Setting Goals with Your Partner: Recipe For a Happy Marriage

In order for a relationship to be satisfying those involved in it must set clear goals for it. Most people go into relationships with a vague idea of what they want out of it. When pressed, they often are unable to specify their goals for the relationship in the long term.

Goals can be stated or written, but they should be agreed upon by the partners at the beginning of the relationship.

Relationship goals sometimes are dictated by behavior. However, for a relationship to work, the goals stated should be only those on which both partners can agree.

Communication Goals:

Communication goals. Many marriages end in divorce simply because of a small misunderstanding. Do not let miscommunication destroy your marriage. Find ways to become a better communicator with your spouse. Set some goals on how you can be a better listener and how you can communicate your needs directly.

How can you become a better communicator?

How can you become a better communicator? This might involve asking your partner more questions about his/her job, not interrupting your partner while she/he is speaking, or stating your needs more directly.

If you find that you’re not able to come up with shared goals:

I would suggest spending more time together and focusing on building your relationship with each others. Not having shared goals is a sign of being on diverging paths in life – and that means if you take your relationship seriously, it needs some work, whether you can see that on the surface or not.

Back to Partners – What Questions Do I Ask?

Here is a list of questions that you can use to start a comprehensive conversation with your partner about your joint goals. It’s based loosely around the list I used with my wife, but I’ve made a number of additions that I believe are relevant, and removed a few items that were very specific for our family:

  1. Where do you see your career going?
  2. What kinds of jobs would you like to have in your lifetime?
  3. What hobbies will you pursue?
  4. Do you intend to further your education, and if so – where?
  5. Is home ownership a desire?
  6. Would you like to have kids, how many, and when?
  7. Would you like to donate your time and/or money to charity? Which ones?
  8. How do you see retirement? How long do you intend to work?
  9. What importance do you place on health care? Do you want to invest in preventative care? Vitamins? Gym memberships?
  10. What are your views on borrowing money to make purchases? Would you borrow to buy a car, boat, etc.?
  11. How important is travel to you? Where do you want to travel and when? How elaborate do you envision the trips?
  12. Are friends and social interactions important to you? Do you like expensive outings or affordable entertainment?