As we walk forth into the new year, resolutions are made and hopes fill our minds for a better year ahead.
Is your marriage one of those areas that you’re hoping to see improve this year? If not, it should be! Relationships are work, and not in the this-is-such-a-burden way, but in the this-is-worth-it kind of way. We work hard at the gym to lose weight or increase muscle. We work hard at studying to gain knowledge and achieve good outcomes (good grades, that is). We work hard at our jobs– to perform well, earn money, keep our jobs, and/or get those promotions.
So lets work on our relationships, not just here-and-there or when things get really bad, but all the time, in small but meaningful ways, so that we can achieve great outcomes here too!
Someone one said, “If your charging your phone more than you’re relationship, then you’re focused on talking to the wrong people.” I don’t remember where I heard this, but it stuck with me.
When we are just starting out in our relationships, we are actually “working” and “charging” a lot! We are planning dates together, talking on the phone each evening, taking trips, watching movies, learning about one another, connecting, building memories. This is how our emotional bonds fuse. They fuse, we envision a future together, and we get married- committing to spending forever (gulp!) with this person we adore.
So it makes sense that as life goes on and we “work” and “charge” less, these bonds may weaken. Our connection may weaken, our conflicts may grow, and forever might seem like a very long time!
Whether you’ve been working on your relationship or not, things can get better this year! In fact- even if you’re relationship is GREAT now, this fun activity can add to that greatness! Lets face it, it’s still good to maintain a healthy diet each day even once we’ve lost the weight and are feeling in a good/healthy place. So, today we can start getting healthy, or continue staying healthy
I want you to take a moment to reminisce with your partner about all the fun you had while dating. What did you enjoy doing together? What memories are your favorite? What made you want to marry your partner and do this forever thing with them?
Do you remember your wedding day- how you felt, what highlights stand out from that day, what vows you made together?
Well today we are going to make new vows. Don’ worry- you can borrow from the original ones you made if you’d like. But today we are going to make 2017 vows. Vows are commitments, intentions, and goals. Today’s vows are going to be promises we want to make, and promises we can achieve. You can mix funny with serious, but be sincere, be honest, and focus on from this day forward. (If a muddy past blocks you from doing this- seek counseling, and don’t wait another day. Problems that persist are toxic.)
Take a moment to read the below passage. Reflect on your marital strengths, and become mindful of areas that can be worked on. Take some time to think and write alone, identifying the vows you want to make for this year ahead. Then set a time where you and your partner can share your 2017 vows with one another. Carry these vows with you each day, being mindful, intentional, and purposeful.
If after this activity you’re not quite feeling so stellar, we are here to help. As Marriage and Family Therapists, relational health and happiness is of utmost importance. Phone consultations are available, so that you can find the right fit. Just remember, sometimes a personal trainer, attending a training at work, or heck- actually attending class when your in school is the best way to learn, succeed, and achieve. We are here to help.
The Art Of A Good Marriage
by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.