My Marriage/Relationship Path
(“Where have I been in my marriage/relationship”)
The first exercise (“My Life Space”) enabled you to take a snapshot of your life as a whole and to reflect on the areas of your life that trouble you the most. In the previous exercise you looked at the general path you have taken in life from birth to the present. In this exercise, you will look at the “path” you taken in your marriage/relationship and consider some of the “trouble times” in this area such as you did in the “My Life Path” exercise.
As your life as whole has a beginning, middle and end; and this moment is where you are in the totality of your life, so does your marriage/relationship have a beginning, a middle and an end. The previous exercise considered “where you are” at this moment in the total life of your marriage/relationship. In this exercise you will consider the “path” that your marriage/relationship has taken up to this present moment in time. As in the larger context of your life, marriage/relationship has also gone through “times”, periods and chapters.
As you did in the “My Life Path” exercise reflect on the broad periods or times that mark off the course of events that have occurred in your marriage/relationship. You are limiting yourself to no more than 6 broad periods and the number may be fewer, perhaps only one or two. Write a sentence or two that describes each of these broad times and include the range of dates, or ages, that mark off these periods. As you did in the “My Life Path” exercise begin with the present, where things are now, and work backwards to the beginning.
As you continue to work with these processes, you will begin to see that you are differentiating your life into “times” and “spaces”. Your life, and marriage/relationship, has a form to it. There is no other life, and your marriage/relationship, has a momentum and a will all its own. That momentum is the momentum of growth. To grow in your marriage/relationship is to fulfill the potential inherit in the marriage/relationship.
Now close your eyes and reflect on the periods that have occurred in the life of your marriage/relationship. What events mark off these periods? Where and when did your marriage/relationship begin? Reflect on some of the major events that have occurred and how you felt as you go back to the various time and periods… A good opening to help you describe each period is to use the words, “The period of…” and complete it with your description.
When you have completed your description of the broad periods, choose one period that stands out for you as the most difficult or troubling. Go to the larger on the following page and, as you did in the “My Life Path” exercise, allow yourself to recall specific memories and emotions and write them down as they come to you. You don’t need to worry about sequence or judge any incidents as “significant” or not; just recall whatever memories bubble up into your awareness and write a sentence describing these specific events. A good phrase to help you describe these events is, “The time when…” and complete it with your description.
Memories and Emotions
Go to the next journaling exercise: My Part in this Relationship
Click here to download the pdf version.
*Journaling exercises written by Cort Curtis, Ph.D, used with permission.