Updated: Oct 25, 2021
I was in session with a couple that desperately wanted to save their 18-year marriage from apathy and boredom. Due to busy schedules, routine, and life their marriage turned into a cold relationship in spite of the care they still had for each other. They barely talked about how they felt and they even forgot what their dreams were… They were emotionally disconnected—as well as physically disconnected. Maybe you relate.
So, I sat down with them and talked about the power of rituals for a happier marriage. It’s essential that we all understand that marriage is like a plant that needs water, good soil, nutrients, and care if we want to help it grow. It’ll not grow on its own without our attention - of course, the same principle applies to marriage. That’s why rituals in marriage play an important role to nurture the relationship and make us feel emotionally connected. But, what kind of rituals or habits can we create as a couple to have a happier and fulfilling marriage? They asked me. There are several things couples can do. Here is the starting point:
The Hello & Goodbye Hug: To be reunited at home should be a reason of joy, so celebrate it giving your mate a nice hug and a kiss – not a peck on the cheek but one that lasts at least several seconds! Let him/her know that he/she was missed. Do the same thing at the moments of separation.
The 20-Min. Conversation a Day: This is a time that you two set aside from everything. It’s an exclusive time you as a couple deserve for each other to talk face-to-face. You can exchange feelings about your day, laugh, and relax together. You may want to prepare some tea, coffee or have a glass of wine. It’s a special “Couple’s Time” to unwind from the busy day, share dreams and hopes. If you practice this 20-min. ritual a day you will be amazed how you two can strengthen your friendship and connection.
The Bedtime Ritual: Never go to bed angry – the old saying goes. This saying is so accurate and powerful. Any argument or hassle has to be resolved before the end of the day, if possible. Remember that! -Some couples like to watch TV in bed and that’s good because you still can connect with your mate while watching TV by snuggling and feeling each other “physically”! -And last but not least, remember to say: “I love you” when is time to sleep.
The Weekly Date: Remember when your spouse was your boyfriend? Remember how exciting was dating with him/her! Now that you are married or living together dating is as essential as it used to be so you can create good memories and have fun together. There’re so many things you can do together under the sun –and moon- that you will not regret about this weekly ritual. Running out of ideas on what to do this weekend? Here are my 50 Romantic Ideas for Dating Your Spouse. Have fun!!
The Pearl of the Day: I always tell my clients to focus on having a little detail with their spouses every day. It can be as little as a text message saying: “I am happy you are in my life”, a post-it in the vanity mirror saying: “I can’t wait to see you again” or leave a chocolate bar in his/her pillow. That would be the pearl of the day. It’s so powerful that you both will be eagerly anticipating the end of the day to meet. Start today!
The Quarterly Romantic Retreat: It’s a good habit or ritual to have a little vacation with your mate once every three months, says Dr. Gottman. It really ads quality time to your relationship and strengthens your bonds by focusing on one another. Just two or three days would be enough. Be aware that I am not talking about a family vacay but a retreat for you as a couple. Alone.
C’mon! Start planning your next romantic getaway and synch your agendas. Keep your relationship fresh.
WHEN THE EFFORT COUNTS...
Talk to your significant other about these romantic rituals and make them happen. Mention how positive will be to incorporate these small gestures of love in your lives. Just subtle and easy things to do would be great. Invest some effort to keep your relationship warm and meaningful. You can do this!!
“IT’S THE LITTLE DETAILS THAT ARE VITAL. LITTLE THINGS MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN.” -JOHN WOODEN
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