*sings* Love and marriage, love and marriage… Go together like a horse and carriage…
I love being married. Well, now I do. My first failed marriage taught me a lot about the things to do if I didn’t want to be married–which was a lot. Now in a QUITE happy marriage, things are different and I love that. But marriage is like a muscle, without consistent exercise it becomes weak–which is the last thing that I want in my life. Like annual fitness goals, married people need to set some goals for their marriage.
How To Set Goals for Marriage
It seems like setting goals in all other aspects of our lives comes with ease. We all want to either lose weight, get stronger, prepare for a zombie apocalypse (I know it isn’t just me!) so setting fitness goals is easy. Just like setting monetary goals for savings is easy. These things are tangible. You can set a numerical goal to achieve here that’s measurable. Marriage goals are very similar to this. They shouldn’t be esoteric like “show my spouse I love them”. Nope. That’s not going to cut it. Your marriage goals need to be just as S.M.A.R.T. as any other goal.
What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
Honestly speaking, I hate S.M.A.R.T. goals. Why? It requires a commitment and this is something that I still struggle with.
When setting S.M.A.R.T. goals it’s important to be as specific as possible and this can be hard–especially if you’re new to this method of goal setting. How do you get SUPER specific? Ask yourself the following questions when identifying the goal:
- Who is involved?
- What is the point of the goal/What do you want to accomplish?
- Does this happen at a specific location?
- What is your time frame for this to be completed?
- Identify any potential requirements, constraints or foreseeable obstacles.
- Why is this goal important?
- How will you know when the goal is accomplished?
I will plan a date for my spouse and I one time a month every month this year without our children including arranging childcare. This goal has specifics, time, etc. and any spouse would love this.
I will spend 30 minutes per day having uninterrupted time with my spouse daily.
I will initiate sex with my spouse 3 times a week.
Yes, I included sex here. People sleep on the importance of sex in marriage. Need some more ideas? Check out this template for goal setting.
Marriage is supposed to be life long but now seeing couples that are growing old together are few and far between. Divorce rates are on the rise. Yes, I’m included in this statistic and it’s because of that why I bring up this post. I remember watching the movie “Failure to Launch” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. At the end of the movie when McConaughey’s character finally moved out, his parents didn’t know each other. I can’t speak for men, but I know as women we often put our children in front of our spouses which is problematic. Sometimes it’s not the children that have come before our spouses. Sometimes it’s our careers or friends or holding on to a life we no longer have. Whatever it is, it needs to stop if you want a lasting relationship with your spouse.
If you’re Christian, the priority is normally God first then your spouse and all else. If you’re not Christian, whatever higher power you believe in I think comes first (not sure of this) but then the spouse and kids. Either way, your spouse needs to be up there. Why? This is the person that you committed to be with for the forever years. This is the one that has committed to loving you through the good, the bad, and the ugly. But who wants to do that for someone they aren’t a priority to?
Now I’m no expert on marriage or love or anything but I know two things:
- How to make a marriage fail
- How to make a marriage thrive
If you want your marriage to not just work, but to thrive, make loving your spouse a priority.