Because Sweet Husband and I will be celebrating our second anniversary next month and because I feel like I talk about our relationship quite a bit, I’ve decided that at least for the next little while, my posts onThursdays will be about marriage – some of the issues we face, the things that work for us, articles, perspectives, posts that I find useful in helping us create a stronger bond. Feel free to share what is working for you in your relationship as we spend some time focused on marriage.
I spent some time this week searching for marriage resources that weren’t faith-based. Not that I have a problem with faith-based marriage resources – many of them are very good – but as a non-believer, occasionally a heavy emphasis on the role of faith in marriage is a bit…off-putting. I do a lot of taking-what-I-can-use-and-leaving-the-rest, but some times it’s nice to have something that speaks directly to me. It’s harder than you think to find such a thing.
I found a couple of sources (which I’ll be sharing with you over the course of the next couple of weeks) and then I remembered that one of the sites I’ve been in love with for a long time has incredible relationship advice. I fell head over heels in love with A Practical Wedding when Sweet Husband proposed & I started wedding planning in 2011. I was struck then and have stayed a fan all these years because it’s not just about weddings – it’s about having relationships. Negotiating them, working through the hard parts, making them work for you, redefining what it means to be married and part of a marriage.
I haven’t been reading as much lately because teaching isn’t all that conducive to checking in multiple times a day and I’m certainly not participating like I once was. There is still gold there, though, and today I popped in to find this piece on evaluating your relationship, which really turns out to be about using a camera to come together.
During our first year of marriage, we took a lot of pictures of us together. We attended a ton of concerts and one of our “things” was to take a photo after. There are some great pictures and some great memories in those shots. Last year, though, we didn’t take as many photos. It was so bad in fact that I couldn’t find pictures for Christmas cards.
Pictures are nice, but as the author says, there’s more to it than that.
Watching our relationship from an arm’s length away means we have to keep each other within arm’s reach. We have to be physically close to each other, holding each other in our arms, to both be in the photo. And at that distance if we’re not also emotionally close together the photo would show it. You can definitely tell what’s going on in the background of the photos, but the focus, the intense, tight focus, is us and our relationship.
One of the commenters said that she and her spouse at a minimum each month take a photo on their monthly anniversary. I like that idea. I’m not sure how well it works for us as I’m here and he’s there but I suppose that my mid-week trips home could be coordinates with the 21st of each month. I like the idea of creating ritual and ceremony around our marriage.
What do you think? How are you going about evaluating your relationship on an on-going basis? How are you creating meaningful rituals within your marriage?