Even though we study rituals, almost every day we recognize a ritual that we hadn’t noticed before in our own marriages, families, or friendships.

This past weekend, I (Anna) was out to dinner with my husband Brent. One of my favorite loving little rituals is when he, after we both have placed our orders, will order up a little “surprise” … a little appetizer … a little something that I don’t expect! Almost every time I forget that it’s our “ritual” until I hear his sweet words to the waiter: “Oh, and we’ll have …” Even after seven years, it is still a delightful surprise.

If you are like a friend of ours who recently declared: “But my husband and I don’t have any rituals!” … it’s actually that most of our rituals are so woven into the fabric of our days, lives, and relationships that we forget to notice them. That’s what makes them so lovely and comfortable. See if you can recognize at least one comforting and repeated pattern in your marriage, family, or friendships … then tell us about it!