Rituals can help in the partnership

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Rituals can help in the partnership

Rituals generally help to make living together possible in the first place. Some of the ceremonies may seem pointless at first glance. In a relationship, they actually have a positive effect and strengthen the feeling of belonging. For example, if you regularly bring flowers to your partner, the meaning goes beyond the plot. This gesture represents a silent declaration of love. However, if the romantic dinner for the anniversary or the regular weekend outing becomes compulsive activities, this can also lead to stress and the relationship breaks.

Rituals signal continuity Each partnership has its own rituals and habits. It doesn't matter what they contain. "Rituals signal that one of the partners is important and that you take time for them. They give you a feeling of togetherness, security and security," says Doris Wolf, a psychologist from Mannheim. As a rule, rituals do not arise in a partnership, but rather. Common habits develop in the course of a relationship. Even small things in everyday life, such as the morning coffee together, the Sunday walk are symbolic actions that strengthen the togetherness. The relationship becomes something very "special" that does not exist again.

Habits can also be stressful But not all rituals have a positive effect on living together in a relationship. If, in certain situations, the other person's suggestions are always rejected or the little things are constantly ridden around, the so-called “running gag”, rituals quickly become relationship killers. Even habits that are positive at first glance, such as taking off annoying tasks, can become a problem over time. "The longer a couple is together, the more harmful and destructive rituals occur," explains psychologist Hans Onno Röttgers from the University Hospital Marburg. If there is a ritualized silence while eating together, the ritual lacks its actual effect. In most partnerships, it is the small rituals that help to strengthen the relationship. They give structure to everyday life and strengthen the connection to the partner. The romantic meal on the annual "get to know each other" triggers strong emotions and leaves a good memory, says Wolf.

In the course of the relationship, the habit that you become fond of over time can also become burdensome if you annoy at least one partner. If a feeling of tightness develops over time or one partner no longer feels any importance in the rituals, this is sometimes the beginning of the end. "Then they only run routinely," says Christa Roth-Sackenheim, specialist for psychiatry in Andernach. In any case, openness and communication are essential in a relationship. If a man or woman gets the feeling that the rituals have a rather negative effect, it is advisable to talk about them as soon as possible and to change something. However, it is advisable to address the topic carefully.
Because not everyone takes a positive view of the termination of a ritual that they find pleasant. For many, it is irritating or even hurtful. "He can even see it as a threat to the partnership," says Roth-Sackenheim. This is certainly not surprising, since this has strengthened the relationship in the past and is now incomprehensibly questioned.

"Sandwich method" is effective But how can you explain to your partner that something has to change without the other understanding it as an insult. The so-called “sandwich method” is a proven method in communication psychology to address something in such a way that no negative feelings arise in the person opposite. You can follow at least two positives on each “negative aspect”, because in general it is often difficult to accept criticism. If the relationship is still intact, both will be able to agree. "It is best if you then change the ritual according to needs or find a new ritual," explains Wolf. (fr)

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Video: Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard talk pre-match rituals and superstitions


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