March 20, 2018

9. The Relationship Path

Written by Rachel Eddins

couple happy along marriage path

My Marriage/Relationship Path: Where have I been in my marriage/relationship?

In this exercise you will consider, “where you’ve been” in your relationship. As your life has a “path” to it so does your relationship.

It began somewhere in place and time when you first met and it has followed a “course” that has led up to this present period. You have gone through “times” or “periods” of your relationship that is marked off by certain events. These times can variably “long” or “short” depending on your unique experience of the relationship.

In this exercise, you will reflect on the course of your relationship from the time it began and write out, in sequential order, around significant periods or events that stand out for you much as you did in the exercise (“Where have I been in my life”).

Identify the Course of Events that have Occurred in Your Relationship/Marriage & Describe the Events that Stand Out for You

You don’t need to go into a lot of detail; using the chart below, simply describe the overall time, what stands out for you about this time and what seems to mark this time off. You don’t need to worry about specific dates, just write them in sequential order; it is the events themselves, positive or negative, that are important to describe. You are limiting yourself to no more than 6 broad periods and the number may be fewer, perhaps only one or two.

Your first experience is a given and that was the time when you met. The First moment that you laid eyes on one another was the time your relationship was conceived, the “spark” that started you on your path. Begin with that time, “The time we met…”. A good opening to describe each of the subsequent times is to begin your sentences with the words, “The time when…” and then go ahead and describe the essence of the time.

What Events Occurred During Those Periods?

Now close your eyes and reflect on the periods that have occurred in the life of your marriage/relationship. 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 circle, “Memories & Emotions” and 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.

My Marriage/Relationship


Memories and Emotions

marriage relationship path journal exercise


Go to the next journaling exercise: My Part in this Relationship

*Journaling exercises written by Cort Curtis, Ph.D, used with permission.

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