I’m going to keep it real right now. I am naturally a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of a woman. I enjoy spontaneity, surprises, and going with the flow. What will be, will be. There are days I just LOVE that about myself. And then, there are other days. You know, the ones where the bill you forgot about comes in and the seat of your pants spent the money on spa day! The stress that spa day relieved has returned full force because “how in the heck am I going to explain this to my military veteran, by-the-book husband?”
When you’re single, robbing Peter to pay Paul can be a thing. But when you’re married, and desire to remain happily so, that kind of thing needs to be a thing of the past. That was a challenging pill to swallow until I realized it didn’t mean my carefree spirit had to take a back seat. The issue, be it financial or otherwise, had now become a part of group-think. Marriage does that. It removes the “me first” mentality into the “us against the world” frame of thought. And now, the two people who have become one get to decide what life moving forward will look like.
In your marriage, conversations about your future are beyond important, they are necessary. In order for your relationship to bring you the joy you hope for, here are some areas that require moving beyond the cavalier mindset and into vision territory.
Vision to Grow
We all change. When we do, it can catch our significant other off guard. But going from a long, flowing mane to a short natural look won’t cause irreparable relationship damage. However, it’s important to have a plan to deal with changes that result from life’s challenges. There are questions you should ask each other that will be a springboard for conversation should any of these issues arise.
- How will we deal with the loss of a child?
- When we are tempted by someone else, how do we handle it?
- If we give in to temptation, what does that mean for us?
- What happens if either of us loses our jobs?
- What if we desire to make a drastic career change?
While not an exhaustive list, these are the kinds of questions that help you through growing pains in a relationship. By broaching the conversation early on, you give yourself a head start should any of those issues ever develop.
Vision to Love
Love languages were all the rage not too long ago. Do you know your spouse’s? In order for the love in your relationship to be rich, you need to know what it should look like. Often times, it’s just a matter of doing the things you did at first to win your spouse over. While life can sometimes make that difficult, we live in a time when life gives you a way out.
You’ve heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that.” Because it’s imperative you create a vision for love in your marriage, find something that helps you do that well. Whether it’s an app, or a book, or a buddy, get something in your corner to help you make loving your spouse a priority.
Vision to Last
Usually, the idea behind marriage is “until death do us part.” However, 50 percent of couples are finding other reasons to call it quits. If you are in this relationship for the long haul, how will you keep it going? What are your deal breakers and how can you avoid them? In order to make your marriage last, you must embrace lasting behaviors such as:
- Effective communication
- Bedrock financial goals
- Unified parenting if children are involved
- Spiritual understanding
- Intimacy needs
Add to this list the things needed in your relationship to take it all the way. Don’t take it for granted that it will last without a plan.
Vision to Protect
What are you doing to protect your relationship from outside influences? This one should be the easiest since marriage, by nature, means you leave all others behind and create your own family with its own rules and expectations. But, too many couples are bringing outsiders in. Protect your marriage by leaving your mom, your sister, your cousin, your boss, your homegirl, and anyone else, out of it.
Vision to Teach
Though it’s only been 16 years since my hubby and I tied the knot, I have found it so rewarding when other couples come to us for advice about how to handle relationship challenges. Are you building something that you, your children, and others can be proud of and want to learn from? If you take the time to truly envision a rock solid relationship and implement the things that make it so, it’s not just your marriage that will benefit but all those blessed to be in its presence.
But teaching by example is one thing. Making a conscious decision to put your life experiences on blast through counseling, coaching, Youtubing, Facebooking or otherwise can be rewarding. Sometimes, the best way you can help our community is by looking at the blessing right in front of you.
You can fly by the seat of your pants or you can prepare to make your relationship last for life. Even though I’m the first type, I have learned to embrace the second. So can you.
BMWK, do you have a vision for your marriage?