Marriage Education Military and Veterans News

Best Relationship Advice Ever: Express Appreciations

happy family on a picnic
Happy families make it a habit to regularly appreciate each other.


It’s no secret that we get more of what we acknowledge and appreciate others for.

Marriage and relationship expert Seth Eisenberg, CEO of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation and an author of evidence-based relationship boosting programs taught to tens of thousands, including many active-duty military families and Veterans, says “too often, people can be quick to point out and focus on what’s wrong with another person or situation without saying a word about hundreds of other things that are right.”

If that sounds familiar, Eisenberg cautions, don’t be surprised when instead of a relationship becoming happier and stronger, it gets worse. Eisenberg stresses that helping couples and families begins with finding out what’s right and building from there. Despite the approach common to many family therapists and counselors, Eisenberg says, “It’s not helpful to start out by asking a couple what’s wrong instead of first discovering what’s right.”

“It’s much easier to problem-solve when a couple or family recognize and build on how much they share in common before getting into areas of conflict or disagreement,” the author of PAIRS Essentials and Creating We Couples says.

happy family on a picnic
Happy families make it a habit to regularly appreciate each other.

Courtesy of PAIRS Foundation, here are 200 examples of what real couples appreciate in each other. Making a habit out of regularly looking for what’s right in the people you care about and letting them know, can go a long way to building strong families, happy relationships, and better marriages, Eisenberg says.

The first step of PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading exercise, one of the most popular among couples in all stages of relationships, is to generously, specifically and sincerely express appreciations. “That helps build trust, self-esteem, mutual concern, respect, empathy and cooperation,” Eisenberg says, “all of which are important to happy, healthy, fulfilling marriages, families and relationships.”

Consider these 200 examples of appreciations and then test out how good you are at sharing appreciations with a free online quiz. Try it out for a month, Eisenberg suggests, to see if you agree that it’s the best relationship advice ever.

Some some people get stuck when it comes to expressing appreciations, Eisenberg warns.

“They may feel guilty about their own behavior, fear if they acknowledge others they’ll owe them something in return, or holding in anger, sadness or fear that’s getting in the way of love and happiness.” In those situations, the relationship pro says it’s helpful to first try “Emptying their Emotional Jug,” “Letting Go of Grudges,” or considering “Mindless, Joyless, Loveless” messages that can sabotage intimacy.

“Finding and focusing on what’s wrong with another person says more about the person doing it than the one being picked on,” he says. “More often than not, people act that way when they’re unhappy with themselves.” Life is too short and too precious, Eisenberg stresses, to live in a constant state of unhappiness.

200 Examples of Appreciations

  • “I appreciate all that you be doing for the baby while I try to get the house ready. “
  • “I appreciate all the delicious meals your prepare for me every day and making sure our family is well fed.”
  • “I appreciate all the effort and time you put into our family to make us healthier and happier. “
  • “I appreciate all the effort you put in to cooking the evening meal. “
  • “I appreciate all the effort you put into making a really wonderful, delicious dinner last night, especially that you cooked things you knew the kids would love.”
  • “I appreciate all the effort you put into making a wonderful party for our son’s birthday, between cleaning the house, cooking, and making the cake I know it took a lot. “
  • “I appreciate all the effort you put into making wonderful dinners and doing dishes, picking up thoughtful desserts, and buying those colorful, fuzzy towels.”
  • “I appreciate all the effort you put into my birthday party.”
  • “I appreciate all the little things like that you do for me to try to make my life as stress free as possible.”
  • “I appreciate all the quality time you spend with our son. “
  • “I appreciate all the work and love you put into our daughter’s wedding.”
  • “I appreciate all the work that you put into caring for our family, helping me get enough rest when I get off work, helping out with meals, doing laundry, caring for the baby all day even when you’re tired.”
  • “I appreciate and admire your willingness to take on massive challenges, and work very hard for however long it takes to master the goal.”
  • “I appreciate being able to look at you in person and feel happy and proud that you are mine! “
  • “I appreciate breakfast, love, birthdays, and seeing you as a mother.”
  • “I appreciate everything you did to make sure I would survive while you were gone.”
  • “I appreciate everything you do to stay connected with the kids when we’re away from each other.”
  • “I appreciate God for allowing me to be apart of this great transformation that you are going through.”
  • “I appreciate how affectionate you are with me.”
  • “I appreciate how amazing you are at juggling a demanding career with your commitment, love, and devotion for me, our son and your mother. I can’t imagine anyone in the world handling all that better.”
  • “I appreciate how good you are in bed, how you get me going even at times I may not start out into it.”
  • “I appreciate how hard you work to help our family have fun on the weekends.”
  • “I appreciate how hard you work to make sure our family is financially secure.”
  • “I appreciate how hard you work to make sure we have everything we need.”
  • “I appreciate how much you have helped me heal some of the wounds from my past.”
  • “I appreciate how much you help me succeed by being a good father to our girls.”
  • “I appreciate how much you want to succeed for us, our children and yourself, your faith and how every morning you get on your knees to talk to our maker.”
  • “I appreciate how supportive you are everyday, always being so positive.”
  • “I appreciate how well you helped me troubleshoot when our daughter wasn’t feeling great. Your support and patience really made a difficult situation manageable. “
  • “I appreciate how willingly you show your affection, even in public. it shows your genuine feelings and makes me feel special.”
  • “I appreciate how you accepted me even though I disobeyed you, that you saved the woodpile and fixed my car.”
  • “I appreciate how you always are thinking about and sharing ideas for how to help me succeed.”
  • “I appreciate how you always strive to keep our house clean.”
  • “I appreciate how you bought my oatmeal when I was on my trip.”
  • “I appreciate how you can tell when I’m exhausted and sometimes offer to massage my feet.”
  • “I appreciate how you care for and attend to the needs of our beautiful grandchildren.”
  • “I appreciate how you check in with me everyday from work. “
  • “I appreciate how you have grown to keep your anger under control.”
  • “I appreciate how you have stayed calm with the situation we are in.”
  • “I appreciate how you listen and hear me.”
  • “I appreciate how you made dinner the other night and gave me a chance to relax.”
  • “I appreciate how you take time to help the kids with their homework on a daily basis.”
  • “I appreciate how you’ve been taking care of your sleep apnea and how it is paying off with your having more energy.”
  • “I appreciate no matter what is going on you always take the time to say good morning and good night.”
  • “I appreciate that although you used to be willing to leave so quick, now you show me you are commmitted and not leaving.”
  • “I appreciate that even though you were upset this morning, you didn’t let our conversation escalate.”
  • “I appreciate that even when you were laid off or had to move to support me in my career, you never stopped working and continued to make every effort to find and keep employment, keeping your family and our financial security in the forefront of your mind. “
  • “I appreciate that ever since we have been together you have financially given all that you have and have never been idle.”
  • “I appreciate that I can tell you anything and you listen to me.”
  • “I appreciate that the first thing in the morning we hug and kiss.”
  • “I appreciate that we are touching during the night and in the morning”
  • “I appreciate that we laugh with one another about people watching.”
  • “I appreciate that you also always have dinner ready for me even after going to school.”
  • “I appreciate that you are alive and want to stay that way most of the time. “
  • “I appreciate that you are always a gentleman, opening the car door for me.”
  • “I appreciate that you are dedicated to God’s will for your life.”
  • “I appreciate that you are generally very sociable and like to do nice things for people.”
  • “I appreciate that you are patient with me and genuinely want to see me succeed in my work projects without becoming too involved. “
  • “I appreciate that you are patient with me and kind.”
  • “I appreciate that you are self-motivated and how hard you work.”
  • “I appreciate that you are taking my concerns seriously and really trying to make things better in our marriage.”
  • “I appreciate that you are trying to help our relationship move forward in spite of our problems.”
  • “I appreciate that you are working to support our family even though you wanted to take time off.”
  • “I appreciate that you asked me about the conference today. “
  • “I appreciate that you bring me coffee in the morning.”
  • “I appreciate that you call me every day just to talk to me or check with me about your day or my day.”
  • “I appreciate that you clean up the kitchen each night and water the plants.”
  • “I appreciate that you come home to lunch everyday and spend time with us.”
  • “I appreciate that you compromise with me, and that you listen.”
  • “I appreciate that you contact me several times througout the day!”
  • “I appreciate that you do what you can to make others happy.”
  • “I appreciate that you encourage me go to bed early because you don’t want to see me tired.”
  • “I appreciate that you fixed the air conditioner.”
  • “I appreciate that you fixed the solar panels even though you were really tired”
  • “I appreciate that you give me time to shower and get dressed in the morning even when you are totally exhausted.”
  • “I appreciate that you have been open to new ways to improve intimacy between us.”
  • “I appreciate that you haven’t given up on our marriage and tell me what you need to be happy together.”
  • “I appreciate that you helped me out of a difficult situation today even though it was my fault I got into it.”
  • “I appreciate that you helped my sister come visit us.”
  • “I appreciate that you helped with my test tonight.”
  • “I appreciate that you hugged me and kept me warm last night when it got cold.”
  • “I appreciate that you kissed me hello and talked about your day when you came home.”
  • “I appreciate that you listened to me yesterday and agreed that to wait was the best solution”
  • “I appreciate that you make and take time for us. “
  • “I appreciate that you make time for dinner with me every evening.”
  • “I appreciate that you put away the dishes and rinsed your dinner dish.”
  • “I appreciate that you put in the effort for us.”
  • “I appreciate that you put out the trash and brought the cans back in before I got home.”
  • “I appreciate that you really show and tell me how much you value my contributions to the family.”
  • “I appreciate that you remind me it will be OK. I appreciate that you step up to take care of the kids when I’m not able to.”
  • “I appreciate that you send me good morning texts.”
  • “I appreciate that you sent me a photo of our daughter today!”
  • “I appreciate that you still open my door.”
  • “I appreciate that you take care of your looks and health.”
  • “I appreciate that you tell me often that you love me.”
  • “I appreciate that you tell me that I am beautiful.”
  • “I appreciate that you think about and are making plans for our financial future.”
  • “I appreciate that you took the kids to the park last night so I could clean up the kitchen.”
  • “I appreciate that you vacuumed the living room today so we could play on the floor.”
  • “I appreciate that you waited for me to finish my phone call before you started the movie.”
  • “I appreciate that you went with us to the park.”
  • “I appreciate that you’re a thoughtful person for finding this tool and sharing it with me.”
  • “I appreciate the dedication you have for our family and the simple things you do for our kids and how much you love them and care for us.”
  • “I appreciate the fact that you are always seeking and desiring to improve our relationship. “
  • “I appreciate the flowers you brought me.”
  • “I appreciate the hard work that you put in for your wife, children, family, house and most of all God.”
  • “I appreciate the honest conversation we had Saturday night. It was the most intimate – though difficult – we have had in a very long time.”
  • “I appreciate the hug you gave me in the kitchen last night.”
  • “I appreciate the kiss this morning first thing when you got up.”
  • “I appreciate the life that you provide for me and our family.”
  • “I appreciate the nice, impromptu back rub you gave me yesterday morning. It was a great way to start my day!”
  • “I appreciate the picture that you hid in my luggage.”
  • “I appreciate the snuggles we sneak in late at night and early in the mornings.”
  • “I appreciate the steps you have taken to better yourself and win a part of you back.”
  • “I appreciate the tasty meals that you prepare for us and I love sitting down, enjoying our meal and sharing a bottle of wine.”
  • “I appreciate the text and photos you send me throughout the day that help keep us connected.”
  • “I appreciate the things that you are doing to better your life and will in-turn better the life we are trying to build for ourselves and our son.”
  • “I appreciate the things you teach me!”
  • “I appreciate the time that you take when you get home from work to fix wonderful dinners for us.”
  • “I appreciate the time you set aside in the morning to pray with me and review our days activities.”
  • “I appreciate the time, effort and patience you put into our relationship.”
  • “I appreciate the touching this morning.”
  • “I appreciate the way you are being patient with changes that occurred while you were away.”
  • “I appreciate the way you are so good at taking care of our kids, how they are all having fun when I come home, and that you are such a calm, stable presence in their lives.”
  • “I appreciate the way you came in yesterday and tried to comfort me after a long day.”
  • “I appreciate the way you have been listening to me and making an effort to communicate without getting angry or raising your voice.”
  • “I appreciate the way you make every effort to stay in this marriage when I know it would be easier to walk away.”
  • “I appreciate the way you sacrificed your weekend to make money for your family.”
  • “I appreciate how you show me love in ways I’ve never known, not materialistic things ,but your touch, special words, and the tone in your voice when you tell me that you love me and how much I mean to you.”
  • “I appreciate the way you take care of yourself and all that you do to stay as beautiful if not more beautiful than the day we first met.”
  • “I appreciate the way you touch me and cuddle with me like we used to – that makes me feel safe and secure.”
  • “I appreciate the way you touch me and how much that communicates your love and respect for me.”
  • “I appreciate waking up in the morning to your good morning text, especially knowing that you don’t like texting. “
  • “I appreciate when I look at your sweet face all I can do is smile at my beautiful wife.”
  • “I appreciate when you check in on me when I have forgotten to let you know I’ve made it to work.”
  • “I appreciate when you send me loving text messages to let me know you are thinking of me. Each one lets me know I am special to you.”
  • “I appreciate when you smile at me and look at me with love and tenderness.”
  • “I appreciate when you tell me you love me or I look nice. It helps me feel better about our relationship.”
  • “I appreciate when you touch me and hold my hand. Your touch is reassuring to me.”
  • “I appreciate when you went out last night you texted me and called me to find out how we were doing and let me know you loved us.”
  • “I appreciate you are investing yourself in our future by setting up the appointments even with your busy schedule.”
  • “I appreciate you as a mother who somehow finds infinite time, energy, patience and love to nurture the priceless gift from God that is our son. I appreciate your hugs, kisses and each and every caress. I appreciate your patience with me in more ways than I can list. You’ve taught me more about love, acceptance and devotion than I could have ever hoped or expected to learn in a lifetime.”
  • “I appreciate you asking how I am doing during the day at work. I feel supported and know someone is watching out for me.”
  • “I appreciate you asking me how I felt and all the effort you put into listening to me last night!”
  • “I appreciate you bust your ass at a job I know you don’t love to take care of a family you do.”
  • “I appreciate you buying me dinner, the special dessert, and bringing it to me so I could rest my foot.”
  • “I appreciate you choosing me to build a life with. “
  • “I appreciate you cleaning up the dinner stuff when I was tired.”
  • “I appreciate you coming to watch the football game even though I know you don’t care too much to watch the game.”
  • “I appreciate you for being a strong mother.”
  • “I appreciate you for having dinner made for me when I came home from work yesterday.”
  • “I appreciate you for laughing and joking around with me while we made dessert last night.”
  • “I appreciate you for not getting upset this morning even though you were frustrated.”
  • “I appreciate you for wanting to work on our relationship. That shows that you really generally want and hope we can have a healthy and strong relationship.”
  • “I appreciate you giving me a good morning/goodbye kiss everyday and telling me you love me “
  • “I appreciate you giving us another chance and for letting me be in the house with you and the kids. “
  • “I appreciate you going to work each day in spite of your pain and troubles.”
  • “I appreciate you grabbing me today followed by your strong embrace and passionate kiss.”
  • “I appreciate you helping with things that need to be done around the house.”
  • “I appreciate you holding me when I’m upset or frustrated.”
  • “I appreciate you hugging me this morning.”
  • “I appreciate you loving me for who I am and for caring for me in time of needs. “
  • “I appreciate you making it a priority to help with our son’s baseball! I know that’s meant you’ve had to sacrifice other activities that are important to you.”
  • “I appreciate you making me laugh about silly things, like our dog when she runs across the bedroom like a wild woman.”
  • “I appreciate you pour yourself into teaching and assisting, this is part of what makes you an effective teacher and a great mom.”
  • “I appreciate you so much for taking care of our son this morning so the other kids and I could go to church. “
  • “I appreciate you standing by me through this tough time I have been having with work, our relationship, and life in general.”
  • “I appreciate you started the dishwasher the other day before you left for school.”
  • “I appreciate you staying connected with me, encouraging me, and supporting me when I’m traveling.”
  • “I appreciate you staying with me in the beginning of the party and helping me feel a little more comfortable.”
  • “I appreciate you taking care of the kids when I was resting.”
  • “I appreciate you taking care of the kids, dinner, and the house when I feel bad or am sick.”
  • “I appreciate you taking the box to the post office and saving me the trip.”
  • “I appreciate you taking the dog to the groomer.”
  • “I appreciate you taking the time to tell me the things that make you attracted to me.”
  • “I appreciate you telling me I’m beautiful.”
  • “I appreciate you trying to talk to me about our relationship.”
  • “I appreciate you working hard to support our little family.”
  • “I appreciate you working on our taxes.”
  • “I appreciate your asking me to go to the store with you last night – it felt nice that you wanted me along.”
  • “I appreciate your commitment to keep in contact with me during the day. It makes me feel special to know that you are thinking of me.”
  • “I appreciate your creativeness, great business sense, and that you ask for my input and opinions.”
  • “I appreciate your desire and work to have a presentable house that we can enjoy and share with others.”
  • “I appreciate your desire to help around the house.”
  • “I appreciate your effort to prepare meat for us to eat. “
  • “I appreciate your efforts toward making a nice evening for us including the spa and massage.”
  • “I appreciate your good attitude while doing what needed doing, even when it was an inconvenience to you. You’ve come home ready and willing to jump into whatever was needed.”
  • “I appreciate your growing interest in healthy food.”
  • “I appreciate your help at the house and at work.”
  • “I appreciate your help bringing me out of my depression.”
  • “I appreciate your honesty and loyalty.”
  • “I appreciate your laughs today and touches this morning”
  • “I appreciate your loyalty, honesty, and respect!”
  • “I appreciate your patience with me for all these years. I am also grateful for the effort you put in with the kids and their homework.”
  • “I appreciate your positive attitude this week.”
  • “I appreciate your renewed interest in taking care of the yard.”
  • “I appreciate your smile and warm hugs. Your smile melts my heart.”
  • “I appreciate your warm, lengthy hugs. I love that you kiss me often.”
  • “I appreciate your warmth and tenderness since coming into my life.”
  • “I appreciate your willingness to continue going to counseling with me. “


Test Your Ability to Share Appreciations

PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading Exercise

PAIRS Foundation Exercises for Better Marriages and Relationships

%d bloggers like this: