Marriage can go through rainy seasons and droughts. My wife Kristina often reminds me that she always loves me, but does not always like me and some days we like each other more than others.
She and I have been working to become better connected and more purpose driven, as both mom & dad and husband & wife.
We have enjoyed learning each other’s love languages and work daily on intentional communication. However, as we focus on those real and actionable daily items, we also place value on planning our future together. This has not always been an area we have been great with!
Once our children were born, our schedules started to revolve around their needs and schedules. From school, sports, birthdays, and other appointments. I’m sure you can appreciate the demands on your time as well, but this is not a blog about time management, I promise.
Instead, I want to talk about the future! If I would ask you and your spouse, what’s a shared goal you have as a couple and are you planning towards it? Would you both be on the same page?
Kristina and I always fell short in this regard. We were on the same page short-term, but long-term we failed to really understand each other’s dreams. I often over looked her happiness surrounding her career or dismissed home remodeling plans as a pipe dream. I had a fix minded set, limited by today’s realities. We would talk sometimes about the future but never planned for our dreams.
Why is this important? Marriages begin to fail when we stop dreaming and planning together. Our marriage will go stale when our days revolve around the kids alone. As an example, marriages will end, when our vision for the future does not include plans together, for life after the kids move out.
Kristina and I both set goals and have a shared vision for our future now. We have small goals, like planning our next date night, and larger goal like planning home remodels.
These shared goals are an investment into our marriage. Having a shared vision of our life, even after the kids move out, not only gives us something to talk about now but something to look forward to later too.
We both enjoy planning this life together and we will be the first to admit we also take pleasure in planning things like, what we will do with the kid’s rooms, once they move out! Of course our kids, at the ripe age of 14 and 11, do not find our planning sessions for “their room” amusing, but we still do it right in front of them anyway. (HaHa)
Here are three ways we plan together, which also helps us to build a stronger bond and a long lasting relationship:
1. Plan Daily! We talk together daily! Unspoken expectations are one of the largest challenges couples have to overcome. Kristina and I start our mornings off with a chat, call, or text sharing our plans, expectations, and needs for the day.
2. Plan Dates! Kristina and I have a goal to have a date weekly. This could be dinner, lunch, or even just a hike or walk in the neighborhood. We also acknowledge that weekly dates were very hard when the kids were younger and sitters were needed. That is why planning date nights and the logistics around it, is extremely important. Date nights give us something to look forward too. Here is a secret of ours, Kristina and I have a rule on our dates, we do not shop for the kids. It’s all about us!
3. Plan for Dreams to Come True! The dream vacation is possible if we plan. Our Dream house is possible if we plan. Life after the kids will be a reality, so we plan for it too. One of the things Kristina and I love to do on our dates is to talk and plan for the future. We may even walk through a home improvement store to dream together.
The success we gain from planning is a stronger connection. The key to being successful with planning is to not let the reality of today, limit our plans for tomorrow.
We may be broke today, we may be over committed today, but that should not limit our dreams for tomorrow. Instead, our plans for the future include the actions needed to overcome those hurdles. Although a weakness of ours at times, we plan and save finically for our dreams.
We have even planned career changes to ensure our dreams can come true. As a result, we have realized home ownership, vacations to the beach and to the top of mountains, and the dream of turning our fixer-up house, into our home!
We continue to dream and plan our future together. Working now on plans for another home remodel and a vacation out west. We are also working together on the Mom & Dad Club, our podcast, and we are even planning a use for our son’s room, once he hits the real world, in 5-6 years.
We are the happiest when we are dreaming and planning. What are you planning for or dreaming of?