Falling in love is like getting a kitten. The kitten is so cute, so playful, so entertaining.
The kitten wants to be with you all the time, she gives you lots of attention, she plays with you for hours every day. She lets you pick her up and hold her.
Eventually, the kitten becomes a cat. The cat is not nearly as interesting as the kitten.
- It is beautiful, but not as cute.
- It wants to spend time alone.
- It expects you to serve her.
Yet, you keep the cat. You do not say, ‘She is not so much fun any more, I will take her to the shelter and get a new kitten,’ do you?
Why should it be any different with love?
When you first fall in love, there are sparks in your brain, butterflies in your tummy, elation in your heart. Then things calm down, and things fall into a routine.
According to the ancient Chinese wisdom from which Feng Shui arose, healthy routines are an essential part of a love relationship. But even more than routines, creating love and connection rituals can mean the difference between a happy marriage and — divorce.
Let me tell you the story of two very happy couples. Let’s call them Melanie and Jack, and Helen and Chuck.
Melanie and Jack
Melanie and Jack are a very happy couple. They have been together for 15 years. They are an unconventional couple, in that they are not married and they do not live together. They both like their independence, and they each can afford a nice life style on their own. At the end of every year, Melanie sends me a letter and includes photos of all the exciting things that she and Jack have done together in the past year. Since they are both affluent and self employed, they can take more vacations than most people. Their letter includes trips to exotic places, where they zip lined, climbed mountains, got to swim with dolphins, rode camels, and petted tiger cubs.
Even for Melanie and Jack, if your put all their yearly vacations together, they add up to about 60 days, the equivalent to 2 months. The other 10 months, their lives are not that exciting.
During the year, Melanie and Jack thrive on loving rituals they have created for themselves. For example, they meet at a park after work and take a long walk through the city greenways. They have found that walking together, opens up the communication lines for them. During that time they share what happened in their day, they discuss the daily news, and sometimes discuss philosophy, a topic they are bot passionate about. Sometimes, after their walk, they share dinner. Sometimes, after dinner, they stay at her place, or at his place.
On Sundays, Melanie and Jack have breakfast together at a cafe they like, then they go to church together.
Helen and Chuck
Helen and Chuck have been married for 17 years, and have 2 kids. Most of their lives revolve around the needs of the children, and most of their communication involves logistics to make sure the kids get where they need to go, get what they need to have, and get to have fun.
They are a happy couple because they have created rituals to protect their relationships from becoming nothing but a kid raising enterprise. For example, on most nights, after the kids go to bed, they watch a TV series they love while they drink hot tea. Whenever they can, they ask their close friends and family to watch the children so that they can go out for a night in the town, have dinner, watch live music, or enjoy a comedy show.
My husband and I have rituals too. Most nights, while the kids are doing their after dinner chores, my husband reads to me out loud from a book I have chosen. Sometimes, while he does this, I lie down and he caresses my hair. Other times, while he reads, I do Reiki on him or massage his foot and ankle (another day I’ll tell you a story about how Marco survived a fall from the 3rd floor, but hurt his ankle). When the boys are done with their chores and ready for bed, they come to us and listen to part of the book, or we watch a comedy together.
Because we are a naturally strong and happy couple, we do not need as many rituals as other couples need. Let me explain, my husband Marco and I both get a kick out of doing things with our boys. If we go out for dinner by ourselves, we miss them. When we go on vacation, we always want to go as a family and not as a couple. We have been married 22 years, but our older son is only 14. We got to enjoy each others company for 7 years before I got pregnant for the first time. For this reason, we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.
It is not like that for many couples, who had children right after they got married. If you did not have enough time to enjoy with your spouse before the kids came, you need to be more conscious about creating connection and communication rituals with your significant other.
Another ritual that healthy, happy couples observe is to allow each other alone or me-time.
Due to the nature of their relationship, Melanie and Jack both have plenty of me-time, but Helen and Chuck have to work at it.
Chuck likes to go fly fishing by himself, and he says this is how he keeps himself sane. Helen likes to take days off, usually on a Sunday, when Chuck wakes the kids up, gives them breakfast, and then takes them with him to spend the whole day out. On these days, Helen stays home by herself. Sometimes she uses this time to catch up with things, other times she just stays in bed with a good book, or binge watches a TV show. This is what keeps her sane.
Understanding the need of another person to be alone and recharge their batteries once in a while helps a couple stay together.
In Feng Shui, marriage is not about “keeping love alive,” it is about “staying together” through the thick and thin. Our traditional marriage vows are what they are for good reasons:
I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…
Staying together, while staying healthy and happy is the measure of a successful marriage.
In my next message, I will share with you why love needs no help staying alive.
A Bedroom Where You Can Stay Together
There are certain rules of the Feng Shui Master Bedroom that are designed to make sure couples stay together. This includes the choices of colors, artwork, and ornaments, but also the basic space arrangement. If your furniture is not arranged in a way that respects the needs and the desires of both partners, one of you, or both, will not be happy. It is hard to stay together when one or both partners are unhappy or uncomfortable.
You can learn how to arrange a bedroom to stay together.