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– Written by: Nora Oma Patrick

Last year, my husband and I attended a couple’s program organized by our church. One of the activities that was organized for couples in attendance that caught my attention was the activity where couples were asked to tell each other through writing, ten things they want to thank the other person for.

Each couple was then asked to read whatever they wrote to each other. Honestly, listening to different couples thank each other for things that ordinarily might be considered little, irrelevant , or their responsibility, was an eye opener for me. Couples thanked each other for little things like their patience, understanding, and even taking out the garbage.

One of the problems we have in relationship these days is the lack of appreciation. Couples fail to thank each other in the relationship. And with time,each person starts feeling less appreciated in their relationship.

There is nothing wrong with thanking your man for pitching in during chores. Like saying honey/sweet/baby thank you for bathing the kids, for helping out in the kitchen, for doing the dishes, for washing the toilet/bathroom; for doing things that society has made us believe it’s our sole responsibility to do as women.

Imagine going to bath the kids and your husband is like: babe I have already given the kids bath. Imagine the feeling.Yes they are his kids but just imagine that feeling? What’s wrong with thanking him at that moment?

Also, there is nothing wrong with a man saying babe/Nkem, I appreciate your financial contributions. The extra income you bring in. Like paying of our rent, or our kids school fees or feeding money. Thank you for bringing so much relief to me. There is nothing wrong with saying babe thank you for cooking and hosting my friends/colleagues even after your tired day at work, or tired day at home taking care of the kids. Despite the short notice I gave you.

I personally know how gingered and energetic I feel when my husband simply acknowledges me when I work extra shift. Those acknowledgements feel better than a massage. Makes me want to work hundred more extra shifts.

There are so many little things couples do for each other everyday and they miss to say the word thank you out loud to each other. And before you make the why do I need to thank him/her for doing responsibility; what if he baths them? Are they not his children? Won’t he eat the food he cooked ?What if she pays rent? Doesn’t she live in the house bla bla argument; how about people that deliberately don’t do those their said responsibility? Have their spouses killed them?

Again, we can look at the it is their responsibility argument from another perceptive. For instance, every year, during what is called employee appreciation week; my company gives the staffs, regardless of your position gifts, and a thank you card. This year, I received a customized blanket and a charger.

So tell me, why does a company that hired and pays me for a particular job; still dedicates a week to celebrate and tell us thank you for doing the same job we are hired to do? For doing what is supposed to be our responsibility? It is because people are more productive and motivated when they feel appreciated. So the argument that a husband/wife are a team, or are doing their responsibility when they help out, so shouldn’t be thanked does not hold water.

People do more when they are appreciated. Appreciation means acknowledgement of what is being done. Means telling the other person I see what you and motivates people to do more.

During this festive period and the next coming year, we need to appreciate each other more in a relationship. You will be surprised what a simple thank here and there; spoken verbally, or sent as a cute text message can do to your relationship.

So my wonderful people, there is a new magic word in town, it is called, “thank you”.

– Nora Oma Patrick.

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