We are almost done with this book! This chapter is all about creating a solid foundation for marriage through shared meaning, shared traditions, a shared family unity.
“Marriage isn’t just about raising kids, splitting chores, and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together – a culture rich with symbols and rituals, and an appreciation for your roles and goals that link you, that lead you to understand what it means to be a part of the family you have become.” (pages 243-244).
I love that outlook, and how families create their own family culture. I have written about creating family culture before on this blog, and this chapter just confirms for me how important doing this truly is for the health of a family. It is not that a couple feels the same exact way about everything, but that there is an interplay and meshing of values and beliefs and attitudes to form this new family identity.
In this chapter you will find a beautiful questionnaire starting on page 246 that discusses “Shared Meaning” and provides an interesting bit of food for thought regarding rituals, roles in the family, goals, and symbols of family life together.
The section on “Family Rituals” begins: “It is a sad fact that less than a third of U.S. families eat dinner together regularly, and more than half of those that do have the television on during dinner. This effectively ends conversation during dinner. Creating informal rituals when you can connect emotionally is critical in marriage.” This section has an exercise on rituals.
There are also exercises regarding family roles, personal goals, and shared symbols.
An excellent chapter for those working on creating a new family culture!
One special note is that the culture that develops