The Gratitude List


Post written by dates and romance columnist Sean Marshall of Family Rocketship.

The other day I was listening to a song that I hadn’t heard in years. In fact, it was a song that played a lot while my wife and I were engaged. It brought back so many great memories.
But something interesting happened. I started actively thinking about my wife and what a cool person she is. I realized my brain was going through a mental checklist of sorts cataloging all of the positive experiences, memories, and feelings that our relationship has helped me to have.
Just a day after that experience, I had a talk with a close friend who shared how one time he listed out 101 things he loved about his wife and gave it to her as an anniversary present. It was perfect timing because my own wedding anniversary was coming up so I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I opened up the ‘ol laptop and started typing away as fast as I could. The experience left me smiling and feeling very grateful and more in love with my wife. I’ll also add that my wife loved the list and still keeps it in her nightstand.
Write a Gratitude List
I’m sure you’ve heard before to count your blessings or to list the things you’re grateful for. Well this is a variation on that and it’s strictly for listing everything you love about your husband or wife.
It’s super easy to do. Simply get out a pen and paper (or your laptop, phone, tablet, etc) and start writing away. Don’t edit your list at the beginning. Just write as fast as you can until you get at least 101 things you love and are grateful for about your spouse.
At first, you’ll want to be very general but you’ll quickly realize that 101 is a big number and you’ll need to get specific. And that’s where it gets really fun! The more specific and creative the better!
If you need to, crank some music, especially if there’s any music that’s special to you both or play “your song”. Write away until you’ve reached at least 101 things and then go back and edit if you want.
When you’re done, you can title your list however you like. A “love list” or “101 Reasons Why I Love You” or “101 Reasons Why You’re Awesome”. The title doesn’t really matter too much. As soon as your spouse starts to read, they’ll get it.
Benefits of a Gratitude List
A big benefit is that coming up with 101 things you’re grateful for is a really fun challenge. It gets you to remember the great things about your spouse. If your experience is like mine, it will leave you smiling and even laughing out loud at times.
Another benefit is that it helps you to pause and to think about what’s most important to you with your spouse. Too often we get caught up in the day to day and we lose sight of the most meaningful. This helps you to center your focus back on where it should be.
Another benefit is that writing a gratitude list is highly reciprocal. In other words, not only will you feel good about your spouse, they’re going to return the favor as they feel the love from you.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be for any special occasion. You can write a gratitude list any time. Little gifts like this are always welcome (and needed) in a loving marriage.
If you do happen to be writing your list for a special occasion like I did, I can assure you it will go over way better than any roses or chocolates ever could. And it’s the perfect start to an incredible date.
So give it a try. Write that list. Present it to your spouse. And most importantly, strive to live worthy of the gratitude he or she feels for you.
Have you ever done something similar? How did it go?