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Oct 12

What Makes Our Marriage Work: Make Your Own Traditions

Marriage Tip: Make Your Own Traditions

Kenny and Karen at Yosemite FallsKaren and I, over the last several years, have created some traditions that we have just sort of fallen in to.  I would say our first tradition came about after our first Valentine’s Day together.  We had just been dating for a little over a month, but we both could tell this was going to turn into something special.  I was not sure what to do.  If I went over the top it might seem pushy and if I did not do enough then I would seem like I was not that interested in her.  See ladies, what you do to us guys!  I’m sure glad that I am not on the dating scene any more, well back to the story.   All week leading up to Valentine’s Day I was telling Karen not to get me anything that all I wanted was a well cooked meal.  I am not a very good cook, and my roommate at the time was not too fond of me always mooching off him when he cooked.  So, I was in dire need of a wonderful meal.  Karen did that and went way above and beyond.  She had prepared a candlelit meal that was three courses.  I thought it was wonderful and it gives credence to the saying the fastest way to a man’s heart is his stomach.
K&KAfter the meal I gave Karen her gift, which was tickets to a Billy Joel concert.  Knowing how nice of a person Karen is there is no way she would get rid of me before the show, and with the show over a month away hopefully she would be falling for me by then.  So, I thought it was a pretty even exchange of gifts she cooked a wonderful meal and I got her tickets to a concert of one of her favorite artists.  However, Karen was not done with the gift giving she ended up getting me an IPOD.  I was not expecting it and though I was extremely happy and shocked I did not have the initial reaction that Karen was hoping for.  I blame it on the shock.  I could not believe that she would spend that much on me on our first giving occasion.  I wish I could say that our first tradition was some well thought out thing, but it ended up being that on gift giving occasions we now spend our money going someplace or getting tickets to some event.  We still give each other small things like some movie we might want or something we might really need, but we spend the “big bucks” on doing something together.
Charlie Brown PumpkinThat was the story of our first tradition, but Karen and I quickly added to it.  Every Halloween we design and carve a pumpkin.  Usually we will do two of them if we have the time.  She knows that I really like just a few things in life.  One of them is the Peanuts.  I was once told by my elementary librarian that I could not check out any more books unless I stopped checking out their Peanut collection.  I made a deal I would check out two books, one of them was my beloved Peanuts and something that was what the librarian thought I should read.  I had to give a summary of her choice before I could return the books to get a different one.  The other thing is Kansas sports.  I have slowly converted her to my team from her favorite one.  So, we have carved a Kansas Jayhawk and the K-State logo.  I think this year we are going to do the Kansas City Chiefs logo, but she has not fully agreed to that one yet.
Jayhawk PumpkinAnother tradition that we have is going to see some sort of Christmas event.  We have gone to see the nutcracker ballet, a Christmas Carol, and gone to see Christmas lights displays across the plains.  We also watch one Christmas show or movie every day of December, which ends with It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve at my parent’s house.
Kenny & Karen ChristmasThere are many more traditions that we have made and I am sure we will have many more to come as our family eventually grows.  The main point is that Karen and I have built our relationship not only in common core beliefs that we both share, but around traditions that have made us a couple.  We both believe that it is important for any couple to create bonds together that unite each other, and have things to look forward to in each part of the year.  It does not have to be exactly the same thing year after year, but it should be something important to both of you that both partners can look towards fondly.

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