Shared Symbols Exercise 4

The following questions will help you talk to each other about the significance of symbols in your marriage.

What symbols (such as photos or objects) show who our family is in the world, what we value about being in the world?

Family stories are also symbols–they often stand for and teach a whole set of values

What are some stories about your family that go way back in history, stories you are proud of and want to be a part of the tradition your family continues?

What does a home mean to you?

What qualities must it have for you?

What was a home like in your families growing up?

What in your life is symbolic of your philosophy of how to lead a meaningful, good life?

For example, giving to charity, or wearing a crucifix, or lighting a candle for dead ancestors may be symbolic of your sense of meaning. Do you feel that you are failing to do this to the degree you’d like?

Feeling a sense of unity with your spouse on most of the deep, burning issues is unlikely to occur overnight. Exploring these issues together is really an ongoing, lifelong process. The goal shouldn’t be to agree on every aspect of what is profoundly meaningful to you, but to have a marriage where you are both open to each other’s most dearly held beliefs. The more you create a marriage where these convictions can be readily divulged, the more joyous will be the journey through life that you share.