Making Marriage Better: Marital Masters vs. Marital Disasters Part Two: Creating Connection Rituals
Admit it, we all know at least one…the couple who appears to really enjoy one another’s company. You know, they are the couple at the dinner party who has effortless conversation, sets up one another’s stories and jokes and looks at each other as if they regularly make love even with three kids. What is their secret? Is it just organic chemistry?
I would say the answer is, “Yes and No.” There are couples who do have organic chemistry and seem to just “get” one another. They tend to have a lot in common and view the world the same way. They are an “easy fit”. However, even high chemistry couples report a drop off in marital satisfaction, fun, desire and sense of connection over time if they are not intentional. Intentional about what?
Connection rituals are intentional dates, quality time, activities and rituals that are planned and respected that intentionally structure couples to stay in tune with one another. Most couples start the marriage with these rituals (date night, exercising together, watching television, talking on the phone during the workday, intimacy nights, weekend activities, etc.).
However, for many couples these rituals get compromised over time by children’s activities, work demands, separate television viewing habits, outside social activities and hobbies that do not include their spouse (working out, networking, going back to school, hanging with friends, etc.).
What happened to our happily marriage that seemed so easy?
If couples are not intentional about planning connection rituals, it is a common for couples to look up and realize that they managed to schedule everything except time for their marriage. When this happens, here’s what typically happens next:
· Decline in marital satisfaction
· Decreased intimacy
· Increased arguments
· Decline in sense of connection
· Outside relationship/affairs
· Decline in quality communication
Marital masters can experience too because the demands of life, bad work habits, stress, and settling can affect any couple. However, unlike Marital Disasters who tend to accept a mediocre or bad marriage and try to “wing it” when it comes to repairing their marriage, Marital Masters quickly adjust and immediately create and maintain connection rituals before too much damage is done. They even go so far as to schedule the connection rituals in their smartphones, calendars, and adjusted weekend and after work routines.
Here are some examples of marital connection rituals of Marital Masters. Find which ones you like and should incorporate into your marriage because no one has time to be a marital disaster:
· Leaving the house/returning home ritual (kiss, hug, prayer, etc.)
· Date night/Eating out
· Scheduled bedtime ritual
· Morning ritual (wake up before kids, walk, breakfast, shower together)
· Annual vacation
· After dinner tea/coffee/drink when kids are asleep
· Exercising or meditating together
· Celebrating good news and goals met
· Watching a television show together
· Bible study and discussion
· Intimacy night
· Lunch time dates or phone calls
From this list, which rituals do you have, like and/or need to implement into your marriage?
Also, quick note, Marital Masters don’t just discuss rituals of connection. They schedule and live by them to create a positive marital culture filled with quality time, fun and connection.
So, read this, share with your spouse, and make connection rituals a part of your new marital culture. Why? We want you to be that couple having all of the fun, good vibes and late night intimacy session everyone envies at the next dinner party.