This article is extracted from “This is NOT a Second Honeymoon: Helping Couples Survive Spending A Lot of Time Together”, a book that was written by Christopher L. Smith to help couples during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his clinical work, he realized that couples being quarantined together have particular challenges. The book goes into a lot of these challenges along with strategies to survive these types of times and even to have their relationship thrive. We will be sharing a series of these extracts over several weeks to help you. If you would like to look at all of them together and get the book right away, it can be found on Amazon (Book).

When you speak of traditions, you probably think of significant or major events throughout the year, whether these are secular or religious. When you think of rituals, you are likely to think about things that are formulaic. While these may be the norm, there are also traditions and rituals that you have in your daily or weekly life that you may not even think about but just have. Perhaps you read the newspaper every morning, if you can still get a newspaper. Maybe you sleep in every Saturday morning. Perhaps you kiss your partner before you go to work or after you come home.

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Having this intense time together is an interruption in your normal. This interruption allows you the opportunity to think about those traditions and rituals that you would like to have in your daily or weekly life with your partner and to begin implementing them. While you could just implement them for this time, it is also possible to begin to establish new patterns in your relationship. What would bring more joy to you and your partner? These could be small things like sharing a glass of juice in the morning before work or making Thursday supper a more formal occasion. These could be related to particular dimensions of your life: working out together on Sunday evenings for the physical dimension, saying grace before you eat for your spiritual dimension, picking a common friend at random to call each Saturday afternoon for the relational dimension, spending ten minutes before going to bed writing in journals to specific prompts for the psychological dimension, and so on. Here's the Book.


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