If you’re wanting more intimacy in your marriage, it’s important to have shared goals.
When you share goals, you agree on the most important things that you want for each other and for your marriage as a team. This creates emotional intimacy which leads to physical intimacy. Having effective communication and knowing how to resolve conflict will support you in creating shared goals.
I watch firsthand the breakdown of relationships as couples stop planning together, and communicating together and in time it’s too far to come back from.
To help your marriage get stronger, work together to discuss your shared goals. These will help you talk about issues that are important to you both and open up opportunities for dreaming about your future together.
Types of shared goals:
- Financial expectations (e.g. how much should we earn, save, spend, etc.)
- Children and child-raising (e.g. how many children, how to raise them, who will raise them, etc.)
- Vacations (e.g. where we go, how often we travel, what type of travel, etc.)
- Living conditions (e.g. where we live, what sort of home, etc.)
- Social (e.g. how often we socialize, who we socialize with, how often we socialize together/separately, etc.)
- Time together (e.g. how much time should we spend together, what to do together, etc.)
- Sex Goals (schedule sex, a new position of the week, extend foreplay, openly discuss sex menu etc)
- How housework is divided (e.g. who does what, how often, etc.)
- Starting a new hobby together (e.g. what interests both of us, what would fit in our schedules, what would be the best considering our age and health)
- Celebrating big and small milestones (e.g. dating anniversary, work achievements)
Write down your individual thoughts so you can get some independent clarity about what you want as an individual. For example:
- Where and/or how do you want to live in the next six months, two years, five years and 10 years?
- What are your individual career and life goals in the next six months, two years, five years, and 10 years?
- What do you see in terms of your family (kids/parents/etc.) in the next six months, two years, five years and 10 years?
- What do you want the most from your marriage?
Take turns to share your individual thoughts with each other and discuss them together. Keep the following in mind:
- Remember that these are shared goals. You should both feel good about them. Don’t try to dominate or convince your partner that your goals are the best. Instead, seek to find common ground and goals that feel good for both of you.
- Be an active listener. Don’t prepare your response while your partner is speaking. Instead, reflect back to them what you heard. Only then should you share your opinion.
- Seek to understand your partner’s goals before dismissing them as unimportant or impossible. Ask “why is this goal important to you,” and try to understand where they are coming from.
- Self-regulate your emotional state as much as possible throughout the conversation. Anger, judgement, criticism, and other negative emotions can derail shared goals. Take breaks if you need them. Don’t be afraid to call a time-out so you can cool down.
- Show appreciation and enthusiasm for your partner’s goals whenever possible. Seek agreement, even if it’s just about one small aspect of a goal and agree with as much as you honestly can. This will improve the tone of the conversation and keep it positive.
- Don’t rush to find answers to everything. For example, if you have different ideas about where to live in 10 years, you don’t have to fight it out now. Just keep the conversation open about this topic so that you can gradually find a resolution together – you have lots of time!
- Find mutually agreeable resolutions to the really big disagreements. For example, if you have different ideas about where to live, find a way to feel as if you have both had a chance to offer your opinion and share your voice. One person may be disappointed, but they shouldn’t feel as if they were shut down.
- If you get really stuck with shared goals and can’t find a way to get on the same page, don’t be afraid to seek help and support from a professional marriage therapist or coach.
Commit to shared goals that feel exciting and invigorating.
- Write a list of the goals you both share. Put your list somewhere you can both see it.
- Make a plan to start achieving goals. For example, if you share the goal to go to Europe, create a plan and a budget. Then start working towards it.
- Celebrate shared goals when you meet them. Even if all you do is cross a goal off the list together, at least do a little happy dance to share the moment and revel in your togetherness.
- Schedule your next Shared Goals Meeting. Goals evolve and change over time. Set aside time every month ideally to revisit the shared goals exercise.
If you’ve lost your spark and are feeling disconnected and frustrated about the state of your relationship, but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, then opening up the conversation is crucial.
Perhaps Counselling & Coaching you are not ready for. Welcome to Ignite. A 6-week online program designed to help you build a happier, healthier marriage and relationship filled with passion, desire, and fun.
This platform will help reignite your spark and keep the fire burning for many years to come. You will learn about communication, conflict resolution and intimacy to build a stronger, more connected marriage. Launching in March 2023.
Listen to the Podcast on this topic – Podcast 112 Goal Setting in Marriage is Essential
Are you ready for Relationship Coaching? Head straight to the Relationship Coaching page
Or read this article – https://powerofchange.com.au/map-your-marriage/