Have you given much thought to just what your Dream Marriage would look like?
When my wife and I recently attended a marriage retreat, which was fantastic by the way, one of the first things we were asked to do was separate from each other for around 15 minutes. During this time, we were told to write down in our own words specifically what we (as individuals) would have for a marriage if we could snap our fingers and make our wishes come true.
He-Said vs. She-Said
In our case, my wife and I took completely different approaches in our descriptions. In her typical style, she wrote several (small) pages of emotional thoughts about how we would interact and spend our time together during a given day. My wife gave some great specific examples of things we should do more often, such as relaxing together, praying together and openly communicating on a regular basis.
Not so much for Mr. Planner here. My “dream” was broken out over a typical week, and I had days for couple-only time, days for full-family time and a day in there for some “me” time as well. I provided a schedule of what we could be doing throughout the day in dreamland.
My dream marriage plan was, well, an actual plan that could be followed…but then again what would you expect from an engineer?
As it turns out, our individual summaries were really just a tool to get our minds opened up and our ideas flowing. After the writing time was over, we were asked to go find an isolated place to share our journal entries. This is where things got really interesting.
As my wife read her thoughts, I could see the emotions welling up in her face. She made it through her writing and then really opened up with some ideas for how we could improve our relationship…now…not just in dreamland.
When my turn to speak came around, I had a similar experience and the words I had written took on a different meaning when I was speaking them to the person they most directly impacted. My own mind and heart really opened up as well, and we had an awesome conversation for the next 10 minutes before it was time for the next session. This discussion about our dream lifestyle and the life we want for our family continues still today.
Make Your Dream Marriage Happen in the Real World
It became obvious through this exercise in lifestyle design that my wife and I both have some ambitions and hopes for our family that we hadn’t really expressed previously. While we have a lot of new goals to strive toward, the great news is that we are now connected on a deeper level and have a much better understanding of each others desires for the future.
And it isn’t all emotional, dreamy stuff either. We have specific ideas for how we can really improve our relationship and provide the support we each feel we need in our marriage.
The best part of the entire exercise is that we both realized that we value the relatively simple things in our lives the most. While some of our dreams require more money and time independence, a lot of our desires can be met with the resources we already have. It is just a matter of working together and getting our priorities straight.
So, What is YOUR Dream Marriage?
I would highly encourage you to ask your spouse or fiance to go through this exercise. Spend some time apart thinking and jotting down specific ideas about what you want for your marriage and your lifestyle.
- How would you spend your time?
- Where would you live?
- How do children fit in?
- Would you work-where and how much?
- How often would you have sex?
- Would you pray together, attend Church regularly or maybe start your own cult (just kidding, unless of course you are both big fans of the cult lifestyle)?
- How would you interact and communicate each day?
- Would you play sports together, exercise more or spend more time alone enjoying your individual hobbies?
- Would you read more, watch more T.V. or travel abroad as nomads?
Obviously, the possible details to include are endless and will vary for each couple. However, these details are not really the important part, they are merely the tool needed to get you thinking outside the ruts that your life is likely riding in right now.
So, invest a little time on a quiet evening and write your thoughts down. Get together for 15 minutes and read what you wrote down. The real magic will start then as you begin to let your guard down and really communicate your desires to each other.
And, with the investment of only a few minutes, you will have taken the first (and biggest) step toward achieving the marriage and family lifestyle that you both want. Life is too short to settle for mediocre. Now is the time to start working together to make your dreams a reality.Photo by dMap Travel Guide