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Developing New Relationship Routines

Do you also not have a cleaning fairy? The sample list below contains the kinds of routines couples and families establish to create effective family functioning. Each of you look through the list and choose two areas you’d like to integrate regularly into relationship or family life. Each share your choices with one another; then of your two choices, pick one to begin action on now. Use the Questions for Exploration to get very specific about the details. This is very similar to Build Rituals of Re/Connection which can aided by skills for Building New Habits.

Sample List of Routines (and some checklists)

Food Planning and Grocery Shopping, Cooking, Cleaning Dishes

  • Household chores: laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc.
  • House maintenance
  • Outdoor maintenance, gardening
  • Child care and routines for morning, getting to school, after school activities, pick-up, dinner, bath time, meetings with school
  • Budget, spending, financial planning
  • Morning routines, evening, and/or bedtime routines
  • Agreements and limits for how much contact to have with each other: texting, phone calls, email, etc.
  • Communicating schedules and commitments
  • Method and timing for communicating recovery-related information within a specific context (i.e., informing of relapse, changes in recovery impacting partner or family, finishing or ending recovery or therapy commitments when appropriate, etc.)

Questions for Exploration

  • What is important about this routine to you?
  • Who will do what, and when or how often will this be done?
  • How long should it last each time?
  • Who will initiate it?
  • What will we do if one of us wants to change something?
  • How long do we want to try this for?
  • How do we evaluate how this is working?
  • How can we integrate this into our lives so we can count on it?

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.