How To Quickly Improve Your Marriage – The Spouse Goal

My wife and I are in complete agreement that it takes work to become the “cute little old couple” holding hands, walking up the sidewalk.

It doesn’t just happen.  It takes effort.

Compatibility and love won’t get you there either.  But the extent to which you’re willing to grow your compatibility and love each other through service to the other will get you there.

One way to do this is to set goals together.  I wrote about this in “Marriage Benefits of Goal Setting Together.”  I encourage you to read it, and add this post to the mix.

Spouse Goal

This year we did something different with our goals that immediately improved our marriage.

We set one goal for the other person.

After taking some time to think about this, my wife decided her goal for me was – to stop asking her “What did you do today?” and replace it with “How was your day?”

She said the former makes her feel judged while the latter makes her feel cared about.

Until then, she’d never told me that, bringing me to the 3 benefits of the Spouse Goal.

Spouse Goal Benefits

1. Opens up communication

Communication is key to growing your marriage.  Just hanging out silently together does not.  Bonds are strengthened through revelation and that takes communication.  Setting a Spouse Goal does just that.  It causes you communicate about each other to each other.

Who knows how much more time would have passed before my wife said something. But setting a Spouse Goal provided an easy opportunity to communicate and reveal something important to me.

And in the end all I had to do was change a question!  Small thing but huge impact.

2. Shows commitment

Allowing your spouse to set a goal for you communicates commitment.  Let’s face it.  We’re all greedy with our time.  Goal setting, as powerful as it is, can be a downright selfish act, especially if a couple isn’t doing it together and setting shared goals.

The Spouse Goal does the opposite.  It says, “You’re so important to me that I’m willing to spend time doing this simply because you want me to.”

That’s huge.

3. You improve, your marriage improves

Guys, you may be thinking right now, “No way, dude! I’m not letting my spouse set a goal for me.  I won’t watch another game all year!” Or something similar.

Ladies, you may be having similar thoughts. If that’s the case, it should tell you something.

Because a Spouse Goal is just that, the goals very well may be focused on where you can improve in your spouse’s eyes.  What they choose for you may sound a lot like what they were complaining to you about just yesterday.

This is called feedback.  It’s one spouse telling the other they’re unhappy and a need isn’t being met.

In a work setting, it’s a team member telling another team member “they’re unhappy and a need isn’t being met.” Or, it’s a leader telling a team member how they can improve.

Why so often are we amenable to feedback at work and not at home?

The Spouse Goal can help with this, if you come at it with the right mindset.

Question:  Do you see other benefits of the Spouse Goal?  Share below so we can all learn.

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4 thoughts on “How To Quickly Improve Your Marriage – The Spouse Goal

  1. What a great idea about “setting one goal for the other person”. I have never thought about doing this but sounds like it would be beneficial. I think doing it allows your spouse to set a goal that the other person might not see as something needing to be changed. Great post!!!

    • Exactly! Or it is something you know needs changing but you need to some inspiration or accountability. I can tell you I ask MB every day “how” her day is rather than what she did because of the Spouse Goal. Largely because I know how much it means to her. If we’d never decided to do Spouse Goals, the opportunity for communicating this desire to me may not have occurred until way down the road or when she communicated it in anger. And who knows where that would have gone!

  2. That’s a pretty unique idea.
    My wife and I don’t set spouse goals, but we do regularly communicate about how we can be better spouses. I think that gets you to basically the same place. Then, you can set your own goal based on the feedback from your spouse. Perhaps that will help you buy into it more since you feel like it’s your goal instead of someone else’s.
    The key either way is to not be offended but to desire earnestly to serve the other person.

    • Love everything you said. Communication is key no matter how it comes. What I like about the Spouse Goal though is it directly communicates you are doing something for the other person, you may even be sacrificing. That communicates powerfully.

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