Before I got married, my husband and I had to go on a weekend marriage-prep retreat. It was memorable. I recall one girl crying in the bathroom because her wedding invitations had arrived with the wrong date, and another guy woke up on the second morning covered in bed bug bites. Once the drama subsided, the weekend consisted of talks, breakout sessions, and one concept that left a solid impression on me: a love journal.
I’m not good at journaling. I don’t enjoy it and when I hear people talk about how life-changing it is, I have to push away feelings of jealousy. So I’m not going to tell you to buy a new journal and start writing in it daily. Instead, I have 10 fill-in-the-blanks that you can keep on your phone and read through as often as you can. Here’s why this “love journal,” whether logged on paper or locked away in your heart, is a great exercise for newlyweds and old married folks alike.
Why a Love Journal Is Effective in Changing Your Marriage
When looking for the least taxing, highest result-yielding exercise to improve overall wellbeing, mental health professionals have found that you just can’t beat gratitude. This is true for people with no mental health issues and those who struggle with depression or anxiety.
Maybe you know all this, but did you know these four things? Gratitude releases us from toxic emotions. It’s effective even if you don’t share it with others. The benefits take time to kick in, but increase over time. Expressing gratitude has lasting effects on the brain.
So, whether your marriage is on the rocks or you just need a little something to breathe new life into it, simply thinking about why you’re grateful can reap huge benefits. It’s worth trying, right? These prompts aren’t all gratitude-centric, but they will lead your heart and mind to what it is about your husband that you have to be thankful for.
10 Fill-In-The-Blank Prompts
1. One thing I love about you is____. 2. I am looking forward to ____ with you. 3. A great memory I have of us is ____. 4. It was really thoughtful that you ____. 5. The way you ____ makes me smile. 6. One thing about you I take for granted is ____. 7. I forgive you for ____. 8. I thank God that you ____. 9. The kids love when you ____. 10. Today I promise to ____ for our marriage and family.
Tips for Love Journal Success
Tackling all 10 prompts every day might feel like too big of a hill to climb, so try making it through the entire list of 10 in one week. Slower with intention is better than racing through without reflection.
If you do write your entries on paper or in your notes app, print a few days’ worth and give them to your husband on your anniversary.
Ask your husband to join you. Like you, he doesn’t have to write anything down or share his responses. But aim for one month of focusing on these things and celebrate with a date when you reach your goal.
What fill-in-the-blank would you add to the list?