Simple Romance Rituals to Keep the Divorce Gremlin Away

…the final in a series of Gardening Tips for Couples

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” —Margaret Young

We live in a contemporary society that values high-tech, the faster the better, and product stream; how fast can I make my widget? How many can I sell? How much can I sell them for?

It’s time to stop, look and listen:

  • Stop doing and start being
  • Look inside instead of outside of yourself
  • Listen to your inner voices in addition to your “head”

Common Rituals and Celebrations

Rituals and celebrations are one way to intentionally create meaningful connections with special and important events and people. Many people already celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Here are some common rituals and celebrations you might not recognize as such:

  • Graduations
  • Bachelor / Bachelorette Parties
  • Bon Voyage Parties
  • Promotion / Retirement
  • Bridal and Baby Showers
  • Wrap Parties in the Entertainment Industry
  • Funerals, Memorials, Celebrations of Life
  • Throwing coins in a fountain
  • Placing an extra candle on a birthday cake
  • Bride and Groom feeding each other cake
  • Sending cards to remember special occasions

You Can Create Easy Couple Romance Rituals

Celebrations and rituals do not have to be involved, complicated or expensive. It is the simple act of honoring your love and the caring you feel for your partner with your intention and attention.

Your Romance Ritual is something you decide on together; some specific behavior–something that you do with or say to the other, intentionally; and make an important part of your established routine. If you take the time and the effort to create your Romance Ritual and include it in your routines with each other, you will notice a marked increase in good will, less conflict and hurt feelings, and much more intimacy!

If this is something you’d like to try, finding your perfect Romance Ritual should be easy.

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The Power of Apology

…another in the series of Gardening Tips for Couples

It is highly likely that in the course of relationships with associates, friends, family members and your significant other you will do or say something or not do or say something that will cause someone hurt.

Reacting to the words and actions of others is normal, natural and necessary when we are involved and invested in a relationship with another, regardless of the nature or structure of that relationship.

For the purpose of this Tip, I want to focus on The Power of Apology for committed couples. That said, everything I am about to offer can be widely used and applied with all different kinds of relationships and with all different kinds of people!

What Is An Apology?

Your apology is an act of loving kindness and is an offering to repair the hurt. It does not speak directly to the perceived offense.

The very act of apologizing must be an integral part of all committed relationships regardless of the nature of the relationship.

It is not about not having one’s feelings hurt!

It is about both partners offering and receiving apologies when a hurt or an offense is experienced and reported by one of them.

When to Apologize

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Honor Your Partner’s Feelings as if They Are Your Own

…another in the series of Gardening Tips for Couples!

Feelings are the barometer of your outside existential life. For human beings in personal relationships, your feelings let you know how things are going for you inside yourself.

Feelings exist because they do, in and of themselves; and they are indicators of how to tend to your relationship.

I want to focus on an essential relationship behavior that you and your partner will want to practice, become good at, and use frequently with each other:

…Honor your partner’s feelings as if they are your own!

You cannot choose to change, modify, not feel, or otherwise positively or negatively affect your feelings. The only choice you have is directly related to your behavior.

Feelings are as normal as hunger and fatigue. When you dismiss, diminish, ridicule, criticize, mock, belittle, disparage or demean anyone’s feelings, you are acting in the most disrespectful and unloving way.

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Romance is Like Gardening

So often couples call and say…

“…My husband and I love each other and are very invested and committed in our relationship to each other and our kids. We go out on dates once a week; but our sexual/sensual relationship no longer exists…”

Or, “…My wife and I are wonderful companions and best friends but we’re not in love with each other anymore…”

Or, “…Do sexual feelings ever come back once they are lost?”

I believe that loving, feeling loved and being in love are terribly misunderstood concepts that lead couples to false expectations and assumptions about each other and their relationship.

The fact that couples report loving each other and being invested and committed in their relationship is very good news! I always am very heartened when I hear couples say that they are best friends or wonderful companions.

Those warm, endearing, respectful feelings toward one another are the foundation on which we build intimacy. Sensuality and sexuality can only exist and grow when relationships are based on those good feelings about each other; and the recognition that they care about each other and are connected to each other.

The problem is that contemporary couples don’t have accurate beliefs about what deepens and sustains those warm feelings toward each other and the experiences they have with each other.

Here’s a fact that every couple must understand: Sexuality, sensuality and intimacy can flourish in your relationship and are NOT dependent on time or energy!

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6-Point Plan to Fanning Flames of Romance and Passion

There are many myths about sex and romance in long-term relationships. There are also some universal truths and contemporary theories that should inform your personal attitudes and behaviors, and your responsibilities and obligations to your beloved and your relationship.

You have no doubt longed for that “early time” in your relationship to return. So often I hear men and women say, “I want our love to be the way it was when we first met”; or “I want it to be the way it used to be”; or “I know it is possible, he was like that when we were first together.”

I hear so many of you talk about the “spontaneity” that once was; the sudden inspiration or creativity that transformed dull days and nights into magical adventures.

Now hear this! The early time in your relationship was not spontaneous at all—quite the contrary!!

You planned for many hours; thought about each other endlessly: what to do; where to go; what to wear; will you pick him up or meet her; include friends or family now or next time… You thought about each other nearly every moment, talked on the phone incessantly and talked about each other to others when you weren’t talking to each other.

It will never be the way it used to be. It is not supposed to be. The beginning is the beginning and cannot be taken into the middle or regained once you are in the middle of your relationship.

If you are a person who likes the early times in relationships, you may notice having difficulty moving into later stages of your relationships and probably end them or act out so that your partner ends them well before or around the two to three-year mark.

For many men and women the beginning of a relationship is exciting! You are just getting to know each other. He doesn’t know anything about your dark side. She is oblivious to your annoying behaviors, idiosyncrasies or eccentricities.

It’s a time when you love everything about each other. Attitudes and behaviors are easily and readily tolerated and accommodated…at least for the first six to nine months. It’s a time when you have less ego than you will at any other time in your relationship. It’s a time of high sexual attraction and abounding sexual energy.

Fast-forward eighteen months to three years: There are no more secrets. You have bills together; dirty laundry; and every-day decisions to negotiate. You’ve been disappointed; he’s disillusioned; you’re both hurt. Your own life is challenging, stressful and busy. Sexual attraction and sexual energy are decreasing, or have just plain taken a nosedive!

What to do?

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Dr Jackie Black Newsletter

Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black. Since 1999, I have served high-profile and high net-worth Dual Career Couples, High Performance Couples, and Career Transition Couples who are in trouble. What I know to be true is this: Just because there are competing priorities and tremendous external pressure on your marriage doesn’t mean your marriage has to feel the impact. It means it’s time to find new answers and acquire new skills to get your marriage back to being loving and strong.

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