple notes or detailed letters. As Meghan Telpner states, there really is nothing better for the soul than a love letter!
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a hug or a hand held.
  • Listen, and do it thoroughly. People feel more valued by those who listen to their thoughts, feelings and concerns.
  • Offer proximity. Even if you can’t afford or don’t have time for elaborate dates, just being near the person you love can show how much you appreciate them.
  • Perform tasks for them. Whether it’s filling up their gas tank, taking out the trash or handling the kids for an evening while they relax, showing your partner that you appreciate all that they do can be as easy as taking up one of their regular tasks for them as an expression of love.
  • Remind your partner that you’re on their team. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are close by, so remind your significant other that you are with them and for them.
  • Be patient. Everyone falls short sometimes. Being patient by choosing not to make a big deal out of failures or forgetfulness goes a long way in showing your partner that you value what they are otherwise able to accomplish.
  • Show your partner they matter by reminding them that you love them, asking them about their day and treating them with the kind of respect and kindness you want to be treated with.

Above all, be sure that your actions reflect your words and feelings. It can be easy to tell someone we love them, but do our actions make those words ring true? To show your partner gratitude this Thanksgiving and every day of the year, remember to appreciate them aloud and give them the time, attention and care they deserve.