How To Appreciate The Little Things In Your Marriage

Updated March 26, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

In today's world, many people get wrapped up in the "things" they have—or want to have—in  their lives. Many value extravagant gifts, fancy dinners, and big efforts over the little things. This mindset frequently carries over to how people look at their relationships. You may find yourself much happier when you learn to appreciate the little things in life and the little things in your marriage. Appreciating the little things in your marriage can also help strengthen your relationship and help you be more content with your partner's efforts. As an added bonus, appreciating the little things is also very beneficial for your mental health.

Why you should learn to appreciate the little things

When you appreciate the little things, you can experience positive emotions many times during the day. It's easy to get caught up in a negative mindset, but if you can notice the little things that bring you happiness, you may find you're much happier overall. If you only find happiness in the big gestures and important events that life brings, you may not experience happiness on a regular basis. The reality is that while big gestures and events are fun and should be enjoyed, many positive little things happen each and every day. You may begin to notice that you're not as phased by the negative things that come along when you're focused on all the positive little things happening each day.

Learning to appreciate the little things can also help you become better at controlling your emotions, which may, in turn, help your marriage become stronger. Learning how to see the positives and controlling your emotions can help you when times get tough and you may find yourself more able to remain calm to sort things out. Appreciating the little things in your marriage is an excellent practice for both you and your spouse. When you both focus on the positives, you may find your arguments less frequent and less heated. Here are some other reasons you should learn to appreciate the little things.

Your mental health can benefit

Appreciating the small things and practicing gratitude are great for your mental health. Everyone experiences negative situations, events, and even feelings. How you process these negative areas of life is what will affect your mental health. You can learn to process your negative emotions better by reducing the number of negative events you give time to. It takes practice, but you can choose to focus on the positives of life. The changes may not be evident at first as you are developing a new mental habit, but your focus on gratitude can make negative events easier to cope with over time.

If you or your spouse struggles with having a negative mindset or practicing gratitude, make a point to sit down each day and point out the good things that happened. Make it a habit to discuss what went right in the day and have a positive conversation. Many couples come home after work and have venting sessions about how they dislike their job, co-workers, boss, commute, and more. While talking about your struggles with your spouse can be healthy, it should not become a habit. If you know you and your spouse have this habit, turn it around and talk about the positives instead. Doing this can help you both end the day on a good note.

Appreciating the little things can help improve your marriage

Life can be more enjoyable

When you change your mindset and focus on the positive things, small or large, life is much more enjoyable for you. When you intend each day to appreciate the little things in life and your marriage, you may find yourself much more thankful. Reminiscing over your relationship together and pinpointing the positive can help you enjoy your life. When you and your partner live this way, your marriage may be much more enjoyable, as well as healthier. Both you and your spouse may greatly benefit from noticing the small efforts you make for each other. Focusing on these little things can make your relationship feel harmonious and strong.

You can learn to be more resilient

All marriages face problems, and all couples have to work through arguments. These disagreements can be productive for you and your spouse to work through when done healthily. When you focus on the positives of each situation and work together as a team, you can become more resilient. When a problem comes up, focusing on the positives of your marriage can help you stay motivated to resolve the conflict. You can both learn from the situation and become even stronger. When you have taken the time to appreciate the little things in your marriage, the big arguments may be much easier to manage.

How to appreciate the little things in your marriage

So, you may be wondering how to start appreciating the little things. It may seem like this mindset change will take a lot of work and time. The truth is, it is an easy change, and, with time, it can become a habit that you don't have to put effort into. Here are a few ways you can appreciate the little things in your marriage.

Slow down

Taking the time to slow down can be one of the biggest factors in helping you appreciate the small stuff. Slowing down can force you to notice the small day-to-day things that are often overlooked. Many people get too busy to notice and appreciate the little things. We are taught that we must be busy and multi-task to be successful. Being in the habit of moving full speed through your day and rushing through life can affect all of your relationships. To be intentional and develop your relationships, you must slow down.

At work, you may be required to multi-task and get things done at a very rapid pace. Be cognizant about whether or not you bring this behavior home. Your marriage is not something you should rush and multi-task your way through. You may have a very difficult time connecting with your partner when you do this. Being in the moment with your spouse and placing your full focus on them is the best way to develop your relationship. Slowing down and not being distracted can help you see everything differently. You and your partner will be able to spend more quality time together when you focus on each other instead of trying to multi-task. When you two are together, stop whatever else you are doing and put all distractions away. Focus on just each other and enjoy spending time together to develop your marriage.

Start a gratitude journal

Starting a gratitude journal to remind you of the positives in life can benefit both you and your marriage. You can buy a journal specifically for gratitude journaling, buy a normal notebook from the store, or use one you already have lying around. To start, you can decide whether you want to add this to your morning routine or evening routine. Set a goal of how many positives you would like to identify each day. Many people try to write down at least ten positive things, but do whatever you think is realistic for you. The things you take note of can be something as small as your spouse complimenting you or something as big as celebrating your anniversary. As time goes on, you will find that you will write even more things that you are feeling grateful for.

study by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough found that gratitude journaling is beneficial for your mental health and daily life. The participants in the study were found to be much happier in general when they took the time to write out what they are thankful for. Even on the worst of days, sitting down and making a note of something positive can greatly benefit your overall well-being. This can be especially helpful after you and your spouse argue, as you can focus afterwards on things you appreciate about your spouse.

Focus on the positives of your marriage

Along with writing down the positives about your spouse or your life each day, try to focus on the positives of your marriage. Be sure you are not feeling contempt or holding a grudge over your spouse for what you feel they don't do for you. Change your mindset and focus on what your spouse does do for you and the things they bring to the table. Do they support you no matter what or try to cheer you up on a bad day? Are they great parents to your kids? Are they great cooks? Try to focus on these things, no matter how difficult it may be.

Pay attention to what your spouse does to connect with you. Whenever your spouse makes a small attempt to touch base with you, do your best to notice their actions. Many people call these actions "emotional bids."  These emotional bids are investments into your relationship, making it healthier and happier. Responding and appreciating the little things your spouse does can greatly benefit your marriage over time.

Thank your spouse for something small each day

Every day, thank your partner for something small they did. Being intentional about letting your spouse know you recognize their efforts will make them feel appreciated and loved. Let them know that you appreciate what they do for you and your family, no matter how small the action was. It can be anything: picking up a small mess, doing the dishes, taking the trash out, rubbing your back, making dinner, or taking care of the kids or pets. This may even motivate them to help out more, as they know you're taking notice of their actions.

Getty/Halfpoint Images
Appreciating the little things can help improve your marriage

It may take some effort to notice the small things your spouse does for you. Life can be very hectic between work, kids, and other daily responsibilities. At first, you may need to slow down and intentionally ask yourself, "What can I thank my spouse for right now?" Over time and with practice, however, it can become second nature to thank your spouse for the little things they do.

Improve your relationship in online therapy

When you learn to appreciate the little things in your marriage and your life in general, you will likely be a much happier person. Changing your mindset may take some effort, but there are ways to make it easier on you. Start appreciating the little things today, and you may well see positive changes in your marriage as early as tomorrow.

Some relationships need more than a mindset change to get back on track towards happiness. If you feel your marriage needs more help, please consider attending relationship counseling. A licensed counselor can help you and your spouse communicate better and work through your issues. Regain is an online platform that makes connecting with a therapist a breeze. Once you're matched with a therapist, you and your partner can have a session at a time that works with everyone's schedule—and the sessions can take place right at home.


Many couples have found online therapy to be very rewarding. Even happily married couples may benefit from online therapy to help maintain their communication skills and ensure that everything in the household is running smoothly. Online therapy makes it easy to find the perfect counselor for you—and that's something everyone can appreciate.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.