We have this thing in my family called “forced family fun”. It basically means we make a point of doing things together, that at the time can seem like a drag, but through the rosy colored glasses of a memory, mean something bigger. I remember as a child loading into the Ford Pinto and driving from Colorado to California to see my sister every summer. That kind of a drive in hundred degree heat at times was no fun at all. Complaining and fighting would commence, and my father would sound the all too familiar refrain, “We’re going to have fun, or else…”
I remember every mile fondly.
More recently we’ve had some forced family fun trips with my boys. One is 23, one is 5. Imagine the joy of trying to make sure everyone with all their diverse interests, naps schedules, and food preferences, is enjoying themselves. It’s loud. It can be obnoxious. The one thing both of my boys seem to agree on. They both like girls. Beyond that, sometimes it’s like throwing sh*t on a wall to see what will stick.
We can’t plan all our family trips around girls. Don’t even ask me how we accidentally ended up taking a family trip to the Mustang Ranch. I’m not talking about a Mustang Ranch with horses. I’m talking about THE Mustang Ranch. It happened. It was awkward. I remind my oldest, while he’s being drug through yet another Family Fun Carnival, that these memories will matter someday – and they will.
As important as family rituals are, I believe the same thing applies to couples and it’s even more important. If a couple doesn’t have a strong foundation, there is no family vacation that will make a happy family.
For a couple, rituals can define a relationship in a really sacred way. Let’s face it humans have created rituals around things that are sacred to them since the dawn of time. For a couple, the rituals we create not only form shared experiences, but create a sense of presence, and honor in a relationship that can define it or transform it.
If you don’t know where to start creating rituals here are three types of rituals you might consider.
1. The intimacy ritual. My husband and I try to do a weekly spa night. We put the wee one to bed and exchange massage or sit in the sauna. At least once a month we get out at night and go for a walk in the dark, more to hold hands than talk. Maggie Reyes from Modern Married talks about the ritual of the daily check in. These things don’t cost money. They just require making the time. The intimacy ritual is something you do routinely to experience each other as a couple.
2. The celebration ritual. We celebrate the anniversary of our first date. We celebrate the half anniversary of our first date. We celebrate our wedding anniversary for three full days. We celebrate things that are precious to us. If your relationship is precious find as many ways as possible to ritualize celebrations.
3. The immediate family ritual. Most people bring rituals into a relationship with family of origin. It’s very important that a couple create their own family rituals. When a couple forms a family with or without children, they need to create holiday and other family rituals that are their own. That doesn’t mean they should dismiss their family of origin rituals. It means they start creating supplemental rituals that are theirs to build memories on.
Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 09/17/2013 at 12:00:00 AM