Sage Relationship Advice: Sharing the Same Goals

I get a kick out of reading advice columns and, recently, it was a Carolyn Hax column. The title grabbed me: “Reexamine goals with ‘aimless’ husband.” It is about a problem that is pretty common in marriage – unclear expectations.

A Common Issue in New Marriages

The question is from a successful woman. In her marriage of a couple of years, she is the primary breadwinner and money manager. Her dilemma focuses on their joint goals. The woman explains that her spouse is slightly younger and is “the man of my dreams.”

The problem is that, in his mid-thirties, he’s “still struggling” to find a career. He has a lot of new starts but at the time of the writing, had a part-time, hourly wage job. Her problem is that they have specific goals. They won’t achieve those goals unless he makes an actual income. And, when she talks to him about getting an income-producing job, he calls her a “dream-crusher.”

Are Both Partners Really on the Same Page?

When answering, Hax questions the couple’s goals. She asks if her dream-man really shares the same goals. She sees a goals “gap” and questions whether the two are on the same page about their future. Does he really want the same goals she does? Or, did “he just nodded agreeably to the dreams of the person he loves” to make her happy?

I think that’s a pretty common problem in marriage. In fact, in any relationship. How many times do you have a conversation with your sweetie – or a co-worker or friend – and think you’re in agreement, but later found out you weren’t?

The Gap Can KILL THE LOVE!

In a marriage, it’s the kind of thing that can kill the love.

I find that, in any partnership, when you’re going in the same direction, and both partners are “in it to win it,” they go farther faster. When they aren’t, one person is spinning wheels and getting frustrated while the other is wondering why. Or just doesn’t care…because s/he didn’t want that goal from the beginning.

Solve this Relationship Problem with the Five-Year Marriage®

It’s the kind of problem the Five-Year Marriage® helps couples handle, and solve before it ends the relationship. The Five-Year Marriage® works because:

  • The couple makes a joint agreement about their goals and they put it in writing.
  • There is an end-date to their agreement. There is something about a deadline to helps people get and stay focused (vs. open-ended agreements). The advice column’s “dreamboat” who can’t find himself is likely to be more motivated to get his act together if he knows there’s an end-date.
  • The couple has a vehicle in which to review and, if they get off-course, get back on the same page (Family Meetings) before their relationship is beyond repair.

Try the Five-Year Marriage®!

Want to learn more about the Five-Year Marriage®? Interested in transitioning from a traditional marriage to a Five-Year Marriage®? Here are your next steps:

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What is the Five-Year Marriage®?

Created by Annmarie Kelly, the Five-Year Marriage® is a concept of restructuring marriage agreements every five years to take into consideration external and internal changes happening to each person in the relationship. This periodic assessment of each person’s happiness, fulfillment, obligations and goals creates a safe space for each person to grow and change, together. The result is a relationship that grows stronger and more intimate over time. This collection of articles is a dep dive into the  different concepts proposed in the book, The Five-Year Marriage® and deserve a space for additional exploration and discussion.

Communication skills for couples

Five Year Marriage

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