When Did We Stop Saying Thank You

When I was taking Journalism at college, one of our assignments was to interview a long-married couple to find out what made them stay together.
Our neighbours at the time, were the perfect subjects.
They were married shortly after World War II, and had come over to Canada from Germany.
They were the best neighbours one could have; always up for a chat over the fence; always offering some homemade German delicacies; always cheerful and happy.
When I sat down with them and asked them what made them stay together after so many years, the lady said, “We take each other for granted.”
I was in shock.
Taken aback.
I thought the secret to a great relationship was the opposite:  NOT taking each other for granted.
And then she explained
You have to take it for granted that the other person will always be there.
Always have your back.
Always offer company, comfort, solace, friendship, love.
Perhaps there is some truth to that.
But I still think it is a nice idea to not take the other for granted.
Lately, I have noticed in my own relationship, we seemed to have stopped saying “Thank You” to one another.
Taking it for granted that the other knows the other is grateful.
I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing.
I like being appreciated – and I like the other person to know they are appreciated also.
I find myself not saying “Thank You” because something is being done for a greater good, not necessarily for me.
And if I say “Thank You”, it implies that something is being done for me – when it is not specifically for me, but for a bigger cause.
Does that make sense?
And I also have noticed we don’t say ”Please” when we ask for something, or even “Bless You” when the other sneezes.
I think we always used to do that.
Are we letting things slide?
Perhaps.  Perhaps not.
We ARE taking it for granted that the other KNOWS we are grateful.
Is that alright, in a long term, long time relationship, coming up to a decade of togetherness, that we expect the other to know we appreciate them?  That we are grateful for them?  That we are at least mentally saying “Bless You” when the other one sneezes?
I remember a line from a movie, where Liam Neeson says, “When did we stop driving each other to the airport?”
That movie was about a marriage that was nearly on the rocks.
But they saved it just in time.
So, I think that while taking each other for granted may have worked for my long time married neighbours, but maybe not so much for me.
There is something great about always expecting a person to be there, but I always think it is nice to be acknowledged and appreciated also.
So I, for one, will go back to saying “Thank You” and ”Bless You” and ”Please” as much as possible.  To let my significant other know he is appreciated and acknowledged.  Validated.
Because it makes ME feel good to let him know he is appreciated.
And perhaps by making that example, hopefully he will return the outward appreciation.
I know he IS grateful for me, and appreciates me.
But there is something to be said for actually saying it.
So, “Thank You.”

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