Before anyone thinks I’m losing it let me start out by giving a definition of rituals (no chicken feathers on an altar!).
Rituals in marriage are the things that happen often, are planned together and special mostly to you and your spouse. They may happen every year or they may happen every day. Because they are planned together both of you know that you’re supposed to be there for the ritual. Along with planning and frequency, they must be special. Your ritual should have positive emotional meanings to both spouses.
Rituals are different from routines because they are not just about efficiency. Like eating dinner sitting in front of the TV with little conversation and the distraction of tablets and cell phones. However, what is a ritual for some may not be for others. A clearer example of a ritual would be a spouse previously apprehensive about dancing starting dance lessons through a local studio. The spouse then learns that they like dancing lessons and initiates more without prompting. The couple has now created a new experience and planned connection activity in their marriage. Rituals are about you and your spouse connecting. So anything can be a ritual, if the focus is on building connection in your marriage.
It is especially important for couples in blended marriages to establish rituals to solidify their union. It helps keep the focus on the new union and to avoid negative trips down memory lane about what the last significant other did or didn’t do.
What are the rituals in your marriage or relationship? Telling us about them may help other couples searching for ways to connect. Here are the guidelines:
- List one ritual for each response (feel free to submit more than once!)
- Why you do it, how it started, how long you’ve been doing it and any obstacles and backup plans for doing it if you miss it.
Next time: 3 Types of Marriage Rituals.