I once saved a marriage with this exact bucket list. Yep, that’s right! It wasn’t my fancy education, my expensive certifications or my years of experience as a couples counselor. Those things certainly didn’t hurt the relationship, but at the end of the day, the thing that made the biggest difference to this busy couple was their bucket list.
You see, this couple was bored and stagnant. They were in, what I like to call, relationship complacency. If you asked them how their relationship was, “It’s fine” was their typical answer. No passion. No excitement. It was just…“fine”.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this busy couple didn’t need therapy, they needed a bucket list. They needed to connect and have something to grow towards and be excited about. They needed shared passions.
And while many couples are stuck in this stale and stagnant place, some couples are experiencing just the opposite. Some couples are SO focused on their bucket list that it is the ONLY thing they live for. They wake up motivated and ambitious as they charge at full speed throughout their day. When bedtime comes, they literally drop…exhausted and burned on both ends.
These busy couples are easily fooled by their success. They believe that the check marks on their bucket list mean they’re living a full life. The jump from victory to victory, barely stopping to smell the roses. These couples are just as disconnected as the complacent ones, but they’re too busy to notice.
How do you know if you’re bored, busy or balanced?
So, how do you find your equilibrium? How do you know if you’re doing something with your partner just to do something? The first thing you do is listen to yourself. For instance, ff you’re off balance, my guess is that one of the above stories gave you an emotional reaction. Pay attention to that.
Ask yourself these questions:
- In the midst of necessary stillness, and/or normal chaos, do I still feel connected to my partner?
- Do my partner and I have shared interests and other things we’re excited about?
- Are our day-to-day lives meaningful and fulfilling?
- Even thought we’re busy, do we talk about things on a daily basis that aren’t work or kid-related?
- Do I feel excited about telling my partner something at least a few times a week?
- Do I forget to tell my partner important thoughts, happenings, or ideas throughout the week?
Use these questions as a guide to give you information about your relationship and who you are as a couple. The goal is to be connected, relatively excited, and passionate while still showing up for the everyday moments with appreciation and gratitude. Achieving this can be difficult and takes patience, but it’s worth it in the end…and it allows for the days that are hard or difficult to not seem as bleak.
If, in your relationship, there aren’t things that connect you, you’ll grow apart. Just because you do things together as a couple, doesn’t mean you’re connecting. By slowing down and being intentional in the moment, you’ll start to savor life’s experiences and grow as a couple.
If you’re struggling in your relationship, Knot Therapy specializes in marriage counseling and helps busy couples reconnect. Whether you choose a workshop, a course, or marriage counseling, we’d love to help get your relationship back on track! Call us today for a free consultation.