Sharing some of your rituals - SEND MORE!
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Aug 31 15:49:03 EDT 2000
subject: Sharing some of your rituals - SEND MORE!
from: Smart Marriages
Thanks to those of you who have sent in marriage rituals.
I'm going to share a few with you to remind you and to prime the pump.
I've posted many more on the web site at
where you can read the full text of Bill Doherty's banquet keynote
and also read the guidelines for sharing your rituals which I'll repeat
at the end of this post.
And/or you can order audio or video tapes of the presentation at
800-241-7785. (Ask for tape #750-5 -
audiotapes are $10 and videos are $25 plus S & H.)
A marital ritual is a shared activity that you do on a repeated basis
(from daily to yearly) that has meaning for you as a couple. It can be
small or big, splashy or simple, as long as it is a regular part of your
life that helps you stay connected as a couple.
HERE ARE SOME YOU'VE SENT. THERE ARE ALSO GREAT RITUALS WHICH WERE
SHARED AT THE BANQUET ON THE WEB SITE.
Here's a ritual my husband and I have been practicing for
almost 20 years:
Although the custom of a weekly date for married couples is
not a new idea, about 10 years into our marriage Jim and I
were moving to a new city and new job with three young
children. We figured these transitions might put extra
stress on our relationship so we committed to have a weekly
date. Considering our busy schedules and modest income we
developed the following process:
1. We scheduled the dates on the calendar for the whole
year - usually a Friday or Saturday. This way we wouldn't
accept another commitment unless we could switch our date to
another night that week.
2. We alternated who would plan the date and it was often a
surprise to the other spouse. This evened out the "burden"
of planning and allowed each of us to occasionally do new
things that the other spouse might not have thought of or
chosen. The surprise added mystery, zest, and romance.
3. It needn't cost money and needn't mean going out of the
house, but it did require having time away from the
children. (Some of our best dates were sitting by the river
at night gazing at the lights. "Home dates" often meant
each of us taking naps in the evening while the other
watched the kids so that we could stay up past their bed
time and have fun by ourselves.)
The main obstacle I can remember about alternating "Date
Leader" was that I often did not feel very creative and felt
a burden coming up with a new idea on my turn. Although we
still do the weekly dates, we no longer alternate since that
became too much work and we had built up a nice reservoir of
ideas that we still draw on.
Jim and Susan Vogt
My husband and I have two small rituals that connect us without words.
first we use when we are with a group of strangers. The second helps us
find each other when we are lost and in a strange place. Somehow these
actions are very reassuring and comfortingly familiar.
The first is the slow blink. When we are stuck in conversations at a
and one of us would really like to leave (the party or the conversation,
either one may be the case). One of us will catch the others eye and
blink slowly; this is the signal that we want help in gracefully
things up and exiting. This way we can help each other out and keep the
event fun for everyone.
The second is the low whistle. We have a snatch of a tune (honestly I
it devolved from the song sung by the fairy godmother in Disney's
- but it has since taken on its own melody) that we whistle softly when
are looking for each other. One of us whistles, the other responds, and
walk toward the music, whistling softly back and forth until we find each
My wife and I met in college when six of us went out together for pizza.
and I began to become acquainted. That was the Tuesday before
1958. Since marriage, we have tried to go out for pizza every Tuesday
Thanksgiving. When our children were young it was often pizza
at home or out to eat with them, but since it usually has been just the
of us. We talk about the "early days" and our hopes for the future,
like that first time. Since marriage we have yet to go back to the same
pizzeria (yes, it's still there -- Pusateri's in Dubuque, Iowa) for the
anniversary, but we have been there 2 or 3 other times and that's special
us also. (I knew by Thanksgiving that she was the girl I wanted to marry
though it didn't happen until 9 June 1962.)
Bob and Connie Davis
My husband and I have very different sleep schedules. I go to bed around
p.m. and am up at 6:00 a.m. He usually goes to bed between 1:30 and 2:00
a.m. and gets up around 8:00 a.m.
I like to keep a glass of water by my bed. Early on in our marriage he
into the habit of bringing me my water and kissing me goodnight. We have
continued this "ritual" throughout our marriage (14 years next month). I
think this is an important ritual for us because it provides us with an
opportunity to connect each night. I don't just wander off to bed.
something comforting about the fact that he knows when I go to bed and
we have said goodnight to each other.
Dawn and Tom Cassidy
My husband of 23 years came up with this idea because he's more of a
romantic than I am. Every morning, he gets up at 5:30, gets ready for
work and goes downstairs to make his coffee and breakfast. 6:15 is my cue
to meet him at the kitchen table. There he sits, with his breakfast...and
two lit candles. So for 20 minutes every morning, it's just the two of us
enjoying a breakfast by candle light. It's especially "romantic" during
the winter when everything is dark and we talk by candle light only. What
a great way to start the day!
Allan and Silvana Clark
There are a lot of smart
marriages out there, and we hope you1l share your rituals to help other
couples. If you are willing to have your name connected with the ritual,
that would be terrific.
Here is a guide to writing about your rituals for placement on the
smartmarriages web site.
1) Give enough details so that others can follow your example, but try to
keep your description under 100 words. If you need more space, that's
okay, but brevity is best.
2) Make sure you say what the ritual does for you as a couple, how long
you have done it, and any obstacles you had to overcome to make it a part
of your life.
3) Say whether you want to "sign" yours and your spouse's name to your
ritual, or whether you want to be anonymous.
4) Consider reading Bill Doherty's talk for background information on
marital rituals, and for examples, before writing yours. We'll add the
to the end of the talk as they come in.
5) More than one ritual is fine, but write them up separately.
Send rituals as email text to cmfce at smartmarriages.com
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