Marriage: Being Part Of A Team

In one of our previous posts, we talked about dealing with disillusionment by creating a greater sense of shared purpose in your marriage. Indeed, the “we-ness” factor in your relationship is essential to staying together.

Today, let’s get into how you and your spouse can renew your goals as a couple in order to maintain the harmony in your marriage.

Going Back to The Drawing Board

You should realize that you probably didn’t have a clear idea of what you wanted out of married life before actually tying the knot. You might have had an idea of what might happen after getting married, but these are vague, preconceived notions at best.

Think of it this way: Before you owned your first car, you probably didn’t anticipate what you needed in a vehicle. You simply imagined yourself behind the wheel, weaving through traffic or maybe blasting down an open freeway.

Other than that, you didn’t really think about things like fuel efficiency or safety features like ABS and SRS airbags. That’s kind of how marriage works, too: you won’t really know what’s on the other side until you’ve crossed that bridge.

However, there’s nothing wrong with having unclear notions back then because you couldn’t have possibly known how your marriage would evolve over time.

Now that you’ve gone through the experience of living with your spouse, you have a more mature perspective on married life. Thus, whatever goals you had before need to be re-evaluated so that they apply to the specific circumstances in your marriage.

Do some soul-searching and ask yourself the following:

“How has my outlook on my relationship changed since I got married?”

“Now that I know better, how can I make my previous expectations more specific so that they apply to my marriage?”

Get Your Spouse On-Board

Loving each other isn’t enough in a marriage. You also need to be on the same page to create a shared future that works for BOTH of you.

To do this, you and your partner will have to combine your individual goals so they form a common gameplan to help make your dreams a reality.

Both you and your spouse need to plot the exact direction that you want your marriage to take against a specific timeline. What exactly do you want to achieve in the next decade or so?

After you’ve compared your personal goals before and after getting married (from step #1), it’s time for your spouse to add their own input as well.

Set aside some time for yourselves so you can both do some soul-searching on this topic and exchange notes.
At the end of your sharing session, both of you should have shared your individual comparisons on what you wanted before getting married versus what you want now.

You may be surprised by what you uncover during this discussion. But this is actually a good thing - being aware of what’s going on inside your partner’s head is the best way to stay emotionally connected to your partner.

A lot of couples end up estranged because they’ve gotten out of touch with each other’s inner thoughts. They might have had a clear idea of what they wanted at the beginning, but couples eventually divorce when they’re no longer on the same page.

This is something that all marriages have to manage. Years of living together can make a couple lose sight of their goals and assume that they’re on the right track – until their marriage suddenly gets derailed without warning.

Implementing Your Plans

Discussing your goals is one thing, making them happen is quite another. After you’ve had a good heart-to-heart talk with your spouse about what you want to achieve in your marriage, you need to come up with a timeline and weekly schedule to stay on track.

It’s not enough to simply talk about your plans. Putting it down in writing will help you to make a solid and tangible commitment to moving forward in a unified direction. Make sure you follow through by agreeing on a plan you can stick to.

Some Caveats

While it’s good to make plans with your partner and make them happen, just make sure that your dreams are on a reasonable scale. That means you shouldn't expect overnight changes across the board or compromise either of your well-being.

Having dreams is one thing, and smoothly integrating them in your marriage is another. Know the difference and you’ll be fine.

It may take a bit of trial and error to make your schedule work, but you’ll soon learn from experience and settle into your new routine that will help your marriage grow.

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