Personal Rituals Can Bring Couples Together, Says Portland Marriage Counselor

March 18, 2012 by

As a Portland marriage counselor, I deal with clients who might be considering ending their relationship on a regular basis. Their problems all differ, but there is usually one common element shared between those who seem the most willing to give up on the relationship and part ways: they don’t have enough positive, personal experiences that they’ve gone through together.

When I bring this up to people, often they will be surprised and ask what I expect – how can they have any control over whether or not those experiences occur? Do I expect them to be creating these experiences themselves? Actually, yes, that’s exactly what you can do.

The couples who are bonded the most closely together tend to find ways to create positive, repeatable experiences with each other. These things are typically personal and private, and can vary from the incredibly serious to the seriously silly – all that matters is that they represent something positive and enjoyable that you only share with your significant other. A ritual that, when you and your spouse engage in it, brings you back to a happy place. So that is my relationship advice to these couples: create their own rituals.

Portland Marriage Counselor: How Can You Create Your Own Rituals?

Of course, relationship advice is useless without a bit of guidance, right? You probably want to know how you can create these rituals, and what they consist of – I know I would. That, however, is the beauty and the curse of something that, by nature, should be powerful and personal to you and your partner – you have to figure it out. Here are some things that some of my clients have found work for them:

  • Creating and using nicknames
  • Making it a rule to kiss whenever one person asks it of the other – especially during fighting
  • Share an embrace before going your separate ways to start every day
  • Bathing together
  • Reading together
  • Finding a favorite TV show to only watch together
  • Calling each other at the same time every day
  • Always going to the same restaurant on your anniversary
  • Creating a code word for when you want to have sex
  • Playing hide and seek with ridiculously over the top love notes

If you and your partner have a difficult time finding rituals that work for you, a Portland marriage counselor may be able to help.