When you took the plunge and began a monogamous relationship with your partner, you likely started with stars in your eyes, believing that life would always be like a whirlwind romance. Reality, however, dictates that we continue to live our daily lives — as each partner follows his or her own career path, the path to parenthood, at times it seems as if the relationship isn't anywhere near what you dreamed.
More from YourTango: Nourishing Your Spirit This Holiday Season
It's not unusual for a monogamous relationship to feel less than supportive, and often the reason is simple: we stop communicating our desires to our partner. But what if I told you that you could strengthen your partnership by going back to those dreams you had way back when about how life was going to be?
To be honest, most folks spend more time planning the wedding than envisioning how they will live a shared life. One of the first things I suggest to a couple who desires to re-spark the fire in their relationship is to create a Couple's Vision.
How would you envision your perfect monogamous relationship? How would you feel? What would you be doing? Do you dream of laughing often? Feeling safe and relaxed? Having activities you both find meaningful? I believe that if you can envision it, you can make it reality.
Begin with each of the partners in the monogamous relationship envisioning and defining what the ideal relationship would be like. Do this in the present tense, as if it were already happening. Because language is important for tone, choose positive wording. For example:
- We support each other in our individual endeavors.
- We make love three or four times a week.
- We trust each other.
- We exercise together.
- We have fun together.
- We have an active and satisfying sex life.
After each of you has created your individual vision, then it's time to share. Schedule the sharing of each other's visions for a time when you are relaxed and there won't be any distractions. Compare lists and place a check next to each of the items you agree with. It's not so much about specific wording looking exactly like yours as it is the general sentiment.
If your partner mentions anything in his vision for your monogamous relationship that you don't object to, circle it! Then, draw a line through the items you don't agree with.
Now it's time to begin creating your joint vision.Creating a vision together will equip you with the tools for envisioning a better future. You will identify priorities for your monogamous relationship. This allows you to say yes to what matters the most and no to activities that take away from who you are as individuals and as a couple. It gives you the clarity to manage your shared life together, instead of letting life manage you! Think of a vision like road side assistance.
You want to enjoy this road trip of life together, but you certainly can't control everything. There are going to be bumps, detours and road construction along the way, but creating a vision gives you structure as you travel together.
Your vision will dramatically improve the satisfaction level and communication within your relationship, leading to more joyful and content individuals — and a stronger team.
More from YourTango: This Weekend, 'Fall Back' & Fall Back In Love
More monogamous relationship advice from YourTango: