Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Establishing a Relationship Vision

Last week during my Purposeful Conception e-course about preparing your mind, body, and life for pregnancy, I worked through an exercise about what I think it means to be a good parent.

The process reminded me that, a long time ago, Matt and I came up with a vision for our relationship. We used to be good about pulling out the vision from time to time and rereading it, but we haven't done it lately. It was really nice to pull it up again and read over our thoughts.

When we first created the vision together, we spent a few minutes of independent reflection going through each category by ourselves and giving our relationship a rating based on how well we thought we were doing according to that particular criterion. When we were finished, we went back to compare our ratings. Any areas of discrepancy provided good fodder for conversation.

Looking over the list again reminds me that we've come a long way in terms of strengthening our relationship, but we still have areas to work on. For example, I recently walked away during one of our fights, which is a major no-no, according to our vision.

I think I need to print this list out and put it in my Life Binder. That way, I'll happen across it more frequently and will keep it closer to the surface of my consciousness.

Our Relationship Vision

We enjoy spending time with each other.

We introduce each other to new ideas.

We create adventures together.

We create together.

We maintain our individual identities.

We lead a lifestyle that is healthy for our bodies and the environment.

Our relationship inspires others to love and live more fully.

We support each other through hard times and we bear each other’s burdens as necessary.

We treat each other the way they want to be treated

We contribute equally (intellectually, emotionally, and physically) to our relationship and the maintenance of our life together.

We touch each other lovingly and frequently

We support each other’s goals and celebrate each other’s successes.

We inspire each other to be better people.

We share all of ourselves with each other.

We speak our minds and resolve issues as soon as possible; we do not walk away.

We solve problems proactively, peacefully and lovingly.

We trust each other without a doubt.

We are reliable.

We are happy to wake up next to each other every day.

We keep our living space clean.

We laugh with each other.

We bring people together.

We are fiscally responsible.

We are socially conscious.

We listen.

We prioritize our life together.

We backwards plan.

We do not assume.

We use a constructive tone in conversation.

We reflect on the extent to which we are living our relationship vision and make adjustments as necessary.

We share.

When decisions affect our life, we will decide together.

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Anonymous said...

I like this! Thanks for posting your ideas about a vision of a relationship. A lot of them are in line with my own.

Chris Wolfgang said...

backwards plan? definition?

M. Rude said...

I like this idea of writing down your vision. Hmmm, homework for the weekend maybe?

But I thought it was interesting that you said walking away in a fight was a no-no. during our premarital counseling our pastor touched on how during a disagreement your heart rate goes up (especially for men, this can take a while for their heart rate to return to normal). He recommended that taking a "time out" and coming back to continue the discussion later would provide a calm down and think time. So maybe acknowledging that you need a moment, would making walking away ok!

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ M. Rude: Yes, you're totally right! We learned about "time outs" in premarital counseling, too. I'm talking about walking away in a huff. Very different than asking for a time out.

@ My Discworld: Backwards-planning is when you start with the big picture end goal and then plan all the smaller steps that align with that end. It can be counter-intuitive. For example, when people start planning their weddings, they often start by thinking about their dress or the bridesmaid dresses or the flowers, instead of thinking about their big picture vision for what kind of celebration they want to have.

Hope that makes sense!

Kristine - Cool Wedding said...

Thanks for posting this! I find it personally helpful! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

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