Relationship Fitness

S17: Focus E8: Journal Time

In “Relationship Workout for Men,” Season 17 Episode 8 titled “Journal Time,” Vince explores the concept of journaling as a tool to navigate and enhance relationships. He discusses how life’s unpredictability and the accumulation of unresolved issues can create lingering negativity, affecting personal well-being and relationship harmony. Vince presents journaling as a strategy for personal reflection and improved communication, highlighting benefits such as enhanced self-awareness, conflict resolution, emotional regulation, and a balanced perspective on the relationship’s dynamics. This episode advocates for the value of documenting both challenging and joyful moments, offering insights on maintaining a constructive focus on relationship health and personal growth. Through journaling, listeners are encouraged to cultivate gratitude, set and track goals, and cherish shared experiences, contributing positively to their relationships.

Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner, and being a better partner for the person they choose.

Season 17 Episode 8: Journal Time

Life is unpredictable, and conflicts range from minor negative thoughts to full-blown arguments. Often, due to various reasons, you and your partner might not find the immediate opportunity to discuss these issues as they arise. Later, even when time permits, you might hesitate to address the conflict, fearing it could spoil the mood of the moment. Regrettably, the remnants of that unresolved negativity can linger, affecting your well-being and the harmony of your relationship.

If it was a once-in-a-blue-moon moment, then no harm no foul. The bad feelings will dissipate. 

But if it feels that negativity is plaguing what you have together, then what do you do? Bitch to your buddies? Sit, stew and play the victim? Continue to go round after round with her until finally you two call it quits in exasperation?

In addition, it would be great if life presented just one issue at a time. It would be even better if all issues were easy to resolve with a single conversation.

The reality is that often multiple issues are present at the same time, and there can be several really tough ones in the bunch. When this is the case, an attempted discussion can ping-pong if the conversation is not focused on a single issue.

In addition, the extremely challenging issues will probably require multiple discussions that could span from days to weeks to months. When this happens, it can be difficult to remember what has been talked about in previous discussions.

There can also be times when we’re so focused on the negative stuff, we become unbalanced in our thinking and forget about the good things that can also be going on.

All that said, it can be helpful to keep a journal. Maintaining a journal focused on relationship events and thoughts can offer numerous benefits for a man, both personally and for the relationship itself. Here are eight reasons why it’s a valuable practice:

1. Enhanced Self-awareness: Journaling helps in reflecting on personal feelings, behaviors, and patterns within the relationship. This increased self-awareness can lead to better understanding and growth.

2. Improved Communication: By articulating thoughts and emotions on paper or online in a journal application, a man may find it easier to communicate effectively with his partner, fostering a stronger, more open relationship.

3. Conflict Resolution: Writing about conflicts or misunderstandings can provide clarity and alternative perspectives, helping to resolve issues more constructively.

4. Emotional Regulation: Journaling is a therapeutic outlet for venting frustrations and dealing with negative emotions, reducing stress and preventing these emotions from affecting the relationship negatively.

5. Memory Keeping: Documenting happy moments, milestones, and challenges overcome together serves as a reminder of the journey shared and the strength of the relationship, which can be especially uplifting during tough times.

6. Personal Growth: Reflecting on relationship dynamics can highlight areas for personal improvement, encouraging a more empathetic, understanding, and supportive partnership.

7. Goal Setting and Tracking: A journal can be used to set relationship goals and track progress, ensuring that both partners are aligned and working towards a common future.

8. Increased Gratitude: Regularly noting positive aspects of the relationship and things one is grateful for can enhance overall happiness and satisfaction within the partnership.

In summary, by keeping a relationship-focused journal, a man not only invests in his personal well-being and emotional intelligence but also contributes positively to the health and depth of his relationship.

To help you with this, consider using the Relationship Journal available at

With the Relationship Workout Journal, you record both your fun- and drama-filled moments. You also further categorize these moments, which enables you to view analytics regarding your relationship to gain insights. For instance, for me, I discovered after journaling for over six months that my wife and I weren’t doing any spontaneous fun activities. This insight helped me to recognize I would do well to try to add more spontaneity into our time together.

You can also record neutral moments and thoughts that come to mind. For instance, you might record things you wished your partner did or feelings of gratitude for your partner.

Journal entries can then be kept private or shared with your partner, your therapist or both. 

So with that last point, we wrap up Season 17, where we explored the Relationship Workout Core #14: Focus, and the foundational relationship question: “Do you have the gumption to continue to work through all the inevitable issues?” 

In the next season, season 18, we explore Core #15 Action, where we discuss answering the foundational question: Are you taking action to improve the quality of your relationship?


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