3. Create rituals
We’ve made a habit of kissing each other goodbye in the morning and greeting each other with a kiss when we see each other after the work day.
It’s a simple habit, but it also serves as a quick dose of intimacy when we don’t have time for much else.
We also have some silly rituals. David, who rides a bike to work, rings his bell when he gets home every day. Constantino looks out the window and waves when he hears the bell.
Another ritual we have is to write messages to each other on the bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. They’re not always love notes — some days we just play Hangman with each other.
These are rituals that help to keep us connected, especially during times when we are consumed by outside stresses. Small efforts can yield significant rewards.
4. Forgive quickly
We’ve both been more irritable during this season of transition. We snap at each other more often than usual, or say things we wish we hadn’t.
It’s important to acknowledge that a season of stress can put us on edge and make us act out of anger, frustration, or fatigue.
By naming this season for what it is, it’s easier to forgive your spouse when they say something hurtful or act out of character.
We’ve had to employ an unspoken “rewind rule,” allowing us to apologize and take back something that has spilled out of our mouths against our better judgment.
And when it does happen, choosing to offer grace is a way to de-escalate conflict before it begins. A willingness to forgive quickly is a repair attempt that helps to avoid the petty conflicts that might further distance us from each other during stressful times.
Both of our jobs are starting to settle down, and we’re looking forward to getting back into the normal rhythm of life.
Because we’ve been intentional about caring for each other during this period of stress, we both feel buoyed by each other’s love despite the tides of transition.
Written By David and Constantino Khalaf