I often hear my younger friends exclaiming “marriage goals” after sharing a few things my wife and I do together. For instance, for our tenth wedding anniversary, my wife and I took our two kids on a road trip from the Midwest to Florida for two weeks.
Truthfully, I didn’t have any marriage goals planned when saying my wedding vows. Instead, my only goal was to be a good husband to my spouse every day.
However, there is no surprise that every couple goes through their challenges and tests in their relationship. One of my favorite marriage quotes is, “No one is perfect. People are just perfect for each other.“
After ten years of marriage, I learned several things that couples, new and old, can work on together and begin goal setting. So here are eight marriage goals every couple should strive for to help strengthen their relationship with their spouse.
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Why Having Marriage Goals Is Important
Married couples commonly call the first few years of marriage the honeymoon phase. This phase gets its name because the union is still relatively new, and some married couples argue their relationship hasn’t tested them yet. Rather, newlyweds are still enjoying their time with one another as if they were on their honeymoon.
As the relationship continues, several life events can happen, such as having a baby, getting a new job, taking on a responsibility, or relocating to buy a new house. Notice how none of these examples are negative, but just typical living.
Unfortunately, these things can distract us from giving due attention to our spouse. Furthermore, some people believe relationships begin to decline after seven years. This belief is commonly referred to as the seven-year itch.
I’m not saying you stopped loving your spouse. Instead, it’s natural for couples to drift apart due to life’s distractions.
Thus, many couples need to set marriage goals together. Setting goals is an excellent way to remind each other why they fell in love in the first place and to strengthen the bond with one another.
8 Marriage Goals To Strengthen Your Marriage
1. Communicate More and Better
Good communication is essential in any relationship. Therefore, if there is one marriage goal you should strive for, it’s this one.
There may be moments where you and your partner “click” and are on the same page that you two can do amazing things together. However, there are also moments when both of you are on different wavelengths.
There are times when my wife and I are in sync that you might think we’re super ninjas doing “no look” passes. However, there are other times when we are on the opposite side of the spectrum.
How do you handle this situation? Unfortunately, we can’t read people’s minds. So, instead of playing guessing games, you need to share your thoughts with your significant other.
It doesn’t help your relationship in the long run if one of you keeps your feelings inside. Otherwise, those feelings can erupt out during an argument.
Don’t let an argument be the first time you two share your thoughts and opinions. Talking through a bit of misunderstanding can help avoid a headache and headache in the future together.
Take time to listen to one another and set aside all distractions, such as turning off your phone or going to a room where you two won’t be disturbed. Patience is vital to give each of you adequate time to talk.
Don’t talk for the sake of talking. And, shouting doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead, it can distract from the main discussion.
Find a way to “marry” your two different ideas together, which may require a compromise. However, at least, you’re coming to an agreement that you two can build upon.
2. Monthly Dates
We all get busy. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for you and your spouse not to have a date night. You two need alone time together without distractions.
There are several simple date night ideas to choose from. So whether it’s having dinner at your favorite steakhouse, getting a couples massage, or watching the latest romantic comedy, make an appointment to spend quality time together.
Also, you can use these date ideas as an opportunity to talk about whatever: life stress, fond memories, or more marriage goals.
In order not to miss out on date nights, make appointments in advance. For instance, we have a monthly subscription for a 90-minute couples massage, and once a quarter, we have a special dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
So, what are you waiting for? First, stop procrastinating and beg the sassy grandma to babysit the kids for a few hours. Then, prepare board games the kids will enjoy and stock the fridge with healthy snacks while you’re out.
3. Work On A Project Together
Working on a project together is a great way to strengthen the bond in your relationship. First, however, you two need to choose a project that you both will be passionate about. This way, both of you won’t easily give up when challenges arise.
Think of a cause that you both believe in. Then, you can use it as a guide to determine what you can work together.
Here are a few questions:
- Is there a charity or community you want to support?
- Do you both enjoy nature or the outdoors?
- What kind of your future do you want for your children?
You can do various things, such as volunteer at a non-profit program, build a garden together, and start a small business together.
For us, we were always concerned about our children’s financial future. With the growing debt of young adults, we wanted to teach our children to be financially responsible.
And, although it has had its challenges, we’re in it together. Within our first two years of investing, we acquired three rental properties using the BRRRR method.
4. Hug Before You Leave for the Day
Do you often rush out the door to get to work or bring the kids to school? Did you remember giving your spouse a hug or kiss before you left?
Sadly, it happens.
In the honeymoon phase, typically, you don’t need a reminder to kiss goodbye. But, as time goes on, you might notice that one of you is not keeping up with this habit.
Unfortunately, I’m guilty of this one. Sometimes we’re in a rush to beat the clock for work. But, this shouldn’t be an excuse!
Physical touch is one of the vital love languages, and a hug or kiss doesn’t take more than a few seconds to do. So, there isn’t any excuse not to show any physical intimacy before one of you leaves for the day.
Make a conscious effort to this simple one every single day!
5. Have a Weekend Getaway
Scheduling a monthly date night is excellent. How about stepping it up a bit with a weekend romantic getaway?
The nice thing is that you don’t have to travel far to have a good time. You can jump on an airplane for a one-hour flight, drive an hour to a local Bed and Breakfast, or have a staycation in a downtown hotel.
After my son was two months old, my wife and I stayed in a downtown hotel. It was a nice little break from raising a newborn, although my wife did spend a few moments pumping that night.
On another occasion, we took a one an hour flight to Austin, TX. The nice thing is we didn’t need to rent a car due to the abundant ride-sharing drivers and just walked downtown.
6. Share a Book
Is one of you an avid reader? Then, just like how you can watch a movie together and discuss it over a meal, you two can use the same concept.
I always thought I would not enjoy reading because it takes too long. But, my real problem was I didn’t find the right kind of book to read.
My wife loves reading books. So she introduced a variety of titles to me. After each discovery, we excitedly talk about it.
For instance, she recently finished the book “Outliers: The Story of Success.” It tells how iconic people, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, took advantage of unique opportunities to elevate them to success.
At different parts of the book, I pause and share a thought that the book invoked, such as “How can I provide similar opportunities to my children.”
7. Don’t Keep a Book of Wrongs
There will come a time when every couple will have a disagreement or a misunderstanding. It’s inevitable.
However, how you two work through the tough times will determine how long your relationship will last. Consider these trials as experiences. It may seem trying, but you two are building a solid foundation for your marriage relationship.
After ten years of marriage, we had our fair share of challenges. Although those moments were sad and even frustrating, we learn more about who we are each time.
Do you recall how my wife and I traveled cross country from Nebraska to Florida with two elementary kids? It took teamwork together, which we learned over the years.
8. Talk About Retirement
It may say odd to talk about retirement when you two may have just got started. But, as part of setting some marriage goals, you also have to figure out where you want to be and make a plan for your family.
For example, where do you want your children to grow up? Or, how long do you plan on working? What are the other’s dreams in ten or twenty years?
In reality, your retirement plan is not permanent. Over time, your dreams will change, and that’s okay. But, in the meantime, you have to determine how you’re going to get there.
For instance, my wife and I never considered retiring before the age of 65. However, after spending more time with our kids and not being financially independent, we stepped up our game to invest in various assets to help us retire earlier.
Every marriage takes work. But, if you want a healthy marriage, then you’ll be willing to put in the work. For this reason, it’s important to set goals.
Honestly, after ten years of marriage, I can’t imagine myself being with anyone else. But have we had our challenges? Yes, of course. But, we never give up!
Always take time for one another and take a break from whatever is going on. Let go of any reservations you might have.
Sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all but just have to listen. Be supportive to one another, pray together, and never stop showing your love.
Which of these relationship goals are you planning on working towards?