Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Favorite Marriage Ritual

Packages covered the floor. A beautiful food spread filled the table accented by a bright flower centerpiece. And, ladies in dresses stepped through the door. The scene screamed party.

It was my friend’s bridal shower.

Having already been married for a few years, I wanted to make sure that the celebration was a perfect mix of fun and meaning. To accomplish that, we included an original game.

Since the bride-to-be was a scrap booker, I got funky edged scissors and pretty wedding paper and cut it into smaller pieces, varying in size and shape. Then, everyone at the party took a piece of the paper and wrote one piece of marriage advice. Afterwards, the bride to be read each tip aloud and people guessed who wrote it. Obviously, the person with the most matches correct won.

I knew immediately what I would write-

Before going to bed each night, share with one another the high and low of your day.Why?

Life is full of activity. Between getting to work, going to school, caring for kids, volunteering, attending various meetings, chatting on the phone, getting together with friends, paying bills, making meals, doing laundry, and the list goes on, life gets busy.

Even though you are a couple, you get pulled in individual directions over the course of the day.

And those experiences touch us, mold us, transform us, inspire us, scare us, encourage us, exhaust us, and move us in deep ways. So, unless we make a purposeful effort to share the high and low of our day – because those often will be the things that impact us most – we will move into the next day drifting apart rather than closer together. Over time this could lead to an emotional chasm that causes married couples to see their spouse as a stranger instead of their partner.

I cannot tell you what a blessing it has been to intentionally carve out this nightly time for one another. It us unearthed incredible heartfelt conversation and ensured constant understanding of each other so that we continue through life as one solid unit.

Given the crowd at the party the tips varied from absolute hilarity to gentle encouragement, but it made for one pretty cool bridal party game because when all the advice was placed among pictures on a scrapbook page, the bride-to-be had a permanent memento of the fun she had and inspirational words for her life to come.


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8 comments:

  1. What an AMAZING idea! My husband recently started his residency in surgery and is gone 95 hours a week...I miss so much hearing about his day and it's tough to wrap up 16 hours of work in the 30 minutes we have together in the evening...I WILL be doing this every night from now on to at least make sure we get the important stuff!!

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  2. Love this idea!

    Kim
    Kimberly's Korner

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  3. I love your idea of the bridal game shower game. I recently heard of people writing down marriage advice tips in a big book at the wedding.

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  4. You are a great writer, Melissa! This is also a great tip. Thanks! Kelly

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  5. So important to share your day with each other! Great advice :)

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  6. I love you high and low idea. What great insight I could gain from what my husband shares.

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  7. That's such a good idea. It can be too easy to get to the end of the day and realize that we haven't shared much of that day with each other.

    PS Found you via Raising Homemakers.

    Amy
    makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com

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  8. My husband and I have done this off and on with each other and with our boys at the dinner table. It's not always easy to coax our boys to participate, so we often drift back into unstructured conversations (which is what we're doing now). So this is just the nudge I needed to get back at the important and intentional questions you've suggested, Melissa. Thanks for this encouragement!

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