I recently listened to a podcast episode, Simple Life Together, that described the differences between routine and ritual. A routine is a series of habits that are systematic (e.g. “getting ready for bed”). A ritual is more of a mindful routine that has benefits and feelings of appreciation. My husband doesn’t just “make” coffee. He “experiences” the coffee by savoring each step in the process. This ritual makes him happy and that is how he begins to wake himself up for the day.
The “Happy Wife for Life” series is based on the findings from Fawn Weaver’s book, Happy Wives Club, where she travels around the world to find the threads that weave amazing marriages together.
This week we are looking at Marriage Secret #1: Create a Daily Ritual. The purpose is to connect. Connection creates the opportunity to find out what is going on with the other person. This connection builds trust in our day to day lives.
My husband’s coffee-making ritual brings him joy…so how can we create that nibble of daily joy into our relationship? What I realized is that creating daily rituals helps us get plugged in to each other so we can energize or relax. I think of it like when my smart phone battery gets too low. Reminders start to pop up that I need to get plugged in. If I go too long, the result is the fictional medical condition known as “Dead Battery Anxiety” or a complete shut-down. When couples go too long without intentionally plugging in, there can be tension from not reconnecting or a complete communication shut-down. Creating daily rituals provides couples a reliable source of energy. Marriages need those nibbles of joy on a regular basis.
When thinking about your daily ritual, ask yourself, “what causes you to have the best conversations?”
Author, Fawn Weaver and her husband Keith have the “Weaver Coffee Hour” each morning. My husband lured me into this morning ritual. A hot beverage and a slow morning help us to savor.
Big Squeeze Hug
10-15 seconds are recommended. This is not a quick hug. This is a lingering hug, the type that helps you remember someone is waiting for you to come back home or drains the stress after a long day.
Sharing a Meal
Eating breakfast or dinner together allows a couple to stop moving around, sit, and listen.
This could be a beverage of choice that needs to be savored. Wine. Beer. Tea.
Sharing a warm bath or shower can help a couple focus on being emotionally vulnerable.
Take a Walk
Move in the same direction. The dog needs to go out so enjoy doing it together.
Focus on the Same Show
My husband and I need to have “our show” that we only watch together. Currently, we are re-obsessed with the comedy, “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix. Sharing laughter is good for marriage too. It helps to build inside jokes for later.
Go to Bed Early.
When there is too much going on in the day, we go to bed early so we can focus on each other. Eliminating visual distractions and being limited to the bed helps us focus on having deep conversations. My husband has agreed to listen for however long I need to talk as long as I’m rubbing his head.
This ritual can empty our thoughts of any worries. It allows your spouse to know what is weighing on your heart so they can provide emotional comfort. This is a ritual that I need to revisit. Praying for each other is powerful.
These small behaviors help us keep our energy charged for the whole day so we don’t get “Dead Battery Anxiety.” We can even take a routine and turn it into a mindful ritual that helps us connect. You may find that you already have a ritual in place that causes the best conversations. You can be intentional about connecting.
Creating a daily ritual could show up in a variety of ways. Ideally, I want a wake-up ritual of coffee for a slow morning, a big squeeze good-bye before leaving for work, a check-in text or phone call, and an evening ritual of going on a walk or watching “our show.” Having multiple ways to connect with my husband throughout the day makes me a “Happy Wife for Life.”
Creating a daily ritual allows couples to be the source of energy or relaxation. It is comforting to know that before or after we part, there is a reliable ritual that brings us together. My hope is that you will create a daily ritual with your spouse that will bring you the same warm feeling my husband gets when he experiences his coffee making process. A nibble of daily joy to savor.
Reflect & Share: What daily rituals do you do (or want to do) to connect with your spouse?
“3 Reasons Why You Should Create a Ritual” HappyWivesClub.com (blog)
“Buying Time and Where Do I Start” Simple Life Together (podcast/blog)
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (book)