Once you’re in a relationship with someone long enough, it’s easy to get so used to their company that, sometimes you just don’t notice them enough.

My wife and I have been together for nearly ten years. Saying that out loud, it feels much shorter than it’s actually been.

It’s hard when you get so swept up in daily life, working towards your goals and handling the day-to-day responsibilities, to remember to send your partner a little extra appreciation from time to time.

But it’s so important. Your special someone has stayed strong with you through thick and thin, not to mention put up with you through it all, so they deserve your gratitude.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

– John F. Kennedy

If you’re looking for a few extra, little ways to express your gratitude to your partner, especially in a long-term relationship, here are some ideas.

1. Take over their duties for the day/week


The best way to express your appreciation is to show it through your actions. One way you can do that is by giving them a bit of a break.

Offer to do the dishes for the week if that’s their responsibility, clean up the kitchen that day, or pick up the kids for the next month so they can focus on studying for their upcoming exam. Whatever it is that they’re in charge of, offer to do it for them for a time to give them some relief.

Whatever those things are which you can do for them will be unique to your relationship but even small gestures like getting off work a little early to clean up, make dinner, or plan a relaxing movie night can mean the world.

2. Let them – and others – know how much they helped you when you succeed


A long-term partnership is about more than just two people choosing to live with each other for the rest of their lives; you experience — and support each other through — everything together.

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That’s why when you succeed, they’re the biggest part of that success. So, make sure to let them know just how amazing they are, how much they’ve helped you, supported you, and pushed you to do more and better, and how grateful you are to have them as your partner in this crazy ride that is life.

3. Be there to support them whenever they need it


It’s difficult to fully know and understand how someone else feels, even when they’re your long-term partner.

However, if you make an effort, you can tell when something is bothering them, when they appear overwhelmed, or simply stressing out about some special event or deadline coming up. And even if you can’t, asking them from time to time when you think they might need a little help can go a long way.

The point is this: being in a long-term relationship isn’t just about enjoying each other’s company, it’s about supporting one another, especially when they’re having a rough time. That’s how you show real appreciation.

4. Or just… say it


Too often pride or embarrassment keeps us from uttering the truth to those we care about. Don’t let that be you.

Instead of trying to express your gratitude to your partner, maybe it’s best that you just say it.

Maybe you don’t say it enough, or maybe you have but you’ve never fully expressed to them how you feel about and appreciate them. Words have incredible power and such words of appreciation and love are virtually ensured to warm your partner’s heart.

5. Express your gratitude more creatively


Maybe you do tell them you love, appreciate, and/or are grateful for them. Maybe you say or do it the exact same way so often that it’s just lost its meaning.

If that’s the case, simply changing things up can have the intended effect without any additional effort. We can often grow deaf to the repeated actions of our partner over time, even if they’re well-intended.

By switching things up you can get around that and express your message in a refreshing way that reconnects with your partner.