With Thanksgiving approaching you may reflect on the things you are thankful for. What are you thankful for? Do you think your spouse is thankful for you?
As I think of that question my mind and heart turn to my wife. She has shown her commitment to me and our children for many years. We love her because she is someone we can rely on. She is selfless, compassionate, generous, and loving. I know that she will be there for me and our boys because that is who she has always been.
Today as I spent the afternoon with our youngest son, he had made it clear to me for several hours that he was grumpy. Despite my fatherly charm, he also made it clear that I wasn’t going to be able to resolve the grumpiness. Thankfully, we had some errands to run which I was sure would snap him out of it. My wife had been at a doctors appointment with our other son and we arranged to meet her to finish some errands together. As we drove into the parking lot to meet her he excitedly shouted “Mom!” when he saw her car in the parking lot. The grumpiness was gone in an instant. Why? Because he is thankful for her. Now, I do believe he feels the same about me. But, there is a special place in his heart for her.
As I work with couples through marriage counseling, I hear of trials, trust violations, and fault finding galore. While I realize the reality of these struggles for many, I often see couples who paint pictures of each other so bleak as to leave no question regarding their lack of thankfulness for the other. I am there to help remedy such circumstances. Yet some seem to be looking for reasons to feel negatively toward the other they sabotage any hope of saving their relationship. Their myopic focus on the faults of their spouse prevents them from seeing that they too may be creating similar negative feelings in the other.