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Practicing Gratitude

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Wayflost posted 3/10/2014 23:16 PM

It's been a long time since I started a post. Things have been difficult, and at one point in the past few weeks I found being on here was triggering a lot of negative self talk. So I took a break. I reached out to a couple of you through PMs, and I am so grateful to you for your support. I'm still hanging in there, and I'm still working hard every day.

I read a study that was conducted on happiness. The findings stated that in 20 days you could increase your underlying happiness level just by stating three things you are grateful for. They had to be three new things every time. So I started listing things I was grateful for every day. I found that even on days where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning, just thinking about what was going on my list that day would lift my mood. Even just a little.

Tonight I was sitting on the couch after dinner thinking about all the things I have been, and have to be, grateful for. The #1 spot on my list is BH. We are a few months out, and he is still in the relationship. We are a few months out, and still lack the skills as a couple to discuss my affairs without the help of a counselor, but he's still here. We are a few months out and he still loves the good parts of me. We are a few months out, and he has only asked me to leave the house a couple of times (I sleep in the study). And every time I have been allowed, or even asked, to return.

I'm truly lucky for I know that even if we don't survive, for a portion of my life I was blessed to have shared my space and time with such an extraordinary person.

So, today I am grateful.

grains posted 3/11/2014 02:16 AM

Thank you for this post. I feel the same way about my BS and it is already 3 years since DDay. I feel so fortunate that she is in my life. I wish you well in your reconciliation and recovery.

authenticnow posted 3/11/2014 05:45 AM

Gratitude is so important!

Living in gratitude and humility is definitely one of the most important lessons I've learned on this journey.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

harrypotter posted 3/11/2014 22:23 PM


Thanks for posting this and it really does work. I was always happy before my affair, but I am not sure that I was thankful for everything in my life at least not as much as I should have been anyway and defiantly not as much as I am now. The biggest reason for that I think is that I worked on being thankful much the way you have, and the gains are more then just being thankful. I think gratitude and humility are becoming more of a habit instead of an effort now and it has truly helped me in every aspect of my life. Somedays its really helped me when I want to destroy myself with my guilt. It also helps me to reach out to my BS when I know she is having a hard time. Great thing for any WS to work on IMHO. Thanks for sharing.

Neznayou posted 3/13/2014 11:14 AM

Back in December a friend started around the idea of keeping a jar on the desk; each day when you notice something positive, write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, read all the little pieces of paper. It's a great idea. Mine is an orange vase which was a gift from BH.

Anyway, my question is this: how do you express your gratitude to your BS? I feel like a broken record of "I appreciate" and "Thank you". I usually finish the sentence with something specific, but sometimes the feeling of gratitude is simply overwhelming. He doesn't have to be here giving me the time of day let alone deal with all the shit.

[This message edited by Neznayou at 11:15 AM, March 13th (Thursday)]

rachelc posted 3/13/2014 11:28 AM

how do you express your gratitude to your BS

little things - like buying him protein bars so he has something to drink with his coffee in the morning, going with him to the pool when I really don't want to go, I buy all his clothes and toiletries, do most all of the cooking.. just helping him out by making his life easier.

numb&dumb posted 3/13/2014 15:16 PM

Gratitude is so important!

I have to second that. Seeing my W grateful helped me work through the harder times and meet her halfway. It also helped me believe that she actually wanted to be there with me instead of the constant internal dialogue telling me the opposite.

Wayflost posted 3/13/2014 16:03 PM

how do you express your gratitude to your BS?

One thing I have learned about myself is that I have lived most of my life in a careless way. By that I mean, I am the messy person in the relationship. It's not because I lack the ability to be tidy, I just didn't prioritize it. Or, I would notice that the toilet paper needed replacing, but would forget when I left the bathroom because my BH would always get around to it. That wasn't the direct thinking, but ultimately subconsciously it's where my brain went. It's something I have already begun the work to change, but is by no means something I have changed. The small things I do to show daily gratitude:

* I get home from work earlier than he does, so I use that time to do dishes, plan dinner, other small chores that we share for daily home maintenance. I don't always do all of them - for instance no dishes to do today- but I make sure to do something that is not an assigned his chore or her chore.

* I find ways to say thank you in an explicit outwardly way. I went out of town recently and my BH jumped through a bunch of hoops to make sure the car I took was safe for the amount of driving I had to do. So I took it to Facebook.

* Another suggestion I've heard is keeping a gratitude journal that your BS can read any time they want. I like this idea, but haven't used it for this purpose.

* Sending silly texts/picture throughout the day. Checking in randomly to let him know I'm thinking about him.

* Making sure to thank him in real time as he is doing things that are nice for me. I need to continue to make sure that he hears me acknowledge the amazing things he does for me. AND, I have to let him know when I appreciate something about him.

* leaving little surprise notes around the house.

* making sure we have his favorite breakfast food in stock in the fridge.

I agree that saying the words can feel repetitive and silly. But I know that the repetition is important for him to see my sincerity. But as rachelc said, it's the little unexpected things. I sent him a delivery at work one day when he was having a hard day. It put a smile on his face and made him feel cared about. I make his bed every morning because that is one of his favorite things about going on vacation.

Neznayou think about how your BS expresses love and gratitude to you. My BH is always finding little things he thinks I will like. He sends me articles, funny pictures, buys me unexpected presents... He takes care to make sure that when I've been careless with something I value he protects it for me. I'm now doing the same thing, but for him. I'm taking the time to be more attentive to my life.

I am by no means perfect at this, but it is something I am being very careful about remembering. I am beyond grateful to my BH. He is my best friend and my greatest champion. He has always believed in me, and my ability to be the best version of me. Maybe a little less so right now because I've behaved like a royal fool, but he still encourages me to go after my positive goals. He's still giving me the gift of a chance at R.

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