A marriage record

June 9, 2011

in 1 + 1 = 1, Seeing Clearly

I recently saw Sheri & Bob Stritof suggest making anniversary time capsules. I like that, but would suggest something more. Create an ongoing time capsule in the form of a scrapbook. Add things from important events, and select a few dates each year (anniversary, Christmas, each of your birthdays) in which you each write a “state of our union” letter.

Couple with scrapbook © Jovani Carlo Gorospe | Dreamstime.com

Each time you add “state our union letters”, take time to read the letters from a year earlier, three years earlier, and five years earlier. Discuss the changes, good and bad. Complement each other on things that have improved. Reminisce and enjoy. Set goals for the next year.

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5 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@bc - If you are going to track growth, you will need to be honest. It can be done kindly, but it should be done.

bc
bc

do you recommend putting "the good, the bad, and the ugly" in these letters - a comprehensive, honest assessment? ... or are these to be 'good news only'?

Rick
Rick

We've been doing something like this for years but based on a "corporate" model. About 12 years ago our marriage was effectively dead. Divorce was not an option for either of us so we had devolved into roommates with children. Long story short, we realized that we still had to function as a family on some level. Since the love and romance had petered out and since I was a financial programmer I figured we could at least run the home and family like a business. Thus we started having semi-annual business meetings with me and the wife. This turned out good in several ways as we had these meetings out of town, in a hotel room, and they lasted several days each time. We kept "board meeting records" and as your scrapbook does, we read last year's record of problems and goals and compared them to what actually happened. Today we don't have so many "board meetings" as we used to, now maybe one or two a year as the need arises but we have many, many more over night and evening retreats to discuss our family & marriage. We still write stuff down, still review and still make plans. It has been a great tool!

bc
bc

thanks for the reply - yeah - that's kinda what i figured you meant ... it gives me pause to do this coincident with holidays, milestones, etc as the presence of any 'downers' could ruin the celebratory nature of the timeframe ... but as a process, i certainly agree with its potential value ... wouldnt be much of a switch to move the review sessions to more emotionally neutral timeframes .. as long as we're talking with kindness and a shared commitment to improvement

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@bc - Good thought - for some couples that is a valid concern, for others it is not. A couple of dates well away from special events would be the best choice if it's a possible problem

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