How to fight better vs fight less? 2nd SAFE Virtue of Appreciation to strengthen marriages

The last poll results show that 36% of couples fight about finances and 64% about lack of affection. During this unusual time of WFH, deep-seated issues and insecurities surfaced and are exacerbated by new worries about illness, pay cut and loss of job.  Minor issues get blown out of proportion and real issues are buried in the petty quarrels and nick-picking.

Couples that avoid this pitfall understand the value of “appreciation” – seeing the good in life and showing gratitude for the gifts that come their way. Love thrives on appreciation. Therefore, showing appreciation of each other is essential and it helps to strengthen the marital bond. Even in the case of doing chores, being appreciative encourages the task doer to improve. My personal experience during WFH, I was unhappy that I still had to do the cleaning and mopping as I reasoned that my adult children at home ought to help as well. It was my wife’s appreciation of my quiet service saying: “Thanks dear for cleaning the house. You do a much thorough job and the house smells fresh and nice” that had kept me going.

Hence, a simple word and gesture of appreciation uplifts, encourages connection and thus minimises conflicts. Conversely, if appreciation is not shown and instead there is nick-picking, demands and corrections, sentiments of disrespect and resentment tend to build up. Let’s learn to appreciate and value each other’s effort and progress made, even starting with that “small good” of doing housework!

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