As the years pass and your marriage progresses, I am willing to bet that you are not in the same relationship from which you began. Oh you may still be with the one you originally married, but the relationship is not the same. It can’t be. We constantly change and evolve. It is one of the natural laws that can not be avoided. I would also be willing to bet that most of us would not want to still be in that same relationship.
Every relationship starts off in that euphoric, sappy state of being where you can not imagine life without the other. You spend all your time each day wondering what the other person is doing, thinking, feeling, and if they miss you as much as you miss them; even though you’ve only been apart for 15 minutes. As we have all experienced, this state can not last forever and life settles in. This is where the relationship is faced with the choice of either growing or deteriorating. Now this may be a bit simplistic but it is still true. How much planning is spent on relational growth from this point? Have you developed a vision of your relationship down the road? Now. Five years from now. Ten. Twenty.
We are each capable of pointing out what is wrong with our relationship or what is missing (we are also quick to point this out in our spouse). How often are we willing to do this about ourselves? We need to be able to develop a vision for ourselves; and then for our relationship. Only then will life begin to run more smoothly. When you don’t know where you want to go, any route will do. If you have a vision for where you want to go, you can then share that with your spouse and get their input on a shared vision, of which you will only control half.
A relationship vision begins with three distinct, yet interrelated concepts. They are space, clarity, and personal development. These concepts are born out of the idea that we are capable of creating the life we desire from intention. The first step to creating from intention is to focus within ourselves. This week will set the foundation briefly for each of these concepts and the following weeks will go more in depth.
The things in our lives require space. When we have enough space, things run smoothly. Space usually entails many different areas; physical, mental, time, emotional and spiritual. We all know what is like to not have enough space. You board your plane for the flight to the coast and discover you are sitting next to the person that you swear used to play offensive lineman for the Cowboys. When we don’t have enough space, we are often short. Short of room, short of temper, short of clarity.
Clarity is the ability to see both close and far with awareness and insight. Clarity is instrumental in developing the life and relationship we want. This involves not just what we want in our life, but also what we do not want. What are the things you want to have in your relationship? What are your relationship deal breakers? Spend some time developing a clear vision of life going forward. Realize however, that when another person is involved with the fulfillment of this vision, you will have to adapt and adjust at times since you can not control what they want for their own lives.
The last area is personal development, which is necessary for sustained growth. The previous two areas will produce short term improvement, but lasting growth will only come from you developing into a better human. When both members of the relationship take care of this within themselves, a tremendous amount of energy is created.
In the following weeks we will discuss each topic more in depth. Feel free to join in the discussion with questions and comments along the way.
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