Spirituality has a positive effect on romantic and marital relationships, as found in a study published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology. Spiritual beliefs and behaviors can help us better know ourselves, but also relate in a more profound and empathetic way with those we love. In the study, researchers stated that spirituality could motivate people “to create, maintain, and transform their intimate relationships.” If you think there is room in your relationship for spirituality and an important anniversary is coming up, why not celebrate in a way that takes your revelry beyond the material plane?
Going On A Spiritual Retreat
A 2017 study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University found that going on a spiritual, meditative or religious retreat produced changes in the dopamine and serotonin (‘feel-good’ chemical) systems in the brain, resulting in a powerful, positive emotional response. Many people go on retreats to find themselves and feel a greater sense of calm, but what is to stop you from achieving all this while your partner does the same, alongside you? This study showed that simple activities such as silent contemplation and reflection, and visits with a spiritual coach for guidance and insight, showed mark reductions in tension and fatigue. An energetic, positive state sounds like the perfect place to be when you are celebrating your togetherness.
Making It Symbolic
For an upcoming anniversary, why not forego expensive gifts in favor of one powerful symbol? If you need help with inspiration, see what material corresponds to the year of your anniversary. You may have heard of a ‘silver’ anniversary (celebrated after 25 years of wedded bliss) or the ‘gold’ anniversary (50 years), but even if you have been married for less than 10 years, know there is a designated material for each year. For instance, the first year is paper. You might decide to write down and gift a card with your favorite spiritual passage to your spouse. On your sixth year anniversary, iron gifts rule. Thus, you may want to source a symbolic spiritual item in iron – think a small religious figure, or even a plant or flower they love, forged in iron. The key is to use the gift to declare your love for each other on a profound spiritual plane as well as a material, physical one.
Having A Tarot Reading Together
People often opt for tarot readings as a way to encourage self-reflection and identify the positive and negative things in their lives. However, couples readings also exist, and they can be a fun way to get to know one’s spouse better and to see one’s relationship through a wider-angled lens. Tarot cards are deeply symbolic, and they can prompt you to identify changes you can make together to deepen your happiness. These changes may be large (e.g. a change of home) or small (for instance, changing the way you communicate so that both partners feel loved and accompanied at all times). Tarot is not something to be done if you have tension between you. Rather, it is an ideal way to consolidate the good things you have, and for each of you to take personal responsibility so that your union is strengthened.
Tarot readings, symbolic gifting and spiritual holidays are just three ways to delve more into what Carl Jung called the ‘collective unconscious’. Often, people can get so caught up in the stressors of day to day life that they forget to reflect on their rich inner world. By devoting time to spiritual reflection, you will find it easier to reach a calmer, more mindful state; one that will enable you to give your best self to your partner and to the precious moment that is now.
Written by Jane Sandwood