It happened again. I was simply sitting with a cup of tea as I began to think about my husband.

I wish he’d appreciate me just a little bit, I said to myself. He didn’t even notice what I did in the house today. And that one thing I asked him to do last week, he still hasn’t done it. I wonder if he ever thinks about me. It’s his job that occupies him. Oh, why can’t he do something wildly romantic for a change? And…

The more I thought about my husband, the more dissatisfied with him I became.

But then I asked myself:

What if he had appreciated me for something, had noticed the house and raved appropriately, had immediately done the chore, had called me from work simply to say, “I’m just calling to tell you I miss you today”? What if he had brought me flowers or planned a special romantic date for no reason. Then what?

I would simply have thought of something else that displeased me. The truth is that even if he had done all these things, I’d simply think of another way in which he dissatisfied me. Once again, I had fallen into the trap of being a “Picky Wife.” And a picky wife is no fun to live with. She always wants an encore. No matter what her husband does, it will never be good enough for her.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve fallen into the picky trap. It’s happened many times. But slowly over the years, I’ve recognized what is going on in my mind. My life has become all about me. I’ve begun to criticize him in my mind again. Now a big red light begins to flash. Stop, it says. It’s time to stop this train of thought and instead to focus on the things that I’m grateful for in my husband. He is a man of integrity. He loves me. He works very hard. He is humble. He …

Once I recognize the downward spiral of my thinking, I’ve learned to switch gears and say out loud things I’m thankful for in my husband. In fact, each day I try to focus on one trait that I appreciate in my husband. I simply call it my marriage vitamin. And yes! This little habit has strengthened my marriage.

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