Relationships are a lot like owning a house. Unlike calling our landlord in a rental, when something goes wrong with the plumbing, HVAC, or roof, owning a home means that it’s my responsibility to address the problem. I would say that the majority of us naturally respond to our relationships like it’s a rental property — It’s their problem, not mine. Over time this mindset erodes the foundation of the relationship, and it doesn’t take much of a storm to do quite a bit of damage.
This relationship challenge will address your personal foundation and how that impacts your relationship foundation. By the end of the next 15 days, you’ll better know your personal story, your relationship story, and the things that get in the way of what you hope and desire. As with all things in life, we harvest what we plant. As you begin, ask yourself what you hope to get out of this (be honest!) and how much you will invest of your time, energy, attention, and patience. You will get out of this what you put in.
Overview of the Process
The focus for the first week is on the story of me, and the second week is on the story of us. This will promote lighthearted, but meaningful engagements. Growth takes place with one positive experience after another.
Each day for the next 15 days, there will be a short read and then there will be some questions for you to consider throughout the day. These questions will be more like a lantern to guide your way, than they are a finish line to complete. Try to engage the questions reflectively instead of checking the boxes. You may not realize it, but doing so will build the necessary muscles of your “soul” that will help you in your relationship. Finally there will be an assignment to do for the day as you go into work or life.
There will be an assignment of connection for you and your spouse for the evening. Revisit what come up during the morning, what happened in your day, name your hopes and needs, and then close with reading the prayer or meditation together.
It would be helpful for you to get a journal so you can jot down notes about your process. Throughout the challenge, I’m going to use the words “marriage” and “relationship” interchangeably. While this process can be helpful to any relationship, the majority of interpersonal issues we experience show up the most acutely in our intimate relationships.
Some of the material might lead to conflict in your relationship. That’s ok. I’d encourage you to “press pause” if a conflict arises that feels like it is getting out of hand. Take a break, and continue with the challenge tomorrow.
Day 1 – Hello! The gift of welcome.
Day 2 – Roles. Where we come from.
Day 3 – Personalities. Who we are.
Day 4 – Top 5, Part 1. Keystone Stories of Loss.
Day 5 – Top 5, Part 2. Keystone Stories of Joy.
Day 6 – Growth. Who am I becoming?
Day 7 – Rest. Let all things be as they are.
Day 8 – Remember Us. Our story.
Day 9 – Grace. Sweat the small stuff.
Day 10 – Celebrate. Our wins.
Day 11 – Bless. Our losses.
Day 12 – Responsibility. Making amends.
Day 13 – Forgiveness. Letting go, holding on.
Day 14 – Rest, part 2. We’re going to be ok.
Day 15 – A New Vision. Hope.