If you are married or partnered, it is important that you and your significant other literally sit down and create a Couple’s Vision—how you both envision your life together and the expectations you have.
Allow me to use my husband Victor and I as an example.
About nine years ago, we decided to sell our house in New Jersey and move to the New York Berkshires. I was planning on slowing down my therapy practice, and Vic was looking for a home with space for a large barn to convert into a studio for his work (he is a crazy talented award-winning illustrator, if I can brag on him for a sec) and lots of land for a garden. We sat down together and wrote out how we wanted our life together to look and feel for the next several years. With this plan in place, we did just this. We moved into a beautiful old home on lots of land; Vic converted the barn into a studio where he could spread his pencils and papers and paints; I limited the number of clients I would see and moved most of them to Skype sessions and online group coaching programs; and we feasted on delicious organic fruits and vegetables from Victor’s ever-abundant garden.
About a year ago, it became obvious that I was not doing the slowing down part of our vision and, really, neither was Vic. Opportunities to collaborate with amazing people in the wellness world, write a book, and start a radio show (later this year) started pouring in. The icing on the not slowing down cake was my invitation by Dr. Frank Lipman to coordinate the coaching/mental health piece of his Eleven Eleven Wellness Center here in New York City. As a member of the board of directors at the Society of Illustrators, combined with his work as a combat artist and active participant in philanthropic work for our returning vets, Vic was gradually finding himself in NYC more than we initially anticipated. It took us some time and several pow wows; we didn’t want to leave the charming home we had created for ourselves upstate, but duty and our urban ways were calling us to live more central (you can only take Amtrak so many times in a week before it starts to get really old, really quickly). Collectively, we decided to find a groovy apartment and keep the home upstate. Number crunching and apartment hunting followed, and within a couple months, we were city dwellers (again) with a home upstate…or if you prefer, upstate folk with an apartment in the city. 🙂
Whether there is a major life event or not, Vic and I sit down at least once a year to revisit our life together and where we want that life together to go.
If you are unsure how to approach this with your partner, simply make a date to plan your couple’s vision. With paper and pen in hand, write down every area of your life together and how you want it to look and feel. The goal is to be in agreement on at least eighty percent. And those areas that you are not in agreement, commit to finding compromise. Is it something you or your partner could give up or agree to for the other’s sake? Is there a happy medium?
When couples openly express their desires, dreams, and goals and work as a unit to move in the direction of them, there is no room for resentment, and open dialogue means a longer, healthier relationship.
This process keeps expectations clear and transparent, which leads to growth and harmony.
Do you and your partner share a couple’s vision? How are decisions made in your relationship? Are there open communication systems and action plans for your life moving forward together? I invite you to share your thoughts.
I hope you have an amazing week, working it out with your mate, and, as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love