The Two Words That Can Absolutely Change Your Marriage

Sometimes I don’t even know I need to hear the words.

Until he says them.

And then I’m like a sponge and I soak them up like my life depended on hearing them.

The whole family spent the entire Saturday knocking down dead trees, pulling up weeds and pulling down thorny vines tangled in our trees. We turned up the earth and planted tiny okra, pepper and tomato plants, already dreaming of summer. If it sounds exhausting, that’s because it was, but it’s my favorite kind of day. We were all working together and accomplishing something we all wanted: a garden.

We were dead tired and covered head-to-toe in filth, dirt in our hair and under our nails. I walked in the kitchen and that’s when I remembered my forgotten trip to the grocery store. I sighed because I had to go to the store and I couldn’t wait another hour.

I scrubbed my hands and put a clean shirt over my-not-so-clean body and my oldest and I headed out. I left my husband and other kids chopping wood to carry off.

I still had groceries to get and unpack, dinner to start, laundry to turn and a half dozen other tasks that keep our family of five running all week long.

The kids helped me unload food into the pantry and I hurried dinner along. It was nearly dark as we sat down to eat, and I stifled a yawn. And that’s when my husband leaned over and looked at me long and hard and whispered the words: thank you.

the two words that can change your marriage

And I patted his arm, his face ringed with the weariness of hard physical work and I said them back. Thank you.

Because sometimes? We just need to hear the words. Deep down we know our family is grateful–our kids appreciate the little things, especially when we don’t do them and our husbands and wives see more than we think they do.

But to hear the audible words–some days it’s the jet fuel we need to keep going.

And the words aren’t really dependent upon what we do–because sometimes dinner is a flop and the laundry spills over and the kids meltdown and husbands run late and life has a way of being perfectly imperfect.

But when you overhear him tell your daughter she looks beautiful on Sunday morning or watch him put his briefcase down, loosen his tie and read Junie B. Jones for the millionth time — stop — and thank him.

When you realize she turned off the alarm so you could sleep a few more minutes or remembered your dry cleaning for that important business meeting and changed the cat litter because she knows it’s the chore you hate the most–stop—and thank her.

Sometimes the very thing you need to hear the most is what you need to say to someone else.

When she’s impatient. When he’s angry. When she’s tired. When he’s busy. When she’s down. When he’s not…

When she’s up all night with the baby and you have to step over baskets of unfolded laundry, when you can see the stress of his job weighing him down–these are the messy moments when we feel invisible, unappreciated, overlooked.

These are the moments in our marriages that need a thank you the most.

Because they aren’t just words. Thank you sends a lifeline. It says:

I see what you do all day long.

It matters.

It’s important.

You matter.

You’re important.

I don’t see the mess.

I see your yes in it.


Click to read more of our marriage story….



    • 1.1

      Brandy says

      I agree a simple I’m sorry can go a long way especially when you want to keep from going to bed angry.

    • 1.2


      Being married for 25 year, I and my husband both had to learn that those words can stop a fight and save your marriage. We also have to try not to continue to re-offend. I’m sorry has to mean I realize I was wrong etc. and promise my hardest, not to do it again!

  1. 4

    Kim says

    Perfect timing, perfect day…after a perfect weekend where my family and I also planted a garden and worked in the flower bed. After an exhausting, yet fulfilling weekend, he deserves a thank you.

    You’re post prompted just that this morning and I’m sure you helped me to make his day today, so THANK YOU!

    Have a wonderful week!

  2. 6


    Excellent post Kristen! Two words that are powerful in our relationship are “Just Because.” That is my best reply to: Why did you get me flowers? What’s the candy for? Why did you do my laundry?

  3. 8


    I was chatting with the hair dresser as she was cutting away. I learned that she was to be married this summer and shared with her that I had been married for 15 years. She asked me for one piece of advice to give her in her marraige. To be put on the spot like that was hard. There were so many things I wanted to tell her. In the end I told her that the most imortant thing was to appreciate each other and to say thank you. My husband and I thank and appreciate each other every day even for menial tasks such as taking out the garbage. It makes the marraige sweet.

  4. 9


    I love your vulnerability and “realness” I’m a MOPS Mentor Mom and grandmother and love forwarding your posts as both hope and encouragement. I even gets hints to use in my life. Keep on sharing. God is using your words for good.

  5. 11

    Leslie Townsend says

    Loved reading this! Would be nice for a church bulletin article/..we ALL need encouraged to use these words more often than we do!

  6. 12


    Thank you. I remember early in my marriage when my sister-in-law gave me that very advice. It is so true. When my hubby thanks ,e it means the world and vice versa. This is a good reminder.

  7. 15

    Brandy says

    “I love you” I think are important to especially when its out of no where I like to send that random text to mu fiance every now and then just as a reminder it lets them know you arw thinking about them even when they aren’t there.

  8. 16

    Kim says

    I think “Thank You” is important in any close relationship. My mom and I share a home. She is retired on Social Security, and I teach full time. In terms of working together to make our home run, we have a division of labor – mostly she does domestic things while I “bring home the bacon”. We decided early on in our journey of sharing a home that we would say thank you early and often. It has helped us remember all that the other person does – especially when individually we my be feeling tired, overwhelmed or grumpy.

  9. 17

    Cecile Thompson says

    I clicked on the pic to “read more of your story” per the instructions, and no matter where I click it takes me to a page to buy a rhinestone. I’m not interested in the rhinestone. Am I doing something wrong or is there no link?

  10. 18

    Cecile Thompson says

    Nevermind, I just saw the links below the comments section. It looked like I was supposed to click above your picture though. That was confusing. I like this post, fyi.:)

  11. 19


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