I love the smell of an empty book. Sure, that may be my own weird fetish, but if you spend some time in an empty book filling it up, it might just save your marriage. I know it sounds crazy. But, if you do what speaker and philosopher Jim Rohn suggests and 'jot down what you learn and be a buyer of empty books,' you could change your relationship and yourself.
There have been several times in conversations with my wife when I will say 'Hold that thought' and I'll go grab my journal. Something I have written down or recorded from an earlier time—overheard or written down in another conversation or a goal we have set, will help our conversation, or lead us to a new and exiting place in the talk we are having presently.
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A journal is a perfect place to write out your thoughts and not yell at your spouse.
Having a difficult conversation? Tension in the air? Uncertainty of what comes next? Take it to your journal. The blank white sheet is the perfect place to ‘open a vein and bleed all over the page’ as Scott the Name Tag Guy vividly suggests. The journal won't yell back. The journal won't cry or whine. The journal takes your verbal pen lashing and asks for more.
Use your journal to write goals.
I am a big believer in setting goals as a couple. You should think about them together, dreaming and planning, then take action to achieve them. The journal can be a place to formulate goals, to write out dreams, to capture things that inspire you. It can also be a place of reference in the future. If you don't' write your goals out daily, you can refer back to a goals list to help keep you motivated and on target.
Write out the things you love about your spouse.
Journals are a great place for lists. Start with 50 things you love about your spouse. Sure, you can dump negative stuff in the journal too, but why not fuel good thoughts about your spouse! When you have a list of 50, take your journal and read them to your spouse. Next year, when you have completely forgotten about this list, and you are kvetching about your spouse leaving the crusty white stuff in the bottom of the sink? Somehow, this list will come to your mind, you'll grab the journal, read it and remember the good stuff. It can help you keep perspective on lifes little difficult moments.
Write out things you notice about your spouse.
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I believe that it is easy to get complacent in our marriages. We forget to keep learning about our spouse. When we lose the air of mystery—the awe—about this person we share our lives with, it can get down right dull and dreary. But, what if you record things in your brand spanking new journal about your spouse that you noticed today. Something they said that was out of the ordinary, or something new they have picked up. It could inspire you to be a better person - or simply inspire the gift of noticing them again.
A journal helps you slow down and notice patterns.