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Anniversaries Beyond Retelling the Story of Your Wedding

By Anna Osborn, LMFT, owner of Life Unscripted Counseling This time of year always makes me Regardless of what order you did those things in (or A few simple questions can lead your union even includes marriage) you can still feel to really amazing conversations: think of my own wedding day. The ifsort of lost in love when you check all the boxes and How is your relationship progressing? Cottonwood trees were in full bloom are left wondering, “what now”?

that day, and it almost appeared to be snowing as the cotton blossoms floated through the air.

The amazing thing about your wedding day is that it represented the start of something new together. A wedding is a special day; whether or not it was shared with lots of family and friends (or just a few others) it holds a deep significance in your relationship. As a couple’s therapist, I affectionately call this time of year anniversary season, as spring and summer seem to be the hottest times to get married (both figuratively and literally). In fact, I think celebrating your anniversary should be so much more than just reminiscing about your wedding day. It’s important to celebrate the story of the two of you, beyond just the day of your nuptials. As a couple, you get all these big messages about the check boxes you are supposed to complete in order to be considered a success as a couple. Get engaged, get married, buy a house, and have some babies. And then what? 36. - Summer 2018

The big question then begins to loom…how do you keep your relationship progressing and growing? How do you push past the obligatory check boxes and into longevity—that allows you to celebrate anniversary after anniversary together? We all know that a stagnant relationship doesn’t lend to long-term success in love, so how exactly do you keep it thriving year after year? Personally, I believe that if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to know if you got there. Having a shared vision or plan, in love, is key to keeping your relationship progressing. As wonderful as the beginning of your life together was; the first kiss, the proposal, the wedding day, it shouldn’t be what defines the two of you. If your focus is on the beginning of your story, you risk your happily ever after not looking so happy. Quite simply you need to be able to take some sort of regular inventory of your relationship, to keep it flourishing, and your anniversary is a perfect time to do that.

What goals are you working towards together? Where are you struggling? What are the ways you’re failing to connect (or be intentional) with your time together? When you celebrate your anniversary, beyond just remembering your wedding day, the following things begin to take shape:

You create a tradition just for the two of you.

Traditions, and how you celebrate them as a couple, are an important part to your relationship. Being part of something special (that the two of you do together) creates a sense of belonging and connection. This is beyond valuable in your growth as a couple.

You learn to make time for celebrations.

All the relationships and marriages I know of have weathered storms, and none are perfect. Making time to celebrate the two of you (and all that you are to each other) is an important way to show appreciation and gratitude for your bond. It also reminds you to laugh and be joyful together, which is vital during your years together.

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Ardent For Life Summer 2018