How would you go about setting family goals if your spouse is not a big goal-setter? It’s not at all that he’s lazy or doesn’t care about improvement or seeing our family grow, he’s just not a planner by nature and doesn’t enjoy the process where you think through last year and think about the coming year. -an anonymous reader
What a great question — and I think it’s one that many people wonder about. Here are some thoughts I have:
1. Don’t Nag
If you want to ruin your relationship, start trying to nag and drag your spouse along with your latest and greatest ideas. It’s a recipe for disaster — and discord.
2. Don’t Compare
It’s so easy to see other marriages and wish ours could be like theirs. Or to hear someone else talk about how great their spouse is and to wish our spouse would be more like that.
But here’s the deal: no marriage is even remotely perfect. All marriages have struggles. All spouses have flaws. Spend your time looking for things to be thankful for about your marriage instead of wasting time wishing your spouse would change.
3. Do Communicate
I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and share your heart. Gently communicate your desires to be a little more intentional as a family.
However, when you sit down to discuss this, it’s vitally important that you come with an open mind. Don’t have everything all mapped out and badger your spouse into signing off on your plan.
Listen to your spouse’s thoughts and concerns. If your spouse sees that you genuinely want their input, they are going to be much more apt to considering joining you in the journey. But they will likely resist from the get-go if you don’t seem to care about their desires and or have any willingness to hear them.
4. Do Focus on YOU
Communicate your desires, but leave your expectations for your spouse at the door. It’s wonderful to be working toward things together as a couple, but if your spouse just isn’t interested in goal-setting right now, you can still set goals that don’t require the involvement or participation of your spouse. (For instance, if you look at my 12 Goals for 2014, you’ll see that most all of them don’t require any participation from anyone but me.)
You are the only person you can change in a relationship. So invest your efforts in improving YOU instead of spending time frustrated that your spouse isn’t changing.
What advice and suggestions do the rest of you have for this reader?
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