By Susan Regan, MFT
One of the things I have clients do regularly when they’re working on their relationships is to sign up for Marriage Daily Dialogue Question. I want them to see if any of these questions on this website could help them deal with some of the issues that are going on in their relationships as they may need to learn how to talk about issues in different ways.
One of the questions from March included, “How do I feel about our goals as a couple?” I think as couples proceed to having regular cycles in the year and regular things that they are working on in their families, it’s really important for them to have goals that they can work on together. Look at your relationship almost as a business or company you’re trying to grow. You may want to have goals that are set throughout the year. Some people use January, the beginning of the fiscal year, or when kids go back to school as the marker time to start doing things differently in their lives. This is a time to make improvements or add things to their repertoires in order to explore new parts of themselves.
As a couple, you might want to think about having goals that you set annually, biannually or seasonally. One of the couples I’m working with sets goals for themselves with a timeline intact. They use a poster to assign a visual picture to things they’re trying to accomplish. In their last three years, they got married, bought a house, and now have a goal of starting a family. They’ve talked about how their daily life and the routines they choose, their jobs, social life and the way they interact with family all are in sync with achieving these goals. For example, one of the partners had a job that kept her out of the house for 12 hours a day, which put a lot of pressure on her spouse. In the next goal being having children, they needed to really look at what needed to be adjusted in their marriage so that they can achieve this goal. They also looked at the kind of pressure that comes from somebody overworking and not having a good work and life balance and how this puts pressure on the other partner.
Setting goals also helps you work on smaller parts in your daily life together. I would really encourage couples to have goals: long term, short term and even goals on how they would like to feel on their vacation together.