This is the second in a series of articles intended for couples whose relationships are working well; for those couples who like each other and can comfortably express their care to one another; for those couples who are willing to be open with each other without fear that their openness or vulnerability will be used against them.
Imagine that the two of you are going on a trip together – just the two of you. You’ll have plenty of time together and you want to use it to deepen your relationship. Not in a heavy, probing-your-deepest-fears-and-insecurities way, but in a playful, explorative and friendly way; in a way that doesn’t seem possible amid the routines and demands of your at-home, day-to-day life. If that’s you, then, along with your luggage, pack these tools and get ready to explore, learn, and have fun.
The Grand Tour Tool
A while ago I interviewed men about their roles as fathers, for my dissertation research. I began the interviews with a “Grand Tour” question that asked them to describe a “typical day” as a father. The men would walk me through the things they would do as fathers on a typical day – make breakfast, help their kids get dressed, drive them to school, go to work, play with their kids, help them with homework, and talk with their wives about parenting issues. Their answers would provide a grand tour, a big picture, or an overview of their experiences as fathers. And later in the interview we would return to the experiences they had described on this tour, and explore them more closely.