Today is a special Thanksgiving episode "Gratitude is the Best Attitude". It's a good one.
We break down the effects a lack of gratitude can have on relationships and discuss our own walkthrough being ungrateful to learning how to be grateful.
Your Marriage can change if you learn to be grateful and express that to each other without strings attached.
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We are strong believers that marriages can be reset, refreshed, recharged, and restored.
Welcome to season two, episode 20, one of the amplified marriage podcast. Today. It is Canadian Thanksgiving. We are talking about gratitude and how gratitude is the best at it.
welcome to another episode of amplified marriage. I'm Bryan. Hi Natalie. And wherever you are, whatever you're doing. We always say this, have a coffee, have some tea, some red bulls, sit down, listen where you're working out. We're going for a run, whatever you're doing. We are so glad that you were able to join us today as we listened and we had this amazing chat.
And so in case you missed our last episode, we're in this Enneagram series and our last episode. The number six on the Enneagram. And for those of you who might just be tuning and there are nine numbers on the Enneagram. So we've gone through number eight. And then last episode, we went through number six, the loyalist, which is my number.
So I encourage you to go listen to. Get a little more in depth as to who Bryan and I are. I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing, but it's a lot of fun anyways. It's definitely
helped in our marriage. It sure has. So today we are talking about being grateful and an attitude of gratitude.
I think it's so important. Today is our Canadian Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate that than. Gratitude and thankfulness how that looks and how sometimes it might, the reality of what that might look like right within
gratitude actually respond to each other when sometimes realistically, if you've been in a relationship for any length of time, You really, don't always feel like being grateful or offering thankfulness or having and sometimes it's really easy for the heart of, in gratitude to really be the thing that is put out the most.
And to really not be thankful for all that your spouse does or all that your boyfriend or girlfriend or your fiance, or it's really, it's a hard thing to, to maintain that thankfulness, especially when you feel like you've been ripped off in some.
Or your partner has pulled like a Jekyll and Hyde, and they're seemingly not the person that you fell in love with. Which was our situation. Anyways, turned out to be such a juggle. We're going to
start off. Did you notice all of you that you didn't deny it? If you've been listening to as long enough, you know that I'm the Jekyll
and I hit, I dunno.
Oh yeah. All right. That was
moving on. Moving on. All right. Romans 12, 10 says, love one another with brotherly affection. This part here though out do one another in showing off.
So we want to lay down just this the definition or a version of the definition of in gratitude. And it really means the absence of words and or recognition for what someone has done now.
In any relationship and that's in our relationship, there has been long periods. Now. It's not as prevalent now as it was then. Because it's something that we had to learn and we've had to practice, but there was times where we just were not at all. Very good at being thankful for what the other's doing.
No one, we, when we were preparing for this, we were talking about those times that I came home. You want to just lean into that a little bit.
I think there can be an expectation of our spouses or partners of when we're coming home. And for those who have listened long enough, you, Bryan has said numerous times that he really appreciates.
Like a home cooked meal when he comes home from work. And because he loves that and he works very hard. I try to make sure that there's dinner ready for him now, does that happen all the time? No. So I think this is the one that you're wanting me to talk about. Yeah. So I think in our early years there was an expectation of.
How things should be when you came home. And for those that are long time listeners, Bryan's expressed in several podcasts that his desire. His, he loves to have a home cooked meal when he gets off of work. I love your home cooked meal. And so there were times, we've got older kids now, but when they were younger, it didn't always go like that.
And so there was this almost preconceived notion and there's times where I had like just a horrible day or I got bad news, which then just derailed. I had all these like ambitious plans to, surprise you and to make sure everything. Ready so that you and I could sit down. I didn't have any other housework to do after that.
We could just enjoy each other's company and then you'd come home and there were toys all over the place. The laundry wasn't done dinner, certainly wasn't done. And it would set you in such a foul mood
for a long time. Because there was this expectation that it would be done. And then what happens is we had to work that out.
Cause that was just an expectation that it was communicated, but it wasn't always executed. We'll execute it, but not just that it was a communicated expectation, but it wasn't something for some reason I was just was flexible. No, because I was like, you're going to be at home. Your cook me food.
No, it wasn't like that at all.
It wasn't where you were like a tire intent. I expect like I'm out making the money and I expect you
to have, I have said that ingest and then there is a swift retribution for my
comments. So that's not going to, I'm not going to put up with that. Yeah.
So I, and so I would come home. And it wasn't made for the longest time.
Cause we weren't healthy. I was a, an unhealthy husband. She was an unhealthy wife and we were responding in such a way that was just constantly unhealthy, no matter what we did. And so the, even though it was communicated expectation and she, and on it, 90% listeners, she always nailed it. There was this majority of the time the precedent was set.
She would make dinner, I'd have something. I was never like a really big concern. But then that one or two times a month, or once every couple of weeks they would happen. For some reason I couldn't switch off. And I realized that I had started this cycle of ungratefulness and taking her for granted in all that she did.
Now, if you have it right. And if, if you have if you're married or just have small children in your house, you know how hard it is sometimes when small kids, when you have small children to get things done around the house, And when you have, even at the time, it was just me, Natalie Rainan and he was small, but all of a sudden there's extra laundry.
They're puking on stuff and they're making things dirty and things are happening in the house. Not clean making lunches that, take 25 minutes to make because he's like off running around and he was a really busy young kid. And then you add another one onto the, into the mix. Now there's more laundry, there's more food, there's more things going on.
And it's just
chaos. It's a vicious cycle. So you would come home. Be completely obsessed, with the fact that it wasn't done, it was almost, you felt disrespected.
I felt disrespected, which is completely. W such a weird way to, and when I think back, when I think back to it, it's such a weird way to, to process that one.
It wasn't disrespect at all because she respected me, within the reasons and the space that I given her to respect me as much as possible, but that the cycle had turned into just on gratefulness. I just showed in gratitude. And it wasn't just that there, then it started to permeate into other things.
You didn't do this when you said you were like, you were going to pay this bill, but you didn't, and it's not. And it would be literally she paid it the next day, but not on the day that, that she said she was so ungratefulness and just that lack of gratitude just continued to this cycle. And all it did was create distance more and more between Natalie and I,
Ungrateful for you. And I'm like, who does he think he is? What kind of day?
And here's the other part of that conversation we were having just before we recorded was you're like, how would I would come home dinner? Wouldn't be ready. And I wouldn't know the type of day that you. There is no, I didn't.
Ha I didn't know. You hadn't told me. I had a chance to talk to you on the phone that day. Like we usually talk a couple times a day. That's just how our relationship has always been. That's just the type of people we are, but she didn't, I didn't come in the door and she didn't say, Hey, this is what happened.
This is why things didn't gun. It didn't get done. And so instead of that communication, at the end of the day, at some point in the relationship with early on, it wouldn't have mattered. I wouldn't have cared, but then I realized I'm being a jerk. After she told me and not necessarily in so many words, but then in the words you're
being a jerk.
So let me paint a picture of a case. So that cycle, that we're in about all use dinner, as an example, you fill in the blanks for your relationship. But, okay. So because The response wasn't ideal. Now I might not have communicated that, but I was in the mindset of like, why should I communicate?
What kind of a day ahead, duh, he should know we've got little kids. Stuff's not going to get done. Do you want me? That was my mindset. He was like, why? Oh, he thinks I'm going to cook him dinner after he treated me like that. This was the internal dialogue. And I probably said this over. To myself.
Oh, he's got another thing coming. We'll see how he responds tomorrow. When I purpose myself now not
to do it, not to do it just to make him mad because now I'm going to try and prove a point.
Thanks for that. But one of the things, and this was really hard to learn in my marriage was that I'm called to be generous.
With my time with my resources, with making a meal, regardless of the response.
So as a tough pill to swallow, I think it's a, it's
one of those things you mentally know that you're supposed to be generous. You mentally know you're supposed to give and not be not be selfish. You Jen you're supposed to love and you're supposed to show affection, you're supposed to honor.
But when you're now, when you're married and you're faced with that every day, it becomes a heavier cross to bear. When you have to get up every day. And choose to love that person regardless of their flaws and their fault.
It was, it took years. Honestly, if we're being honest, it took years to get to a place where regardless of I had to position myself to be that person without I'm going to, I had to put aside this thought that I will only extend gratefulness and only extend thankfulness if I did it first.
Yes. And I had to put. I had to put my big girl pants on and choose to be that person that extended that even if it wasn't reciprocated in the way I wanted it.
Because it for many years. And if you are listening to this and you're in that cycle, you could be in this cycle forever. Unless one of you chooses to join.
Change your stars change the direction of relationship, change the direction of your marriage. Change your focus, fix your focus on something else. Like we're me and Natalie and I are believers. We're Christians. And we believe that as Christ followers, we have a model and Jesus has modeled what it means to be someone who is loving and caring and honoring.
And so that's the model that we're going to follow. And when we. Don't reach that model. It's not like Jesus is banging down our doors and be like, Hey, you're a failure. And you're all the me dying on the cross doesn't mean anything anymore. That's not what it is. If he can extend grace for the things that I've done and mercy and forgiveness for the things that I've done, that I have the strength and the mercy to be able to extend those towards my.
That's right. And
literally that is the thought process that transformed our marriage.
Absolutely because we were not functioning in a way that was remotely healthy and the circle and Natalie was actually one that broke the cycle. Now we'll get to that in a little bit. There's something practically that we're going to.
Just that was super helpful for our relationship. We want to break that down for you at the end, but we just want just talk about a few things that can get in our way when it comes to developing and being grateful, but it developing a heart of in gratitude. And moving towards that place of why we get to being
What is standing in our way? What attitudes might we possess that really can be that right.
And when the very first one that we want to talk about is entitlement. We have this odd attitude of entitlement. Now, when you're married, there is, the Bible even says to become. A threefold cord might not be broken.
And we become one flesh. So there is this attitude of oneness, but there also doesn't come with that. An attitude of entitlement. That says I'm going to do things and be a certain way and do all of these things and you're going to do them for me because I'm entitled to that. You own me, even though you just the attitude there's no, even though there's no wide, there's this, you owe me.
That's the attitude of entitlement. There does need to be a why we see it in our culture constantly. We see it with. In our jobs in our, the way we exist, we see it in our churches and everything. We see this attitude of entitlement and here's the truth. And I even, when I preached on Sunday, I said this, they said, the world doesn't owe you anything.
And your spouse, they don't owe you anything. What you owe them is everything that you have, everything that you are because that's the covenant that you made between you and your.
Don't hold things back
they may be holding something back from you. That's
right. And that was that whole thing of be the change.
You can be the change. You can shift your focus off of yourself. And it's hard, guys. It's so hard to shift it because I want to be right. I don't want to have to be the one that's maybe I'm the problem.
And the best way to start having a change in your relationship is if you're willing to say Hey, what's my part in this?
And you've heard us say this all the time. Be accountable, take responsibility for your side of the actions we have watched and coached couples where even just one side of it, him or her has said, okay, I'm gonna take responsibility for my actions. I'm going to start making a change and start loving my spouse the way I'm supposed to.
And it honestly, it doesn't take long before the. Half of this starts to see something and feel something different in their relationship that actually helps turn that up, ended ship right back on its proper side. And all of a sudden they start moving forward together.
And if we're going to stay on this whole thing of the cooking of the meals, just so that it's cohesive and people can understand it's something easy. You had an entitled attitude, a hundred percent of I work outside the home. Not that you I didn't learn you little. No, you didn't. You never lorded over me, but there was that attitude that I work outside of the home all day.
And I'm expecting a home cooked meal now. Yes. I did everything I could to just like. Stab you with my words and whatever of, like you said, you think you're going to treat me like a doormat. Heck no. And no one should treat anybody like a doormat. This is just how quickly that can come in.
I had to shift my focus of okay, he might have this ungrateful attitude when things don't get. But if we're doing the same thing and expecting a different result, that's insanity. So clearly he's not going to be the bigger person in this situation. So what can I do? And at first, honestly, it probably was, my motivation was probably really selfish.
Like if we're being, I am being honest, it was selfish, but I was like, I'm going to shift my focus. And if being at home, raising my kids, which is a huge calling on our lives, then Lord, you're going to need to help me to serve a meal to my husband out of a spirit of gratefulness for him, regardless if he did.
Yep. See it, or express gratitude or anything like that. And it became something for me. It wasn't about you. The shift happened for me.
So what you're saying is once a shift happened and you realized it wasn't, it, it started out as selfish rule. It
was about, yeah.
So it was about me. So what you realized is that serving and loving another is not.
How they feel about it, it's about what you're doing for you and that you're doing the right thing. You're doing the honorable thing because you took responsibility for your actions situations, even though I didn't give you a whole lot to work with a lot of the times,
it's true. And I honestly could not have done it.
Had I not. I heard the Lord speak to me about, this is what I've created you to do. This is your job right now. You're a mom, you're a wife at this, like that's, there's no greater calling. And so I had to get off my own pedestal of being ungrateful, like deep down of the fact that I was at home because I gave up my.
And all of that, and I don't regret giving it up, but there was a process I had to go through where I wasn't resentful at the fact if I had to be at home. Yeah. So I embraced my role as a wife and a mom. And it became about serving out of that place of Lord, this is what you've called me to do.
And because you've called me to do that, you've equipped. With the necessary skills and abilities to, to execute this well. Yeah. And it's not even about my spouse. It's about what am I doing? That's bringing you glory. What am I doing in my day? That's bringing God glory. If he's called me to be in this place right now, Then everything I do, if I'm mopping the floors, if I'm whatever it's for his glory, it had nothing to do with you.
And I really had to separate that from getting validation from you, because at the end of the day, it didn't matter. I was pleasing
God. And even though it had nothing to do with me, ultimately, It benefited our relationship immensely. And that's when things changed. So that's really good way.
The way that you put that, the next thing is something that kind of gets in the way of gratitude is pain and pain is that we were hurt people. And when you've all heard that statement hurt people. Now I know you don't like that one specifically for the reasons. Lots of people that were hurting or are hurting that are still generous with people or good.
What I mean by that, and I want to just want to clarify is hurt people that are living in their bitterness that are living in their anger. They're living in their frustration, living in their entitlement, living in this place where that's all they have. That's all they know, and they're doing nothing to heal themselves.
Those types of people hurt other people. And so you can't see. Good when you're just your lens for your relationship is the pain that you
have. That's right. And I would caution using that as a crutch right. For not changing. And I think that's my issue with us statement is there are plenty of people that have had broken horrific tragedies and trauma that they've walked through that are still.
Seeing the good and other people, they don't go out murdering people just because they grew up in a household that was toxic. Do you know what I mean? How? Just because you are hurt, does not. And give you the right to then be hurtful to other people. You can change that cycle. Yeah.
And that's what we're saying is that you can change the cycle in your relationship.
If you choose, this is where you want to go. However, the relationship ends,
you're responsible for what you say and what
you do. Absolutely. And that's what we're getting to now. Unforgiveness is one of those things also that gets in the way unforgiveness is draining. We also have experienced tremendous amount of unforgiveness in our relationship.
We did not forgive each other for so many things for so many years. It's. Offense. And I said, you've maybe heard this before is it's much like offense and unforgiveness and offense, very much of the same type of attitude. You gather people around you to ally yourself. So you can, you're not going to forgive them.
You're going to be offended with other people, but it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. And so you get all unfree forgiveness in your heart. You don't forgive your spouse. You don't forgive the other person across from you. And it eats you alive from the inside out. And again, That becomes a lens in which you see your spouse
and forgiveness, is for you. Forgiveness is what sets you free. From whatever has happened. It's not about the other person, because if you're in a state of like, when I was in a state of unforgiveness towards you, you were so sleeping. So soundly at night, it used to make me so mad. Because I was the one up, I was the one in turmoil you weren't or seemingly anyways.
And how often is that? When other, when we're walking in a spirit of unforgiveness towards someone else, chances are that person has no idea. They're not losing sleep over it. We are right. Are I am so unforgiveness is for me or extending forgiveness to. My spouse to my husband, that's for me, so that these roots of betterness and offense and ungratefulness and resentment don't take root and grow.
That's right. It's to set me
free. Absolutely. And so there's not, I think you deserve it. I'm forgiveness really has nothing to do whether or not I deserve it or. And that's the trick of all forgiveness is when you forgive someone, you're forgiving them because it's good for you. Not necessarily good for them.
It releases you, it gives you freedom and brings you healing and life and joy because
no you're letting it go. And forgive, you've heard us say this before. Forgive does not mean forget. No. There is that is the dumbest forgive and forget, oh, I forgive them or get as a stupidest thing anyone could possibly do.
Like someone brought up to me one time says if you knew that a babysitter that you hired molested one of your kids, you forgave them. Are you just going to forget what they did and let them babysit again? Heck no. Forgive and forget is the dumbest thing ever. Please
don't speak that to people.
You need to forgive and
forget. It's you need to forgive them because we believe, and we've had to experience this with our own family members and things that we've had to walk through in life that we've had to forgive for it, but we don't forget. Now. It doesn't mean you immediately and there are boundaries and you have to set up boundaries and you have to rebuild trust and you have to, so
to her, it's not an overnight thing at times.
Nope. There are times like I know a specific instances in my own life where it has taken me seven years to come to that place where I could fully forget. The situation and the person that was responsible. But so please hear us. Yeah.
And so here's the interesting thing, though. If you go to this place and you decide that you want to live this life of being grateful of being forgiving, Honoring the spouse and doing the best that you can to change.
Now there's some actual scientific benefits.
Okay. So we started with all
the doom and gloom. Yep. Now we're going to leave you with some benefits and some one practical thing. We want you to practice this coming week in this coming two weeks. Good things. But here's some good things. About benefits of being thankful and having an attitude of gratefulness.
And what it does is it actually changes the molecular structure of your brain. It literally rewires it and changes the neural pathways to change things into a positive aspect.
But that's incredible. Because the word says to take your thoughts captive, right? So if it can start. With something as simple as just being thankful for just being grateful for the things that you have, that can be that very thing that requires your brain.
This isn't unattainable,
right? It's something that we can all do. Absolutely. So it increases gray matter, which this helps with all of our cognitive functioning. So when we're in a better state and we have ended a better space and we have an attitude of gratefulness, we actually cognitively are.
we could all use. It's like when
we eat properly, if we eat properly or sharper, it boosts the neuro-transmitter as serotonin and stimulates the brainstem to produce dopamine, which is the happy drug. When we have dopamine, we're feeling good. It's a dopamine is the same shot of dopamine happens.
Whenever we receive a text message, we get that little Brittany, Ooh, someone loves me. And then we get the, and the swirl. We get all happy. When we get a text message,
it helps us release. Emotions, and it helps us to manage stress. So for living a life of stress and anxiety, perhaps this is suggesting, turning on that attitude of gratefulness and thankfulness.
Could it be the very thing that switches that around,
it also lowers our blood pressure being grateful, lowers our blood pressure. Do you know what being grateful also does unless you see the silver lining in every situation, instead of the only the bad things in everything that's
right. And it lowers your cortisol
Which means that you can also get a better amount of sleep because now you're being grateful and you're not letting the doom and gloom be the thing that drives your every decision.
Being thankful and living a life of thankfulness motivates us to take better care of ourselves so we can exercise.
Better. I eat
healthy. I wish I could take, I could successfully it with an attitude of gratitude. Have we tried that it'd be a better exercise and eat better? I don't
know if we've actually tried that maybe that can be part of our challenge,
but it strengthens our immune system because it's stressful on our body to always be the negative.
when we're bitter and we're negative and we're grumpy and we're cynical, it's not healthy. It takes more work. Yeah. It takes more energy and more muscle to frown than it does to smile.
So it's a natural antidepressant and helps with relieving. Being gratitude, being grateful being gratitude, being grateful is what I
That's right. And so maybe it's time to start a grateful journal or to document the things in your life that you're thankful for. Can
you talk about the challenge, let's talk about the challenge. I really want to get to the
challenge. Okay. So one of the things early on or Vietnam early on, we've been married for 20 years.
So this is. I think it was like 10 or 11. So it took a long time. I was going
to say, I'm the one that usually forgets how long we've been married for.
But yeah, so I was challenged in my own self about how to respect you, how to respect my spouse. And I came across an article. And the article gave like a bunch of suggestions of like ways that you could reach your spouse, or I forget what the actual title of the article was, but one of the ways that they suggested was creating a thankful.
Text or a thankful note to your spouse. And so I was like, this is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Like nothing we've done so far, nothing I've tried so far has worked. How can I be so sure that this is going to work? So I'm like what could, what harm could it do? Cause remember it's not about my spouse.
It's about me healing and becoming a better whole person. So I took the challenge and I'm like It honestly, guys, it took me two months to think of something that I was thankful for other than oh, you've got great hair or you've got, blue eyes. I really wanted to go deep into his character cause I'm like,
Lord, man, I really didn't give you much to work with any it was a bad period of time and our relationship because let's face it.
I'm pretty sure. So now you are right. You heard me for a reason, they were just hidden, hidden, quiet. They
were hidden. And I was like, Hey, I fell in love with this guy enough to marry him. Clearly, there is something there. And I was like, Lord, you really got to help me think deeper. I wanted really characters, characteristics of you that I fell in love with.
So for me, it took two months. Maybe you'll be able to think of something right off the fly, but our challenge is, think of one thing. That you are thankful for your spouse or your partner for whatever they're in and
express your gratitude
without expecting a response of oh, now that you've said that to me this is something I'm thankful for about you.
Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Without expecting a response
in return, you're just being grateful because you're, your spouse is awesome and that's what you want to do. And you, we want you to take one thing for the next 14 days and text them, write them a little note, leave it on their pillow, do something on their this, let them know that you're grateful for just one thing.
And it could be, I'm grateful for how hard you work,
I'm grateful for your. Head of hair.
And it could be that it could be physically speaking.
But we want to challenge you to go deep into the reasons that you married them. Now, if you may marry them because their hair was great.
That's cool. That's only one day, but there has to be other reasons why you married them because they love other people because they love you. They were graceful. They had mercy, they were have a great sense of humor. They had really dark sense of humor. Like why did you fall in love for you? Do your, for your spouse, why do you love them?
And then text them once a day or message them once a day or leave a note once a day and just let them know how much, how grateful you are for them. So we're very excited and we, what we'd like you to do. As we'd also like you to send us an email. If you get an exciting response and just something to say, Hey, this actually is something that we're going to implement and we're going to do, just let us know.
We want to hear testimonies of how it went. When you did this with your spouse, with your partner, with your boyfriend, with your girlfriend. We just want to know about how it went with your spouse and just be excited for you. So we can be excited with you to let us know we are supporting you and everything.
So you can let us know an Instagram. You can let us know on Facebook. And if you really are enjoying this podcast, we, it just means so much to us when you actually share it, let people know about it. And again, email us, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or topics you want to discuss, that's also where you can let us know how this challenge went in this last week.
And as you have heard us say many times before we believe that marriage can be reset, recharged and restored. Thanks so much for