Ever feel like you or your husband is not on the same page about anything? I used to. While I'd want to pursue a gluten free diet for my son (and I did) my husband thought it was a waste of time. When Rex wanted to invest a lot of our earnings in retirement, I wanted to upgrade our home. If Rex's idea of fun was a day spent pruning our own garden, I'd want to go to lunch at the Huntington Gardens and check out artwork. (Not that my son and daughter's handiwork pictured above isn't brilliant. Ahemm....)
Rex and I had a real breakthrough at the end of last year when we realized that we were looking at our marriage from the wrong angle. Instead of fighting about our differences, we embraced them. My easy going nature forced him to grow in the social department. His stick-to-it-ness personality nudged me toward more financial responsibility. Lo and behold, we both learned from the other and gained a new found respect for each other. It's also inspired me to get off my duff and finish that book.
We couldn't have done this (and survived to tell the tale) if it weren't for a total commitment to our marriage. We simply had to hash out our present and future life goals so that we could both have fun and have a monetary security. We had to be brave enough to get ugly and silly enough to let go and laugh. In essence, we created a map for our lives. It's not a map that would work for everyone out there, but it works for us.
The Huffington Post's Wendy Strgr talks about the importance of setting goals in her poignant article Relationship Advice: Mapping Your Life Together.
One of the best take-aways I got from this insightful post was this: "Taking full responsibility and giving up our tendency to blame in our relationships is the basic foundation for achieving your goals because it requires you to be constantly doing your own personal work. Recognizing that your emotional connection and capacity is only of your creation requires that you are always acting from the heart."
So much more could be said on this paragraph alone, but I'll let you go ahead and read the article. Absorb it, think about it, and get back to me on it. I found it to be very powerful on both a personal and interpersonal level. After all, we can't change our spouse's mind, but we can change ourselves to be more open to their needs - improving both their lives and our own. How can we get there? How about a map? Do you have one for your personal goals? Do you have one for your marriage?
* Photo taken of my husband's playing his latest obsession - Starcraft. Check out what he's doing - he's mapping out a game plan so he doesn't get killed! Very good idea both in online gaming and in marriage. Until next week, folk!
Have something to say? Leave a comment or write me at Andrea@Goodhousekeeping.com. Would love to hear from you!
Posted by Andrea Frazer
Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.