Relationship goals is a pretty catchy hashtag on Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest. Girls post cute photos of a couple cuddled up. Or maybe a photo of a hands held over a stick shift while driving from the shot gun point of view. These are millennials #relationshipgoals. Cute little moments in time – they are some adorable moments and I love those moments with Ryan. They are also pretty shallow goals.
When we think about a marriage and long term relationships what are #Marriagegoals. Are they talked about before he even proposes? They certainly must be talked about before you walk down the aisle.
Conflict & Communication
Did you ever see your parents fight? Maybe your mother throw a book across the room or your sister hid at a friend’s house for 3 days. Did your father call a family meeting so all parties could be heard and discussed. What did you like, or dislike about the way your family dealt with conflict – how would you like to improve upon the methods you witnessed growing up? Talking about the way you grew up will allow your partner some insight into why you do what you do and why you are what you are. It’s much easier to watch your parents have a great relationship then to actually have your own great relationship. By talking about these things you can work on your communication early on in the relationship so no books are ever thrown. If you are not capable of communicating to your boyfriend in a respectful way you will not be able to when he is your husband.
My goal is to always hear Ryan out, even when I’m angry. To shut up and listen with an open mind and an open heart. Also, to listen not so I can respond, but so I can hear what he is saying.
Who is responsibility for family planning? For the most part a lot of this falls to women, take the pill at the same time every day, chart her ovulation for NFP, get the shot… When the woman makes a change she must communicate this decision openly with her husband because it affects him greatly. Once you have children will one of you be staying home, maybe a grandma lives near and can provide support? What will the role of the home maker be? Will you home school or go back to work? Additionally you should talk about what if, as a couple you are unable to conceive, how important is the goal of children?
My goal is to have children and be a SAHM while they are young, I will most likely go back to work part-time when they enter school but both Ryan and I have agreed this will be re-evaluated when it comes closer that time. We also both agree that adopting/fostering is not a goal for us, so if we’re unable to conceive he’ll retire early and we’ll travel the world or get a bunch of dogs.
Separately from the discussion of children you must discuss family. Backgrounds, culture, and the relationship your partner has with their family. I come from a traditional nuclear family, my husband does not. He was raised by a single mom with a half-sister much younger than him. His family has a lot of drama that I can’t relate to. When you marry the man you marry his family. Is this something you’re willing to invest in? His parents aren’t going anywhere unless he wants them to so you have to respect that. Can you live with them?
My goal is to respect hubby’s desire to have little contact with his extended family and invite him to all my large family gatherings. I also respect that he desires quite holidays where we can start our own traditions.
Religion & Holidays
How important is it to you to go to church together? While doing separate things on Sunday morning may be conflict free now – what do you do when children are part of the family? Are holidays something that will be at parents or in-laws houses? Maybe you want to host families at your house right away. Are there traditions from your childhood that are must haves? (Remember that boy meets world episode where Topanga stayed at the Mathews? Topanga imposes her family traditions on theirs. They drink cider instead of eggnog.)
My goal is to accept that due to our upbringing Ryan and I have different believe systems but our children will grow up in a loving nurturing home that allows them to explore their personal beliefs of God and Christ.
Spending & Debt
It’s said that money is one of the biggest reasons couples break up. People can be territorial of their income, they work for it, they want to spend it on their own toys. What happens when you become a one income family? If you’re staying two income who pays the bills? Have you laid out all of the debt on the table and looked at the bigger picture. Student loans, car debt, buying a home. What level of transparency works for your relationship.
My goal is to keep the family budget and ledger updated and balanced so Ryan can focus on bigger picture planning such as retirement and larger scale home improvement projects. I’ll make sure all the day to day bills are paid out of the joint account and research more cost efficient options for him to review. I will also respect that he makes double what I do while we are both working and his checking account is his business. He doesn’t question when I go to the mall, I don’t question when he shops for motorcycle upgrades.
Together hobbies v. alone hobbies
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that didn’t need some alone time. A solitaire activity like reading or working out. Though some things are very much a group. What do you enjoy doing together – and what do you enjoy doing alone? Having a sense of self while in a relationship is still important. Having personal goals outside of the relationship goals allows you to keep your sanity.
My goal is to respect my introverted husband’s need for quiet time in the evenings while continuing to take him on weekend adventures that push us both out of our comfort zone. I also recognize that he does not often enjoy binge watching TV and that when we are together that is not going to be a wise use of our time.
I firmly believe if you enter a monogamous relationship you’re a bitch if you don’t put out. But, I also recognize not every relationship is like mine. So you need to be aware of what your partner is comfortable with, and expecting. I’m a fan of the website Mojo Upgrade as a fun way to figure out each other’s kinks. You can take the quiz and then discuss boundaries. Having an active sex life is important to maintain intimacy. Everyone has different views of intimacy though so it’s best to know your partner’s views and desires.
My goal is to continue to be a fun kitten for Ryan … and that’s all I’ll say about our sex life.
Drawing the line
When discussing sex another discussion should be porn, and flirting. Is porn cheating? If your partner says yes – freaking respect that. Additionally, where is the line with friends of the opposite sex. Is meeting up for coffee with a coworker okay? Honestly I found these types of conversations came easily when we watched movies and I could comment directly on a relationship we had both witnessed on the screen – it gave us a launching point for the conversation. This is something that has to be talked about before a line is crossed. Make the line known from the beginning so everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them.
My goal is to be a one man women and never let him feel otherwise.
Admiration and pet peeves
Marriage is a lifelong commitment – it’s not enough to be good together today, will you be good together tomorrow? One way of doing this is taking a good hard look at what bothers you about this person. Are they true red flags or are they nominal? Do the things you admire about them outweigh your pet peeves enough to get you through life harmoniously and together. If the pet peeves are nominal you must brush them off and never let them become a point of tension. So he leaves his dishes in the sink and doesn’t put them in the dishwasher – is that a deal breaker really?
My goal is to love Ryan for the man he is at all times.
Long Term Goals
When looking at long term goals they may be a collection of color from above but they must be discussed often. While any couple can talk today to discuss kids, family and work things change. How will you handle the bumps life throws at you. Maybe your goal is kids but you have a child who needs constant health care. Perhaps a dream job has opened up on the other side of the country from a very tight knit family. What are the larger relationship goals? Communicate openly and respectfully throughout all these changes and know your partner is right there with you.
My goal is to be Mrs. Him for the rest of my life – and we’ll see where that leads.
Talk about your goals – keep them in the forefront of your mind – and never forget you’re the only wife he has, so be a good one.
Until next time,
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