BY SHELA DEAN
It’s true with lots of things – Marriage: Use it or Lose it
My married friends keep a joint journal. They each write about everyday things and their feelings about each other, their marriage, careers, friendships, and lives. Their individual musings are there for the other to read. Sometimes they read it together then talk about what they’ve read. A joint journal—sounds like a great way to celebrate and memorialize a marriage.
As much as I love the idea of a joint journal, my husband and I are talkers, comfortable sharing our feelings and big on “remember when.”
It’s not the “how” of sharing thoughts and recording memories, it’s the “doing” that gives your relationship texture, reinforces togetherness, supports mutual trust, and creates the glue that holds you together during tough times. What defines any relationship and makes it unique—whether it be marriage, friendship, or business—is what’s shared within that relationship.
Meeting and overcoming adversity together, sharing and reaching goals, laughing together until your sides ache, crying together until there are no more tears. All of these things—and many more—forge a relationship into steel, strong enough to survive inevitable challenges. It’s not just sharing an experience that gives a relationship value. If it were, then the stranger who sat next to you on the roller coaster ride that scared the daylights out of you would have become a valued friend.
What gives a relationship value is the ability to emotionally share an experience—not just the good feelings, but the freedom to express all your feelings about that experience, feeling safe enough to say how scared you were, how much it hurt, how badly you wanted it, how embarrassed you were, how you regret what you did or said, all without fear of judgment or loss of affection.
The old use-it-or-lose-it adage is apt here. It’s the sharing—physically and emotionally—that forges a marriage and keeps you close. Failing to do so allows you to drift apart. It’s so easy in today’s world to let your relationship move to the back burner and to put off until tomorrow what there’s no time for today. Don’t make that mistake. Make and take the time to talk to each other, to share your thoughts, your feelings, your life. Make and take the time to create memories.
Your marriage is (or certainly can be) your most valued relationship. Use it or lose it.
Shela Dean is a Relationship Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author. Her latest book, ReDate Your Mate, 4 Steps to Falling in Love All Over Again, is available on Amazon and other online booksellers. Please visit Shela’s website.