Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 91: Start a Journal
Keeping relationship journals can help with decision making and communication in relationships. Journals help couples to evaluate their relationships more easily and, therefore, make the necessary changes in a timely manner.
A relationship journal is simply a diary of your relationship. Depending on the amount of effort you put towards your journal, it can also be a valuable record of your relationship. Writing a journal keeps you from forgetting past thoughts and feelings, and gives you a unique perspective of the relationship. For instance, you may be able to compare how you feel about your spouse when you are with them and when you are not with them.
Writing can also be used as a means of communication in relationships since you can organize your thoughts without being interrupted or corrected prematurely. It is also easier for your spouse to respond when he has enough time to think about what you have written. Unlike conversations, it is a no pressure way of discussing issues in marriage. However, for the sake of healthy relationships, writing should never be used as the only form of communication.
How to Keep a Relationship Journal
When you are starting a relationship journal, it’s natural to wonder what you are going to put in it and whether you will have enough material to keep the journal going. Here are a few suggestions of things you can write in your journal to get you started.
- Write down your vision, short term and long term goals for the relationship. For instance, where would you like to see your marriage a year from now? Are there places you would like to visit with your spouse? Put it all down in great detail and device a plan to accomplish your goals. When you read it later on, you will be able to know whether your marriage is moving in the desired direction.
In addition, write down your prayer requests and when they get answered note that down too. Reading these should keep you on track prayer wise and strengthen your faith when you look back at all the things that God has done for you.
- Write down your successes and accomplishments in your marriage as they come. This will tell you whether you are sticking to the plan and help you identify areas that need improvement. It will also motivate you to keep working towards a healthy relationship.
- Write down the things you appreciate about our spouse. Reading through your list will help you to feel gratitude for your spouse and your marriage, even when the relationship isn’t going too well. It will also make it easier for you to verbally express your gratitude towards your spouse.
In addition, you can write down your spouse’s preferences with regard to food, hobbies, movies, music and pretty much anything you can think of. This way when you are planning a surprise for your spouse, all you have to do is read through your journal.
- Write down any useful information you receive about marriage. For instance, if you are reading a book on marriage or attending a couples’ conference, take notes. However, only note down points that you believe could be useful for your marriage. Don’t forget to read your notes regularly.
The only way to keep a balanced journal is to write regularly and not just when the relationship is in trouble. It is better to have no journal at all than to have a mostly negative journal. Such journals fuel marriage problems and are more dangerous than useful for communication in relationships.
If you are looking for ways to improve communication in your marriage, try keeping a journal. It might just be the thing that your marriage needs.