Happy New Year! In 2010 you can vow to better appreciate your spouse. Here is one idea that I adapted from a parenting discipline method. it works wonderfully for married couples, too. I call it the appreciation box.
As you are cleaning up from the holidays, packing away the decorations and gathering up all of the wrapping for the recycling pile, pick out a small box to save. It could be a shoe box or even a square tissue box.
Take this box and decorate it for Valentine's Day. Label it "The Appreciation Box." Yes, I know we have another month to go, yet, but this project will work better if we start now. Place the box somewhere in you home that is easily accessible but a little out of the way. It should be somewhere it is likely to be seen, but still tucked away a bit out of general traffic. Next to this box, place a pad of paper and a pen or pencil. If you like, you can color code the notes with one color for you and one color for your spouse.
Here is how it works. Whenever you catch your spouse doing something nice or something that you appreciate, write it down, fold it up and place it in the box. Be as specific as possible, so you and your spouse will both be able to recall the moment a month from now. Try to place a note in the box at least once a day. Of course there may be days when this is hard or days when your appreciation is overflowing. Do the best you can.
On Valentine's Day, take out some time to open the box and read all of the notes. This is a nice treat for a few reasons.
You may both discover things that really mean a lot to your spouse. For example, the fact that my husband always has a clean bath towel is something that he really likes, while I would have never though much about this. So, when I am doing the laundry or replacing the towels, I know it is appreciated. You may also discover how many things there are to appreciate about your spouse, even in the day to day of living.
Try this project and let me know the results!
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA