Life can start to feel like Groundhog Day. Every morning, you get up and go through your routine, work, watch TV, go to sleep. If you have kids, you’re running their lives and putting out fires as you go. Through all this hectic time, you and your spouse can start to feel like roommates instead of star-crossed lovers. You start to lose sight of the reason you exchanged vows, and you lose passion in what you’ve been working towards your whole life. When things feel aloof and boring, or you realize you’re on a treadmill to nowhere, it’s time to stop. Evaluate where you’re headed and compare it to your goals. If your SO just isn’t on the same page as you, it’s time to encourage your spouse to grow with you.
1. Ask Them About Their Goals
Keeping your marriage alive after kids is a battle on its own. It’s hard to find some romantic time together when you’ve got little hands constantly grabbing at you. But it’s super important to remember that your partner isn’t just a parent to your kids — they’re still the love of your life and they still have dreams and goals that make them the individual you fell in love with.
Of course, priorities change after kids and the bills start filling up the mailbox. Looking beyond those daily responsibilities and stressors is key to not only keeping your own happiness alive, but keeping your marriage alive as well. Ask your spouse about their goals and whether they have changed. Take the time to get on the same page again and let them speak. This will be the first step to understanding their perspective and what they intend for your family’s future.
2. Reciprocate! Tell Them About Your Goals
Once you get a better understanding of how your spouse envisions your family’s life going forward, start sharing your vision. Remember to respect what your spouse has shared with you. Don’t shoot them down or propose your goals in opposition to theirs, just speak from your perspective.
3. Open Up The Discussion About How Your Goals Align… Or Don’t
Now that both of you have been able to speak about goals as individuals, open up the discussion a bit more. Retain respect in the conversation, but talk about how your goals are similar and different. Acknowledge which goals might be in opposition with each other, while also highlighting goals that would work well together. For example, maybe your spouse would really like to take their career to the next level, and that would help support you as you fulfill your dream of staying at home with future kids.
4. Reassure Them That Your Goals Are For The Ultimate Good of Everyone
Of course, it’s really nice to talk about goals that would work well together, but you shouldn’t ignore the discussion about goals that won’t work well together. The survival of your life together will depend on you both being able to make compromises, problem solve, and ultimately GROW. The key to having a good discussion in this regard is to pose your vision and goals to reassure and encourage your spouse that these goals are for the good of everyone, not just yourself. For example, talk about how you starting a new business will be in the interest of making more money and having more free time for family.
Encourage Your Spouse to Embrace a Brighter Future
For many spouses, it can be difficult at first to embrace goals that don’t exactly align with their own vision of the future. They might not have seen a new business as part of their family’s future, or they might not like the idea of having to change around the daily routine to accommodate a busier lifestyle. Maybe they’re just really comfortable where they’re at and are resistant to change in general. No matter where you are, keep having these discussions. It will take time, but sharing your dreams and being respectful of each other will help you eventually grow together.
Remember. Couples that hustle together, stay together. It’s as simple as that.
I hope this was helpful! If you’re looking for more advice in relationships, entrepreneurship, and parenthood, get yourself on THE LYSST and make sure to check out the Making Mommy Moves Show and the Power Couple Show!
XX – Lyss