When was the last time you thanked your partner? Research shows that a heartfelt ‘thank you’ might just be the key to maintaining and improving your relationship.
A study conducted by the University of Georgia and published in the journal Personal Relationships has found that feeling appreciated and valued by your partner has a direct positive effect on your relationship satisfaction, how committed you feel, and your thoughts about the future of your relationship.
The study took the form of a survey of nearly 500 married individuals, who were asked about their financial situations, the way they communicated with their spouses, and how gratitude was expressed in their relationships.
The results showed that gratitude was the most significant indicator of relationship quality. Expressions of gratitude can mitigate against the negative effects of poor communication, and even reduce the likelihood of divorce.
The study’s lead author Allen Barton said: “It goes to show the power of ‘thank you’… Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes”.
So if you’re struggling to communicate with your partner, or you’re worried that words aren’t your strong suit, maybe drop them a quick line to say ‘thank you’ for something they’ve done for you, or just for being wonderful.