3 Reasons Your Marriage Should Include a Daily Ritual
For some reason, when I hear or see the word ritual I instinctively think of natives sitting around an outdoor fire wearing festive clothing and doing some sort of chanting or wizardry. I have no idea where that visualization comes from; some movie I’d imagine. But including daily rituals in your marriage is something that can immediately transform the intimacy and connection. It’s not magic; but it can certainly feel like it.
I wonder what comes to mind when you think of rituals and if most people who hear the term are predisposed against it. When Keith and I were first married, every time I’d attempt to take something we enjoyed doing and turn it into a ritual (or tradition as he called it) he’d protest because what we once enjoyed he feared would begin to feel obligatory. Then one day that all changed.
Once I returned to the States, after travelling the world and interviewing couples happily married to discover the secret to a happy marriage, I shared with him one of the secrets I’d learned was the importance of creating a daily ritual in our marriage. To my surprise, every couple I interviewed -from South Africa to New Zealand- had a daily ritual they’ve maintained for decades. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, port and appetizers every night, etcetera.
The happiest couples in the world (at least those I interviewed) all had this in common. And these were the top 3 reasons every couple should include a daily ritual in their marriage:
1. Daily rituals build trust. When you get together with your spouse each and every day and talk about what has transpired over the past 24 hours and what’s on the agenda for the following (or current) day, there is something about that communication that provides transparency. It’s hard to keep secrets when you’re having meaningful and in depth conversations every day.
2. Daily rituals foster connectivity. So many of us rush through life. We talk via text message on our phones, email, Twitter, Facebook and so many other ways that don’t involve face-to-face conversations. When you begin each morning with a cup of tea, even if you do nothing more than look into each other’s eyes and take in the day together, you are building a connection. You are increasing your bond.
3. Daily rituals create longevity in relationships. A New York Times article sent to me yesterday, New Love – A Short Shelf Life?, reminded me why taking the time to stay connected throughout marriage is one of the greatest investments we can make. You don’t have to wait until the kids are out of the house to rekindle your friendship. Stay connected throughout their childhood years and your marriage and their lives will both reap grand dividends.
Immediately following my return to the States, Keith and I signed up for a fitness class and began taking it together every morning at 5:30am. We decided that class, followed by breakfast at home, would be our daily ritual. After a while, the 5:30am class was tough for me to make because I stay up so late at night. So now we take the class at different times during the day but our breakfast ritual remains the same. And as you can imagine, we both look forward to that time each and every day.
QUESTION: Do you and your husband have daily or weekly rituals you do together (coffee every morning, date night, playing Scrabble, etc)?
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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