Do you have a road map for your relationship? Or are you driving around aimlessly, not really knowing where you are going?
You may set goals in work, finances, fitness, and other important areas of your life, but do you ever sit down together and share all the things you would like to have and achieve in your relationship? Maybe you did in the early days, but as life stresses take over, it’s been forgotten.
What does the relationship of your dreams look like? Maybe you think about the things you want, but do you really focus on them? Do you even know whether your partner wants the same things? You might assume they do, but do they really?
When there is dissatisfaction in a relationship, it is often because these things aren’t communicated between you, and the reality may be that your partner’s vision isn’t always matching up to yours, in what you believe a relationship should be like. Some things might be the same, some different, and others mismatched.
Working together to create a shared relationship vision can bring back love, joy and re-establish connection. It gives you a road map to reach your destination of reconnection and happiness.
However, simply making a relationship vision and storing it away in a draw somewhere, only looking at it briefly every few months, won’t get you anywhere. Loving, connected relationships require commitment, so you have to engage with your relationship vision. It’s one thing to agree on what you both want, but it’s action that will move you forward.
We get in life what we focus on, so work on it consistently and use it to guide your desires for your relationship and start making your aspirations a reality.
Creating Your Relationship Vision
From: Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly
Time: Approximately 60 minutes.
Purpose: This exercise will help you see the potential in your relationship.
Comments: Do this exercise together.
1. Use two sheets of paper, one for each of you. (See below) Working separately, write a series of short sentences that describe your personal vision of a deeply satisfying love relationship. Include qualities you already have that you want to keep and qualities you wish you had. Write each sentence in the present tense, as if it were already happening. For example: “We have fun together,” “We have great sex,” “We are loving parents,” “We are affectionate with each other.” Make all your statements positive. Write “We settle our differences peacefully” rather than “We don’t fight.”
2. Share your sentences. Note the items that you have in common and underline them. (It doesn’t matter if you have used different words, as long as the general idea is the same.) If your partner has written sentences that you agree with but did not think of yourself, add them to your list. For the moment, ignore items that are not shared.
3. Now turn to your own expanded list and rank each sentence (including the ones that are not shared) with a number from 1 to 5 according to its importance to you, with 1 indicating “very important” and 5 indicating “not so important.”
4. Circle the two items that are most important to you.
5. Put a tick beside those items that you think would be most difficult for the two of you to achieve.
6. Now work together to design a mutual relationship vision similar to the following example. Start with the items that you both agree are most important. Put a tick by those items that you both agree would be difficult to achieve. At the bottom of the list, write items that are relatively unimportant. If you have items that are a source of conflict between you, see if you can come up with a compromise statement that satisfies both of you. If not, leave the item off your combined list.
Our Shared Relationship Vision Example
We have fun together.
We settle our differences peacefully.
We have satisfying and beautiful sex.
We are healthy and physically active.
We communicate easily and openly.
We worship together.
We are each other’s best friends.
We have happy and secure children.
We trust each other.
We are sexually faithful.
We both have satisfying careers.
We work together well as parents.
We share important decisions.
We meet each other’s deepest needs.
We have daily private time.
We feel safe with each other.
We are financially secure.
We live close to our parents.
7. Post this list where you can see it daily. Once a week, check-in where you are up to!
I’m based in Lytham St Annes, so if you need help in your relationship and would like to explore more about Imago Relationship Therapy and how it can benefit you both, please just get in touch by calling 0795 4434 840 or email me at [email protected] Relationship Counselling is truly a great support to help you work through the disconnect and struggles in your relationship.