January 2017


  • Featured Article
    Simple Romance Rituals to Keep the Divorce Gremlin Away
  • Ask Our Coaches
    My husband wants a son but I don't want to have more kids. Am I being selfish?


Simple Romance Rituals to Keep the Divorce Gremlin Away

By: Dr. Jackie Black

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." - Margaret Young

We live in a contemporary society that values high-tech, the faster the better, and product stream; how fast can I make my widget? How many can I sell? How much can I sell them for?

It's time to stop, look and listen:

  • Stop doing and start being
  • Look inside instead of outside of yourself
  • Listen to your inner voices in addition to your "head"

Common Rituals and Celebrations

Rituals and celebrations are one way to intentionally create meaningful connections with special and important events and people. Many people already celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Here are some common rituals and celebrations you might not recognize as such:

  • Graduations
  • Bachelor/ Bachelorette Parties
  • Bon Voyage Parties
  • Promotion/ Retirement
  • Bridal and Baby Showers
  • Wrap Parties in the Entertainment Industry
  • Funerals,Memorials, Celebrations of Life
  • Throwing coins in a fountain
  • Placing an extra candle on a birthday cake
  • Bride and Groom feeding each other cake
  • Sending cards to remember special occasions

You Can Create Easy Couple Romance Rituals

Celebrations and rituals do not have to be involved, complicated or expensive. It is the simple act of honoring your love and the caring you feel for your partner with your intention and attention. Your Romance Ritual is something you decide on together; some specific behavior-something that you do with or say to the other, intentionally; and make an important part of your established routine. If you take the time and the effort to create your Romance Ritual and include it in your routines with each other, you will notice a marked increase in good will, less conflict and hurt feelings, and much more intimacy!

If this is something you'd like to try, finding your perfect Romance Ritual should be easy.

Sit down with each other and make a list as fast as you can in 12 minutes. Write down everything you can think of that you love and appreciate and that your partner loves and appreciates. At the end of 12 minutes, compare your lists and Voila! You will easily have three or four Romance Rituals to use and interchange for years to come.

If you really want to stretch yourself to affair-proof and divorce-proof your marriage, create everyday Romance Rituals; weekly Romance Rituals; morning Romance Rituals and bedtime Romance Rituals! Your Romance Rituals can be as simple as lighting a candle and saying thank you for three special ways you love and cherish your partner or feel gratitude for feeling loved and cared for by your partner. Or every time you walk past each other reach out for a brief moment in a very special way that your partner understands is your Romance Ritual.

The very act of bringing your attention to someone for whom you are grateful can heal deep hurts and serve as important reminders of what you value. Your options are truly endless!

Sound like overkill? Please understand that Love is NOT enough!

It takes your conscious and intentional time, attention and focus on your relationship and your Sweetheart to ensure that life, other people and events don't negatively impact the life that you love with the love of your life!

Here is my coaching request:

I invite each partner to create a special ritual to celebrate your partner every week for the next 4 weeks. Intentionally choosing to celebrate is very powerful! When you get in the habit of experiencing the richness in your life and your love life, and you create celebrations and rituals to mark those events and celebrate people you love, your life will be transformed forever!

I invite you to allow these new ways to extend yourself to your partner and receive your partner and understand that you will be tending the rich soil in which love, intimacy and trust grow more and more deeply everyday.

Try it. It's worth it.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Copyright © 2017 by Dr. Jackie Black and the Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Dr. Jackie Black, is a Marriage Educator, Author and Coach; and the co-developer of RCI's Couples Coach Training Program. She is the author of the Cracking the Code series of relationship-focused books, a popular Internet syndicated columnist, a highly regarded relationship blogger and podcaster, and a frequent guest expert on traditional and Internet radio throughout the world. Connect with Dr. Jackie at www.DrJackieBlack.com.

Ask Our Coaches

My husband wants a son but I don't want to have more kids. Am I being selfish?

Dear Coaches,

My husband and I have been married for 5 years and have 2 beautiful daughters who we love very much. However my husband really wants a son. He wants to keep trying until we have a boy. I don't want to have any more kids and we argue about this a lot. He says I'm being selfish. Do you think that's true and should I give in? I love him and want him to be happy but I'm already exhausted raising the 2 kids that we have.

Judith Halmai

Judith responds ...

Your question shows that you are a loving wife and mother but exhausted and cannot see how you would cope if you had another child. Your husband loves you and the girls, but cannot understand why you wouldn't want to try for a boy. His accusation causes you to question your motives.

Some of the following may be helpful whether you decide to have more children or not.

If you have not done so before, now is a good time to dream about your perfect life together, imagining that everything like money, energy and time is available to you in abundance. If you find that given those conditions you would consider having more children, you can ask some questions like:

  • What would I need to feel confident about having another child, or potentially more?
  • What skills might we, individually and as a couple, be lacking that we could acquire?
  • What would I need from my husband that I am not getting now that would empower me to face another pregnancy, childbirth and bringing up more children?
  • What support might be available that I am not yet aware of or know but am not taking advantage of?
  • How might we arrive at a win/win solution?

Judith Halmai | http://www.marriagesuccessacademy.com

Lynn Goodacre

Lynn responds ...

It sounds like you and your husband have hit a wall in this discussion around having more kids. It's difficult when someone labels another as "selfish" and when there is arguing and labeling it's difficult to come to a resolution. Congratulations on reaching out for help!

Let's talk first about what is going on for you. You say that you're exhausted raising your two kids. What additional support do you need? What would help you to feel less exhausted? Are there ways that your husband could contribute to child-rearing that would help you? This could be a valuable discussion to have with him.

In terms of your husband's desire to have a son and his wish to keep trying until you have one, have you ever talked to him about what needs of his would be met by having a son? Are other ways he might get those needs met like perhaps being a Big Brother? Doing some brainstorming with him could be helpful and it may turn out that he could have the benefits of having a boy in his life without actually having to have a son.

Can you and your husband agree to discuss this issue openly and with curiosity? It can be very helpful to have a relationship coach on board to keep the conversation productive. It's important to remember that each of you has valid needs and by thinking outside the box you may be able to come up with a solution that will work for both of you.

Lynn Goodacre | http://www.lovecoachlynn.com

The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.


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