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    Setting Goals for Your Marriage

    Marriage is like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    *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.

    S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Marriage. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    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?

    Examples:

    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 like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    The Why

    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:

    1. How to make a marriage fail
    2. How to make a marriage thrive

    If you want your marriage to not just work, but to thrive, make loving your spouse a priority.

    Marriage is like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    What goals do you have for your marriage this year? If you’re not married, what goals do you have for yourself?

    Dear Husband: I Need You

    husband21It’s amazing the moments that make you realize the goldmine that you have in your spouse.

    Vacation is what has done it for me.

    See, I have a husband that LOVES being married and LOVES being a father with all that it comes with. We have a very balanced relationship. As in if the baby is screaming and doesn’t want me, he comes over and trades a glass of wine for the baby without prompting. Being married to my husband has spoiled me insanely. I love it but when he’s not with me, it’s me that’s crying!

    As wives, there are definitely certain times that we want our husbands <insert adult time>. But there’s also those times that we NEED them as well. These are those times:

    We Need You To Hold Us During Tough Times

    A tough time can be anything from the baby screaming all night to a rough day at work to her having issues with someone else. As baby abc screamed her head off for hours, not only did I need my husband to take her so that he could rock her to sleep, but I needed him to hold me after she went down. Being a mother and wife is tiring. I wouldn’t change my roles for anything in the world but I need my husband to balance me. I’m strong. But I’m not a rock as I have feelings an emotions. When my babies scream and cry and hurt, it hurts me. It drains me to hear them cry. My husband helps me to re-fill my well so I’m able to give more of myself to all of them. His hugs and snuggles give me that moment I need to shield myself from the elements of the world so I can re-attack them with fervor and a smile. All of us wives need this moment with our spouses.

    We Need To Laugh With You

    It’s funny, whenever I have the kids and he’s not around, the first thing I want to do is call him to laugh about something that they had done. I remember mini crying to me about something that was incredibly important to her in the moment and then she farted. I could not keep it together and I burst out laughing. Naturally she laughed as well since we’re nothing but a bunch of goofballs but that night D and I laughed for at least an hour about that! Laughing is my favorite thing to do with him. It’s not just wives that need these moments of laughter, spouses do too. No woman wants to feel like the wife Kevin Hart described as a fun-hater. And truthfully, no husband wants to feel that way about their wife. Laughter brings people closer.

    We Need To Be Able to Do Nothing

    The first “I miss you” text I sent to my husband said, “Babe, I miss sitting and doing nothing with you.” Yes, we sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing together. Sometimes the TV is on. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes I’m writing. Sometimes we’re both staring into space. Sometimes we’re both on our phones. Pretty much every evening there’s at lease 30min-1hour that we don’t talk, we just exist in each other’s space. Not having to constantly be “on” is such an intimacy builder. Knowing that I don’t always have to have something witty to say (which is rare) or cater to some conversation when I’d rather be silently destressing from the day is so comforting.

    We Need You To Be What We Aren’t

    I am an action-oriented go-getter. Once my mind is set on doing something, it takes a lot to make me stop. I’m what my friends consider more hippie like. I’m adaptable. I’m passionate. And my husband isn’t quite all of these things. He isn’t a big risk-taker–he calculates his moves. He moves slower than I do and will often take longer to get to his destination. He’s grounded and mellow–until upset. We balance each other out so well as individuals and this is evident in our parenting as well. Mini is so much like me that together we can often spontaneously combust. D can see the signs of this before they happen and is good at taking her to the park, to play a game or dance it out before I lose all my patience. Same thing with the baby. Sometimes I don’t see that my patience is waning and he does. Without me having to ask, he’ll rock the baby to sleep or take her for a walk or sit and play with her while I have some time to unwind my nerves.

    We Need You To Enjoy Your Roles With Us

    b2d2cbd28dc1751582fb001a6cb2b0c3This is a major “need”. D and I often joke about how we’re happy that neither of us feels as though we have a ball and chain now that we’re married. So often you hear men talk ill of their marriages or they don’t rush home to be with their families. This isn’t us. And no spouse wants to feel like this is what their marriage is. We need you to enjoy your role as our spouse. We want you to want to be with us because you enjoy what we have. And the same goes for fatherhood. Get rid of the mentality that you babysit your children. They’re yours. You can’t babysit them! I’ve not met a father my age that enjoys his role as a father as much as D does. He loves mini and abc so much and loves everything about his role with them. He’s at ballet recitals, school performances, graduations, first days, last days. He gets up without complaint to rock abc to sleep, changes diapers without being asked, does 3am Tylenol runs happily.

    I’m blessed to have a husband that loves me the way he does. But I’m not the only one who has needs as a wife.

    What other “needs” do you have of your spouse? 

    2015: My Year to THRIVE

    I loooooove New Years!!! Mainly because my slightly OCD tendencies makes it virtually impossible to start something new at any other time than a new beginning (beginning of the week, birthday, year, etc.). As hard as change is for me, I really welcome positive change in my life and that’s what I strive for every year–out with the old, bad behaviors/habits and in with some new and healthy ones.

    This year my focus is on thriving. I feel like right now I’m in survival mode. Like I’m making it, I’m doing ok, but I’m not thriving or flourishing in my opinion. A lot of my days are spent brooding versus being happy and grateful. There’s A LOT that I want to accomplish next year but my focus is on thriving in all aspects of my life. I want to be happy in all my roles that I have. But in order for me to go about this, I’ve got to do something different.

    Every month I’m going to focus on something different. For example, discipline is something that I desperately need in my life again. So for one month I’ll be focusing on sharpening my discipline “knife”. Then another month will be something else. My goal is to use these months to create habits that I build upon so by the end of the year, I have 12 new habits that I’ve honed for a minimum of a month.

    In no particular order, these are the things I’m working on thriving at:
    • discipline (2 mos)
    • being a better wife
    • being a better mother
    • taking better care of myself (2 mos)
    • writing (2 mos)
    • expressing my creativity
    • organization
    • eating more fresh foods and less processed foods

    Some of these things will take longer than one month to work on so that I’m in a place of thriving but I’m really looking forward to the new year. In 2014 I became a wife to the most wonderful man and a mother of two. As much as I’ve enjoyed becoming both of these, it’s been a transitional year for us. I haven’t been the best to myself and it’s been showing in my role as mother and wife. Every month I will either come up with my 30 days of assignments or I’ll find something on Google/Pinterest.

    The goal isn’t to have these hard tasks that I can’t accomplish, rather, to have simple yet useful tasks to complete to help me feel like I’m swimming easier versus struggling to catch my breathe. In addition to these monthly “assignments”, I’m going to make a “jar of accomplishments” where I’ll jot down the things I’ve done well or felt good about or my blessings throughout the year. This way if I’m feeling down, I have these to read. And at the end of 2015, I can look back on what I’ve accomplished.

    Do you do resolutions?