'Tis the season to be thankful. And when you count your blessings this Thanksgiving, our experts say you should be sure to focus in on gratitude as a couple.
"It's easy to complain and point fingers," admits relationship expert April Masini, "but it's more productive to create an atmosphere of gratitude and positivity."
Why? As Jane Greer, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, explains, "Focusing on gratitude gives you a feeling of appreciation and love for your partner." What's more, "it helps you value and respect the relationship you have with each other," she says.
Not sure where to start? Here are seven things our experts say you should be thankful for as a couple.
1. The ability to share your day with your partner.
It was Susan Sarandon's character in Shall We Dance who pointed out at least part of the point of being married is to have a witness to our lives. "Being able to talk about the small details of your day is something to be grateful for," says Greer.
2. The fact that you found each other.
As Masini points out, there are so many ways to meet people that sometimes it can feel like a miracle when you do find your match. "Where's Waldo has nothing on modern romance, so be grateful for your relationship, the compatibility you share and the intelligence to have recognized it in each other," she says.
4. The ability to share your burdens with someone else.
When you're single, the buck stops with you, so to speak. But in a pair, your partner shares your problems and issues. "You trust in your partner's support," says Greer. "They listen to you and offer input that will help you handle the situation better."
5. The friends and family who support you.
Good relationships with in-laws and your partner's inner circle are nothing to take for granted. "When you get along with each others' friends and family, that's something to be grateful for," says Masini. "If you like his best friend, and he likes yours, you're going to have a lot easier go of things than if you don't."
6. The ability to share chores.
No one likes to take out the trash. And thanks to your little twosome, hopefully you don't have to every time it's full. "Dealing with everything can be easier to manage if split between two people," Greer says. And we can be very thankful for that.
7. The successes you've shared together.
Calling all #powercouples: "Whether they're material successes, personal bests, career goals met or some other type of success you've achieved with the help of your partner or because you had the emotional health that your partner provides for you, be grateful," says Masini. "Success can be measured by so many different yardsticks — it's important to appreciate all your successes at this time of year."