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Rituals in Your Marriage

Reaffirm Your Love Often Through Marriage Rituals

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Double Rainbow Over Farmers Field
Photo: Signature Exposures Photography by Shannon Bileski Collection/Moment Open/Getty Images Couple Relaxing On Sofa
Photo: Lumi Images/Dario Secen/Getty Images

Have the two of you ever chased a rainbow? If you haven't, give it a try. It could become one of your rituals.

The rainbow is a symbol of hope and faithfulness throughout the world and one of my favorite symbols.  I remember seeing  rainbows in the sky and taking our kids on car rides to look for the end of the rainbow. 

Even as a child, I recognized the reality of having to put up with rainstorms in order to have rainbows, but I think I first heard the phrase "no rain, no rainbows" a few years ago when we were visiting our kids in Hawaii. Chasing rainbows is something Bob and I continued to do after our children were grown and launched. It was a simple ritual that was not only fun, but it reminded us, that together, we could handle storms in our lives, whether the storms were financial, heart breaking, or during times of excessive stress.

When I mention rituals, I don't mean cultural, spiritual, or historical rituals. I mean private and personal rituals.

Rituals in your marriage can be silly, fun, and playful. They should be just between the two of you and are often touching and meaningful. 

Different for each married couple, personal rituals are those little things the two of you do that you repeat on a regular basis -- whether it be daily, monthly, or yearly. Personal rituals are a way to connect with one another, reaffirm your love for each other, and to show that you care.

John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver: "Creating informal rituals when you can connect emotionally is critical in a marriage."
Source: Gottman and Silver. The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. 1999. pg. 250.
Dr. Carol Bruess, author of What Happy Couples Do: "At the core, what rituals do is they give you a sense of history, predictability, playfulness or something to look forward to."
Source: Autum Shrum. "Keeping Love Alive: Couples Say Rituals Keep Unions Happy." Florida Today, 8/31/2008.

Examples of Personal Marriage Rituals

  • Hide love notes for each other. 
  • Set aside time to just enjoy the quietness with one another.
  • Leave a fresh flower each day. 
  • Call one another at a specific time each day.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate in bed with each other every morning.
  • Have a secret code for wanting to have sex.
  • Hold hands when driving through a tunnel.
  • Watch the first storm of the winter season at the beach.
  • Give one another a morning hug every morning.
  • Squeeze one another's hands before falling asleep each night.
  • Say a toast to one another each evening.
  • Create special nicknames for each other.

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