This shall be a statute to you forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall deny yourselves, and shall do no work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you. – Leviticus 16:29
It may seem quite odd to quote a text from the Hebrew scriptures in an article focused on the things happy couples do.
Well, bear with me for a bit. Whether you claim a faith tradition or not, a ritual in Judaism has a lot to teach couples about relational health and happiness.
No, I’m not talking about an initiation ritual or some sort of religious ritual. I’m talking about a basic practice in life that’s so very essential to the strength of the human family. But first, a few comments about “resolutions.”
Lose weight, exercise daily, get organized, save more, spend less… I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. While I think the practice is healthy, I typically fail on the “follow-through.”
And you? Long before we were enriching health clubs with our unused annual memberships, our neighbors in the Jewish community resolved to enrich the health of their communities by practicing forgiveness. Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
Falling in September or October, modern Yom Kippur observances include temple worship, fasting, and quiet reflection. The hallmark of the observance entails the individual’s act of reconciliation, that is, reaching-out in forgiveness to an estranged colleague, neighbor, or beloved one. Is this possible?
Happy Couples practice reconciliation – forgiveness – every single day
Important practices of happy couples
While reconciliation can be a trying and tedious practice, it is the key to the long-term stability of the relationship for successful couples.
Assuming we all hurt one another from time to time – and we do – it’s important to put forgiveness practices in place that help us move forward in a productive way and keep it on the top in the list of what do couples do together.
Take a timeout when you are angry
If a situation with you and your beloved contributes to an explosive bout of anger, step away from the caustic situation for a bit and let your anger subside.
According to most of the happy couples, putting some space between you and your partner will help you release anger in a way that doesn’t tear at the fabric of the relationship.
This step sounds obvious but maybe it is not so obvious.
After you’ve given yourself time to process your anger, it is vital to re-engage your loved one. Let your partner know that you are serious about connection, resolution, and moving forward with the relationship in a healthy manner, while consciously adopting good relationship habits.
Use “I Feel” language
One of the best practices of reconciliation and healthy relationship habits is engaging in an appropriate “I feel” language.
This paradigm for communication with your partner places your opinions and vision for the relationship solely on you. When you say, “I feel…” you are indicating to your partner that you take ownership of everything you are about to say and will not be projecting it onto him/her.
Often instead of “I feel,” we say “You….” Basically, our “you statements” place all of the guilt/blame/responsibility on our partners. This is a relationship killer.
Create a new vision
Once the wheels of reconciliation are moving, it is important to cast a new vision that addresses the issue that led to the original conflict.
If partners feel comfortable with the relationship’s stability once again, the door is open for work on the “essential things” that contributed to the original conflict.
One of the things couples can do together is problem-solving with your beloved one.
How can we move forward from this uncomfortable time? What can we do to mitigate future conflicts that erupt from this particular issue or set of issues? What tools do we have at our disposal that will help us in the future?
If reconciliation has been successful or has morphed into a commonplace practice for you and your beloved, it is time to celebrate. Do something spontaneous and wonderful with your partner.
Looking for cute things couples do? Go out on a date, watch a movie together, take a trip, enjoy a walk at sunset. It is so important to let frivolity inundate your relationship.
Rinse and repeat
Don’t make reconciliation a one-time novelty instead of a well-seated practice. Again, this practice is essential to the health and stability of relationships.
Reconciliation must be a daily practice and one of the key habits of happy couples, if it is to be of lasting worth to the relationship. While there may be some “backsliding” at times, it is vital to stick with the practices listed above as best as you are able.
Happy couples are always trying something new
Any relationship is thrilling at the beginning stage, however, as the couple sways past the honeymoon stage, monotony and boredom creep in eating away at the novelty of a relationship.
Explore exciting hobby ideas for couples to strengthen your relationship.
Happy couples explore new ways to keep the relationship exciting and grow both as individuals and as a couple. Allow your relationship to flourish by creating a life together that is exciting and growing.
If you are both outdoorsy and adventurous, get an adrenaline rush together by engaging in activities like scuba diving, camping, snorkeling, road trip or hiking.
If it seems difficult to wriggle in time for fulfilling your “vacay goals”, you can also do something as simple as working out together.
Benefits of exercising together as a couple include increasing the happiness quotient of your relationship, enhancing the love bond with your spouse and improving your overall work out efficiency.
There is a great list of hobbies for couples who like to stay indoors, too.
Cook together on weekends, search on Youtube for some interesting courses and learn together, engage in yoga or meditate together or just make a list of movies that you can watch together and snuggle to your spouse for a laidback but close bonding time together.
Happy couples practice forgiveness
It’s as simple as that. You can have a hot sex life, lots of money, and beautiful kids but still, have a terrible relationship if you are not skilled in the mechanics of reconciliation.
Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to instill reconciliation into your routine if it has been absent in the past.
That’s why it’s important to practice. That’s why it’s important to observe and listen to couples who are already well-versed in the art of reconciliation.
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
Do not be intimidated by the hills you will need to climb to reach your relationship goals. It’s all so very doable. That’s why it figures prominently in the list of happy habits for every couple.
Add reconciliation to your resolutions, friends. With so many good models and advice on habits of successful couples around us, let us strive to enrich life and love by mending broken fences and educating ourself on what can couples do together. Every day!