Surprising Things You Need to Know About Using a Couple’s Journal
Whether you feel as if you have a great marriage or you fear things are teetering on the edge of disaster, a couples journal might be one of the best tools you can use. Strengthening your relationship doesn’t happen without both of you putting in the time and effort.
There are many benefits to journaling in general, and as a couple, you can multiply those benefits by doing some of the activities together.
Note: This is a long article, so I’ve provided an easy way for you to navigate the information. Just use the links below to read the different sections of this post!
Benefits of Journaling
Journaling Improves Intelligence
One way in which clinicians measure overall intelligence is by the size of your vocabulary.
In a study conducted by the University of Victoria, the IQ and writing ability of subjects was tested before and after performing writing exercises. Following the exercises, the research indicated that a strong relationship existed between performing writing exercises and increased intelligence.
It further indicated that people who write have a higher IQ. In other words, writers are smart people, and this extends to those who write in journals, not just professionals!
The logic behind these results rests in the use of language. Writing encourages you to explore your language further and enables you to find and use words you might not use in everyday verbal exchanges.
If you are using a couples journal, you can challenge one another by sneaking in new words or phrases. You can also have a word of the day that is new to both of you, as well as other fun language-based activities.
Letting Go of Negativity
Writing in a couples journal (or love journal as some people call it) provides a space in which you can let your pent-up negative emotions flow. I have heard of parents and children sharing a private journal where the child can write anything in the journal, knowing the parent will read the passage. The parent, however, is not allowed to apply any negative consequences to what is written.
If a child confesses something, it can be up for discussion, but in a healthy way, not in a way which will lead to negative consequences or impact from the parent.
Children are often more likely to share truth with their parents in this way, opening the door for parents to have often vital and constructive discussions with their child while building a trusting relationship.
In a couples journal, you can work things in much the same way. What is written between the two of you stays between the two of you. Additionally, the door is opened for discussion without negative consequences.
If your partner shares with you that he is really put off by the way you hover over him when he is feeling stressed, it enables you to look at your own behavior and have an open, honest and positive conversation. Sometimes initiating these conversations in person can be difficult, but if you can initiate them in a love journal, you can get further.
Dealing with Anxiety Inside your Love Journal
Anxiety, at its core, is negative self-talk running amok. Some call it worry, but anxiety goes beyond worry because the person with anxiety is often imagining an extremely negative outcome to a future event.
Writing in a journal is helpful because it helps you look back on your thought patterns to see how they flow. You can watch the anxious thoughts unfold and see patterns emerge when you aren’t feeling anxious.
Journaling also has a calming effect on your mind. You can let go of the negative thoughts that are banging around in your head. As you journal, you will uncover not only the thought patterns you have during your anxious moments, but also the triggers.
This is one area of using a couples journal where you must be careful and sensitive to one another. When someone is sharing their negative thought patterns and behaviors, it’s important not to reinforce those, and it’s equally important to avoid judgment.
If your partner shares in the journal that he is feeling terribly anxious about an upcoming job interview, you don’t want to feed his anxiety with more negative talk, but you also don’t want to say something seemingly harmless like, “Dan, I don’t know why you worry so much about this stuff.”
While a statement like that sounds as if you’re trying to lift him up, what you’re really doing is telling him he’s silly to worry.
Instead, you can remind him of his attributes and accomplishments, “Dan, getting that PMI certification last month was a great accomplishment and your people skills are great. I’m sure the interviewer will see that too!”
Strengthen Your Immune System by Using a Love Journal Together
Can you believe that journaling can actually make you healthier?
The reason for this benefit is most of the other benefits we have already and will discuss. When you experience less anxiety, you are healthier. When you aren’t feeling depressed, you’re healthier. If you let go of negativity, you’re happier and therefore healthier.
There are even studies which indicate your body will better fight diseases like AIDS, asthma and cancer. Notice I didn’t say cure, but help you fight them.
Other studies indicate that you heal faster when you take the time to journal even 20 minutes a day for three days in a row.
You have time for that, don’t you?
As a couple, being healthier means spending more quality time together! That’s always a good thing! If you each commit to spending twenty minutes writing in your journal, the health of both of you will benefit.
Improved Emotional Health
When you journal, you are more in tune with your thoughts and inner desires. You are mindful of your surroundings and your thoughts, meaning you can remain present in this moment and not allow your anxiety to kick in.
Writing in a journal helps your brain keep your emotions regulated and improves your self-confidence and identity, and it triggers and grows the creative side of your brain.
In every possible way, journaling promotes personal growth and awareness.
You Develop a Practice of Mindfulness
When you are mindful, you are present in the moment. You aren’t ruminating on the past or anxious about the future. Yes, you may write about something in the past or a future concern, but you’re able to write about your hopes and fears in a way that allows your mind to work through it.
You’re actively engaging in your thought process, which, as you’ve already read, is benefiting from this activity in numerous other ways already.
Here’s the kicker. When you’re mindful, studies show that you’re also happier.
As a couple, you can become more mindful, not only of your own thoughts, but those of your partner. It’s easy, when we’re stressed, to become absorbed in our own thoughts, but if you and your partner are doing this together, you can be more present in their world as well.
You Gain Self-Discipline
Setting aside time, every day, to write in your journal begins a practice of self-discipline and, like anything else, the more you do it, the better you’ll be.
The great thing is that as you form this habit, others are likely to form as well.
For example, developing a habit of journaling brings mindfulness during those moments, but it also helps you develop more of an overall mindfulness mindset.
If you develop a habit of doing the dishes after each meal instead of allowing them to pile up, before you know it, you’ll be keeping other areas of the kitchen cleaner, which will lead to keeping the adjoining rooms cleaner, and so on.
Good habits and self-discipline build and expand, which is always a great thing in your life!
As a couple, you can encourage one another when one isn’t feeling it. Sometimes, you just come home from work or school and you’re exhausted. Doing even one more thing seems like too much.
Still, your partner says something like, “Gee Honey, I know how you feel. I was wiped out too, but writing in our journal when I got home actually helped me feel refreshed and energized.”
Using a Couples Journal and Men
Women are probably more inclined to journal than men, although I think men are willing to do it if they can see clear benefits. What you need to know about initiating a couple’s journal with your guy is how to keep him engaged in the process.
I read reviews of many of the top love journals out there and one comment I read over and over was concerning to me, so I want to address it and help you understand how men will stay engaged in the process.
It Should Be Fun
Yes, this journal will have its serious entries, but life isn’t always about being serious. Many negative comments I read about couple’s journaling included comments about silly activities and how the woman writing the review was annoyed by the silliness.
First of all, let yourself have fun once in a while. Great moments in a relationship aren’t always built when you’re being serious with one another. Highly memorable moments are often built in the silliest of situations.
“Julie, remember the time I thought I could just to sprinting across that stream and I landed flat on my butt in the ice-cold water? That was a great hike!”
Secondly, a man is going to enjoy this process more if it isn’t always so serious, and quite frankly, so will you.
There are times to be serious in your life and in your journaling, but there are also times to cut loose and have fun. Challenge one another to do silly things like, ”Hey Jack, I bet I can eat more donuts than you for breakfast this morning! I’m heading to Krispy Kreme now for a dozen! Be hungry!”
This is great! This is something you can both write about later, probably in different ways. You might write about how much fun it was to watch Jack try to beat your donut count. This is because men are competitive, and we want to win! Even against you!
He may write about how much he enjoyed the mystery of wondering what you’ll pull next! You were mysterious to him – this is always a good thing! Of course, he’ll also like the challenge itself, so it’s a double win!
It Should be a Safe Space
Earlier, I eluded to the fact that your journal should be a safe space where the two of you can share anything without fear of negative consequences.
Before you begin, agree that your journaling space is a judgment-free zone. Your partner can share his thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears and desires and he can do so knowing that he won’t be negatively judged.
You have that same freedom.
If something comes up that you want to ask about, you do so without negativity and judgment.
“Joe, I saw that you wrote about being afraid you’re going to lose your job in the company downsizing. I just want you to know I’m here for you if you want to talk more about it.”
“Steve, I saw that entry you wrote about your sex fantasy yesterday and I wanted to know if you’d like to try it sometime. I’m up for it if you are!”
The idea of a couples journal is to be there to share memories together and be supportive of one another. If you treat your partner’s entries with respect, he will be more and more open with his entries and responses.
You Might Not Always Like What the Other Writes
Another criticism I’ve read about couples journals is that the questions inside pre-printed journals can cause a fight.
While I would never encourage a couple to argue, I am also realistic and I know that, from time to time, a couple is going to suffer through a disagreement. This is a normal part of a relationship.
Disagreeing with one another doesn’t mean you stop caring for or loving one another. It means that, on this topic, you don’t agree. Period.
I recently read somewhere that couples experience more arguments earlier in their marriage. I suspect this has something to do with not having a rhythm between you, not truly knowing one another well and perhaps a slight degree of immaturity – a need to be right versus a need to settle the disagreement.
Of course, we’ve declared the journal to be a judgment-free and positive space, but still, things happen. You can be tired, emotionally wrung out, overwrought or overly anxious about something and you allow your emotions to run away with you.
If your partner shares something in the journal that is upsetting to you, you have a choice on how to react, regardless of how you feel. You can react emotionally and fly off the handle, or you can react proactively and think carefully about your response before delivering it.
May I encourage you to be proactive?
Either way, you are in control of your reaction. That’s a topic for an entirely different article, but it’s important for you to understand that whether you get angry or not is your choice. Just like it’s his choice if he gets angry.
Set a Cadence You Can Both Manage
Let’s face it. Life is crazy hectic, especially if you have children. While you might want to write in your couple’s journal every day, it might not be realistic. Even if you have the time, your guy might not.
As you begin the love journal journey, discuss how frequently you would both like to write. It’s okay if you don’t write the same amount or on the same days. The idea is to build your life together and have a hard copy memory of your life together.
It may be that the two of you agree to write weekly, every other day or every day. You may find out, as you get into it, that you can do more frequently, or you need to do less frequently.
There are no rules except the ones you both agree to. Don’t force him to write every day if you both know, realistically, that he’s not going to do it.
You may both get into it and realize that you both enjoy the writing and want to step it up. Whatever you do is fine. The point is to make this stress-free, enjoyable, positive and memorable.
It’s Not Always About the BIG Memories
I knew a guy once who bought his girlfriend a loaf of bread. This happened 20 years ago and, of all the things she remembers about their time together, she remembers that loaf of bread.
Because he took the time to notice, on another occasion, that she loved this particular type of bread, and he made an effort to get it for her.
Your journal entries aren’t always going to be some big drawn-out affair. They may be about the smallest things or they could be about huge events in your lives, like the birth of a child, your wedding, anniversaries, death of a loved one or buying a new pet.
Each has its own significance in your life, but much of what you write will probably seem insignificant at the time. Five years from now, however, it might be a truly fond memory you enjoy recalling.
Things to Include in Your Couples Journal
Before we get too far into this topic, I want to tiptoe through Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. Are you familiar with them? If not, you can dig deeper into them here.
I remember reading about the Five Love Languages for the first time and thinking to myself, these are great, but I can make them better!
If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you know that men and women think differently, love differently and have different needs in a relationship.
The Five Love Languages summarize the ways in which people prefer to be loved, but I want to summarize for you how to best use these love languages with your guy.
One word of caution before I continue. Often, when I share these tips with women, they go overboard and do them all the time.
You don’t need to use any of these on a daily basis – that’s overkill, and it takes away the true meaning of doing it. You want to use these when the occasion arises, otherwise, it won’t feel special.
Words of Affirmation
If someone’s love language is words of affirmation, it means they like to get the proverbial pat on the back from time to time and an ‘atta’ boy type of thing.
The trick to this is timing.
I own a construction business. If someone tells me the tile job I just completed for them is awesome, I’m glad to hear it, but it doesn’t get my juices flowing.
Now, if I get a review on one of my books, telling me how much the words helped a woman who was feeling really down and out, I am walking on air!
What’s the difference?
I’ve been in construction for my entire adult life, which is more years than I’d like to admit. I have heard compliments for most of those years. While I appreciate the compliments, they don’t make me feel any better than before I heard them.
But, when I make a positive impact in the life of someone by helping them feel better, I truly feel as if I’d contributed and I feel great!
When you deliver words of affirmation to your guy, make them relate to something he’s passionate about. If he likes rebuilding Mustangs, compliment him on the paint job or how nice the engine sounds when he revs it up.
Hit him in his passion point and watch the smile spread across his face!
For your guy, gifts might seem insignificant, but they aren’t. You might feel as if your guy is impossible to buy for, but that’s probably not true either.
The easiest way to really strike gold with your guy is to gift him with something that relates to his passion (again).
If he likes sports, get him tickets for his favorite team. If he’s into cars, get him a book on the history of his favorite car or a how-to on something he enjoys doing.
A gift can also be the meal his mom always made that made him feel warm and fuzzy or his favorite kind of cake or cookie.
It can even be something as simple as a note in his computer bag or on the bathroom mirror that reminds him he’s special to you.
If his love language is quality time, you have more leverage to do it more often. The best way to show him you love him with quality time is to do something together that you both enjoy. It can be anything from having a movie night at home to taking a vacation away together for a week or two.
The trick to quality time is that you might need your space while he craves time together. In this instance, you need to have an open and honest discussion so the two of you can land on the same page.
While you’re willing to have that movie night tonight, you might then want to spend the following evening having a girls’ night or taking a class.
If you’re honest with one another, everything should work out fine. While you’re out with your friends, he can work on his passion project or hang out with his friends.
The important thing to know is that if he’s craving quality time with you but you like your independence, you need to find a balance you can both live with.
I find physical touch to be the most challenging for couples. I knew a couple once who were polar opposites on this. He craved physical touch and even begged for it while she was more of a don’t touch me type.
It didn’t work out. His whining to be touched all the time drove her crazy and she came to resent his need to be touched. They didn’t understand the love languages. If they had, they probably could have worked something out.
If your guy craves physical touch, find out what it is he’s looking for. Does he like the occasional massage or does he enjoy holding hands? Maybe he just likes to have his arm around you when you’re together or for you to place your hand on his knee when you’re sitting together.
You need to have a conversation about it to see what exactly he wants. Even if your language isn’t touch, you’ll have to adjust and be accommodating. Just like the other languages, you both need to find a balance between his need to be touched and your needs, whatever they might be.
Acts of Service
Often, this is how a man shows he loves you. Men tend to be doers. Sometimes, however, this could be his love language as well.
Acts of service and gifts can overlap. An act of service might be preparing his favorite meal or cleaning his car for him. It might be something as simple as picking up his laundry at the cleaner’s or mowing the lawn.
Love Language Final Notes
It’s possible to have more than one love language, although one will be stronger than the other and usually, most don’t have more than two.
This is nice because it gives you some flexibility in how you show your love for him.
If you’re unsure of your own love language, or his, you can figure it out easily enough by paying attention to how he responds to different things you do.
Another great hint to his own love language is how he shows his love to you. Our tendency is to show love in the way which most represents how we want to be loved. If he showers you with gifts, that might be his love language as well.
If he does things for you around the house, he may like acts of service.
You get the idea.
The important thing is to recognize his love languages and show him you love him in the language he understands best. The second most important thing is to strike a balance between your needs and his. This requires discussion and honesty.
Building a Solid Relationship Foundation with a Couples Journal
Researchers have spent the last 30 or so years trying to uncover what makes a successful relationship happen. After plowing through tons of this research, I have a few keys to success to share with you today, all of which you can accomplish by using a love journal.
Admire Your Partner
Your guy might be the worst joke-teller on the planet, but if you laugh at his jokes anyway and believe that he can tell a great joke, your relationship stands a better chance of survival.
Nobody is perfect, but if you’ve found a great guy, all he needs to be is perfect for you. He might not look like a male model, but he tells corny jokes, has a good job and a smile that melts your heart, every time.
When we get in a funk, we tend to look at the negatives, but what if you focus instead on positives.
The next time your guy annoys the heck out of you by leaving the seat up (why do women need to win this one? ?), recall the time he made you laugh so hard at that joke he tells every time you go out for sushi.
If you make a conscious choice to look at the things that attracted you to him in the first place, you will find yourself in a happier relationship. Be enthusiastic about him. Don’t make him your passion or hobby, but get excited when you see him and let him know it.
When you use your couples journal, let him know what it is about him that revs your engine. Show that enthusiasm for his dumb sushi joke.
Focus on and Celebrate the Good Times in your Couples Journal
In a University of California study by Shelly Gable, participants ranked receiving a supportive response to good news higher than receiving a sympathetic response to bad news. Gable categorized our set of possible reactions into four categories:
- Active Constructive
- Passive Constructive
- Active Destructive
- Passive Destructive
If you engage in Active Constructive communication, you’re saying something like, ”I’m so proud of you for getting that promotion!” This is an excellent way to communicate with your partner and will have the most lasting positive impact.
While it might also seem okay to say, “Gee Sweetie, that’s good”, it’s not really anywhere close to a great response. It’s like you’re being dismissive – he’s got great news but he interrupted your important life to deliver it.
Now, if your guy comes to you with a promotion and your response is “Does this mean you’ll have to work more on the weekends?”, you’re engaging in Active Destructive communication. You’re essentially saying that his promotion sucks for your life, regardless of how it impacts his.
And finally, no response at all to his excited news is called Passive Destructive. You’re essentially ignoring him at a time when he just got a win – and a win is a big deal to a guy!
You want to focus your energy on being Active Constructive with your interactions. Don’t be fake because anyone can see fake. Whip up that enthusiasm we just talked about, focus on his good points, and for Pete’s sake, be glad he has a job!
In your couples journal, you can expand on your excitement over his good news. This is a great way to reinforce that you are happy for him and care enough to let him know about it. Avoid comments that seem dismissive, vague or negative.
Be Grateful to Each Other Inside your Love Journal
It’s very hard to get too far down in the dumps if you’re focused on the good things happening in your life. This goes for everyone, single, in a relationship or married.
Gratitude is an essential tool in your confidence and self-esteem arsenal. When it comes to your relationship and your partner, take time, in your journal, to note the things he may have done in your world today that made a difference, albeit a small one.
Maybe he warms your car up every morning in the winter or cools it off in the summer. Perhaps he fixes the coffee before he dashes out the door or passes by the dry cleaners to get the dress you want to wear on date night tonight.
Gratitude forms a stronger connection between you and reminds you of your feelings toward one another. It also inspires responses from him. It turns an ordinary act into something extraordinary because you recognized and acknowledged it.
The kicker for gratitude is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to respond in kind if he says something nice. Be grateful from your heart, otherwise it just undoes the good of his gratitude toward you.
Enrich One Another’s Lives
I was listening to Intentional Living by John Maxwell the other day and something struck me so hard that I had to stop what I was doing to write it down.
What I wrote down was this: How did you matter in your partner’s life today? What was the story the two of you wrote today?
If you only answered these two questions every day for one another, you would have a relationship made in heaven!
I’d also like to take this in a different direction and encourage you to spend time together doing exciting things. Now, exciting is a relative term. Exciting for me might not be exciting for you but that’s where you expand one another and enrich one another’s lives.
Exciting for your guy might be zip-lining, which might terrify you and he probably knows it. Why not take the risk? The benefits are tremendous.
First, you build a great experience together, but you also face a fear, which builds your own self-esteem and confidence! This is a win-win. The excitement of the activity will form a bond between you and if you both get something out of the experience, that bond is nearly inseverable.
Being there to boost one another up is a great way to show your support for your partner. You can use your couples journal to not only write about the experience but stick in some photographs for a deeper memory.
This type of activity shows your partner that you’re not only there for the good times, but you’re there to support one another during difficult times too.
Encourage One Another to Pursue Goals
The final brick of your foundation that we’ll discuss today is to encourage one another in the pursuit of your goals. A great use of your love journal might be to write down, as individuals, what your goals are. Then, compare notes and come up with a list of goals for you as a couple.
Not all your goals will align and that’s okay. You’re not there to approve of his goals, you’re there to support him in his pursuit of his goals.
A friend of mine is an engineer. After he graduated from college, he set a goal of getting his professional engineer’s license. He had a long-term goal of owning his own engineering firm and having is license was a requirement.
He was married with two young children, and pursuing his license meant spending two nights a week after work at a night class, leaving his young and exhausted wife home for more than 12 hours with the kids.
Still, she did it without complaint. She supported his goal to get his license. She allowed him time to study for his test and was supportive and encouraging when it was time to take the test. This meant an extra burden on her, but she didn’t complain.
Another example is a Biography show I watched recently. It was on Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian. They were interviewing his wife, Gregg, about their early marriage years and something she said struck me. She was talking about how they were broke most of the time while he did comedy gigs in bowling alleys and bars, but she didn’t care.
Then, her husband got his big break and was invited to be on the Johnny Carson show – the ultimate goal of every comedian in that era. What Gregg Foxworthy said went something like this, “I was so excited. It was everything we had dreamed of.”
She didn’t say it was Jeff’s dream. It was their dream. That’s magic right there!
10 Ways to Use Your Couples Journal to Grow Your Relationship
In order to build wealth, financial advisers recommend paying yourself before your bills.
This is the same effect a couple’s journal can have on your relationship. By putting dedicated time and energy into one another before anything else, you are investing in building a solid future together.
It should be a fun activity, not something you dread, and if done right, it will be just that!
Record Photos and Feelings
When you both look back at this journal in years to come, you will treasure the photos and the feelings those photos bring forth.
The memories you build, which I like to call pennies in the jar, are like a form of relationship insurance. When a couple has strong, happy memories together, they are more likely to want to stay together than to go find someone new.
With each photograph, you can both write something about the photo, including where it was taken, how you felt while you were there and what was so memorable about the experience.
Use Your Couples Journal to Give Compliments to One Another
Life gets hectic! There may be days where you and your guy are like ships passing in the night. You can still connect with one another in a great way by providing a compliment, even if he’s not there to see it immediately!
“I truly appreciated how well you cleaned up the breakfast dishes this morning! I was in a hurry and it really made me happy to come home from work tonight without a mess to clean up!”
Everyone likes to be appreciated and this is a great way to let a man know that the little things he does for you don’t go unnoticed! Just like you, he wants to feel appreciated for his efforts.
Share Your Hopes and Dreams
What a better way to use a couples journal than to dream about your next big adventure together! This makes me think of the movie, Up! Even though it’s a cartoon, it’s a really cool movie to watch!
If you haven’t seen it, an older man and a young boy strike out on an adventure together. At the end of their adventure, the man opens the journal he and his now-deceased wife kept and realizes that she wanted him to continue his adventure without her.
This movie puts life in perspective!
What if this was your last year to spend together? What types of adventures would you want to go on together? What dreams would you want to fulfill?
Use Your Couples Journal as a Tool for Communication
Sometimes, communication can be difficult. Men have times in their lives when they retreat into their own little cocoon in order to re-evaluate, problem solve or lick their wounds.
While your instinct might be to try to nurture him out of it, a better way to communicate with him during his difficult time is to ask him a question in your journal.
You can also share stories of difficult times in your own life. While these may not prompt immediate discussion, it isn’t something he’s likely to forget.
You can write letters to one another, either randomly, or for special occasions or difficult trials in your relationship. Communication doesn’t always come naturally to a man in a relationship but if he can write it down, he may be more willing to share.
Share Your Feelings
Keeping in mind that this is a positive space, share your feelings with your guy. Even if you’re telling him how frustrated you were with something he did, it’s important to write that as a feelings statement, rather than an accusation.
He will respond much better to:
“Tom, it really made me feel invisible when you ignored me at the Baker’s party last weekend.”
Than he will respond to:
“The next time we go out and you treat me like crap, I’M LEAVING!”
You can even provide him with hints on how it might be better next time:
“It’s fine if you want to go off and hang out with your friends at a party, but I would enjoy the party more if we could do things as a couple too.”
Complaints should be at a minimum, though. This is the space to share the joyful moments!
“Sharing the birth of our first child with you was the most amazing experience of my life.”
Inspire One Another through Your Couples Journal
If you have favorite quotes you love, people who inspire you or things you’re passionate about, share them with your guy.
Use this space to inspire him to grow as an individual or to promote growth as a couple.
What do you want out of life? What does he want out of life? How can you inspire one another to achieve those goals?
Your couples journal is the unique history of your life together. It is a tool by which you can grow together and form an unbreakable bond. It’s the place from which the dreams of your life together are laid bare.
Record Lasting Memories
Not all memories come from big vacations on the beach, weddings and other large celebrations. Some of the best memories come from the smallest of things.
Your couple’s journal is a great place to write down that time you forgot to put the entire amount of flour in the cookies and they spread all over the pan or the time he put fertilizer on the lawn…except for that one strip down the middle.
Your yearly trips to the apple orchard or to pick out that perfect Christmas tree (or the Charlie Brown one!) can be logged in your journal.
The ticket from the first movie you saw together or a napkin from the first bar you went to together are great mementos to take you back to those exciting moments of your young relationship.
As your relationship grows and builds, you can save other items with meaning like wedding invitations, markers of goals achieved or results of shared hobbies like photographs or printed documents.
You can also store the names of songs that mean something to both of you, poems, cards or other items that only the two of you can appreciate.
Final Thoughts on Building a Solid Foundation with Your Couples Journal
I wanted to conclude by sharing with you some of the remaining research I uncovered about successful marriages, but just in a few bullet points. It’s important because the focus is on how men and women perceive the success factors of their relationships differently.
When asked, women stated these as the top reasons why their marriage was successful (in decreasing order):
- Freedom to pursue dreams and individuality
- Similar backgrounds and interests
- My spouse is a good person
- Support of one another
Men responded with these:
- Similar backgrounds and interests
- Similar values
- Know one another well before marriage
- Respect for the other person’s feelings
If you use your couples journal to hit most of those, you will be in great shape! While it’s long, this article is full of ideas for sharing your thoughts in writing.
The Power of a Couples Journal is in the Memories
Memories shore up your relationship and help to keep it affair proof. They are things shared just between the two of you, things that can’t be undone.
This can become a fundamental communication tool between the two of you and an invaluable resource for growth as a couple.
Couples who have a strong emotional bond report a higher quality relationship and this comes from using more than one form of communication and sharing.
A couples journal or love journal is a way for you to recall things you’ve done in the past to keep things fresh. There’s nothing wrong with recycling an activity you both highly enjoyed, like a two-hour drive in the country or a trip to a museum.
If you make this an activity that’s fun and not drudgery, your guy will get on board. It might take him couple weeks or so to become excited about it, but if you’re patient and not demanding, he’ll get there.