My husband and I will be celebrating our two-year anniversary in a few days, and I thought of a nice way to reflect on the past two years and to help improve the next ones to come. I thought I’d share it here on PGR for all of my pretty girls. The idea is patterned from an activity we do all the time at work. We have a lot of professional development workshops, and at the end of these workshops, we have to write down a plus and delta list of things that went well and ways to make the workshop even better. I decided to put a spin on this idea for marriage (or any relationship you may currently be in). Here’s how you do it:
1. Each person needs to grab a sheet of paper, a pen, and find a quiet space, away from social media, the TV, cell phone, etc. No distractions.
2. On the front of the paper write, “Our marriage (relationship) is great because…” and list all of the reasons why your marriage is so wonderful. Be sure to list quite a few reasons, even if you have to really think about it. There’s always at least a few great things in almost every marriage.
3. On the back of the paper write, “Our marriage (relationship) would be even better if…” and list things that you would like to see improve in your marriage. When you make this list, remember not to make it too long and to only hit on the really big things…the things that are keeping your marriage from being its best. For example, wanting your man to be more affectionate is a really good thing to put on the list. Wanting him to take out the trash more often…well, I wouldn’t waste my list on that one.
Once both of you have a list written up, go out to eat at a really nice restaurant and share your list with each other. I recommend reading it at a restaurant because date night puts everyone in a good mood. Plus, your favorite food boosts your serotonin levels and keeps you peaceful and content.
You should take turns reading from your list and explain why you wrote it and what you meant by it. In order for this exercise to work, it must come from a place of love. You can’t do the exercise if you just had an argument or you’re mad at each other. You both have to also keep an open mind. Honest communication is the key to this exercise. Each person has to know that what they say will be validated and will not cause offense in order for the other person to be completely honest.
Please don’t be that girl that can’t handle the truth. If your man says that your relationship could be better if you dressed up every once in a while or tried a new position every now and then, do not get mad. Instead, appreciate his honesty. The old adage about him finding somewhere else what he can’t get at home is sad, but true. Which is why this exercise is so important to any relationship. So many times we as women think that we know what our man wants. Even worse, we fool ourselves into thinking that we’re giving it to him. But, if there is something on his list that he feels like you’re not doing, then you’re not doing it, no matter how much you feel like you are. Don’t rationalize. Don’t justify. Don’t defend. Just do it and watch the magic happen.
The goal here is not just to be in a relationship, or to be content in a relationship, but to be insanely ecstatic in a relationship. To just think of the person and instantly feel your heart race. To just see a text from that person and smile from ear to ear. To just feel a slight touch from that person and tingle all over.
Why settle for the average marriage, when you can have an extraordinary one?