Stephanie Sieberhagen
Psychologist

Relationship Specialist

Dr Steph's blog

Relationship diaries

Posted by stephaniesieberhagen@gmail.com on March 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM

How many times have we had sex in the last year? How many arguments have we had? What decisions did we make about how to handle specific situations? How does our division of chores work? How do we plan holidays and how much are we saving?

In the bad old days when men were men and women were...well, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, our relationship roles were defined for us by society. We were very clear on who washed the dishes, who brought home the bacon and who cleared out the bedpan every morning. Luckily times have changed and relationships are a lot less gender defined and much more fluid.

As with any other development, however, we need to keep our eyes firmly on the ball. Just because society defines us differently now, doesn't mean we don't need definitions. And again, luckily for us, those no longer need to be dictated by outside forces. But they do need to be created.

So in our relationships, we need to create a particular vision, mission and culture. Whether it is just the two of you, or whether your family includes children, pets or other family and friends, you need some rules and boundaries. 

Keeping track of these can become a challenge and that is why I suggest you keep a relationship diary. This is an open book which anyone in the family can contribute to and which is always available to look things up or add some more. Keep track of important decisions and make short notes about wonderful days and arguments. Make a short summary of what sparked a conflict, how it was resolved and what the outcome was.

The relationship diary should never be a tool to be used against each other. It is a gentle guide to show you your progress and your commitment to each other. 

If your family includes children, jot down their achievements as well as decisions about how much technology time they get and what their chores are. Use your diary as a reference when you get together and set goals or plan a holiday. Remember that life is dynamic and that changes are made as we progress.

Lastly, keep it close at hand - I recommend the recipe book shelf.

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