So the other day Steph and I sat down for a meeting that was long overdue. It was time to take a look at the old budget. I really didn’t want to do this and I think she felt the same since we pushed back the date and time a few times. But since we have both started new full-time day jobs recently it was time to take a look at our financial situation.
I’m a pretty organized person so a few years ago I actually set up a spreadsheet to help us put together an informal budget. It’s pretty handy since it lists out all of our monthly bills, debts that we are trying to pay off as well as some planned spending for each month. It was weird that I was pushing off having this conversation because it really did help me get a perspective on our situation and what we are trying to do together.
Not only did we talk about our financials but we also started talking about the future and what our dreams and goals are. We are both interested in starting a family soon, we both want to get out of debt, we want to start saving for a house. These are all long term goals that we share and it was really nice to get our thoughts out there and see how the other person felt. We also took a look at some of the short term things we are trying to do as well such as continuing to sustain success at our new jobs and planning more time for fun!
It was one of those times where I ended up doing something that I really didn’t want to but by the end I was glad that I did.
Moral of the story? Make time to plan together.
Seriously, set aside time to talk about this stuff! If you’re in a committed relationship you are most likely sharing some, if not all, aspects of your lives together. Take the time, every so often, to sit down and make a plan. Once you’ve made a plan check in on that plan. Have you stuck to your ideas? Do things need to change? Are you still both thinking the same things on different topics?
Making decisions together is a major part of a relationship. From the smallest decision like: “what do you want to eat for dinner?” To bigger ones like: “should we take this next step and move in together?” These are two of hundreds, if not thousands, of shared decisions that come with a relationship. When you take the time to make a game plan you can really understand your partner’s perspective and how it relates to and differs from your own.
Like the old adage goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s totally true, taking a few minutes to plan out the day, the weekend, your futures together can make a world of difference.
What kinds of planning do you do with your significant other? Any tips or ideas you can share with others? Comment below!
Have you ever heard the expression: “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? We all have, right? #Newsflash it’s not true at all!! I know it’s funny to say because it’s cliché and we joke and laugh it off but it’s time to change our thinking people!
This statement is 100% false!
Here’s the truth: Both partners MUST be happy within the relationship for you both to be happy. Period.
I love the fact that Stephanie and I are a team. That’s what it takes; a team effort, a mutual effort. We understand that both of us need to be happy with what is going on otherwise things aren’t working. Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Let me give you an example:
Steph and I live in St. Petersburg, FL which is located near Tampa Bay on the west coast of central Florida. The weather down here is really nice almost year-round. Originally growing up in the Chicago Suburbs I can definitely appreciate the more temperate climate, fo-sho! Anyway, we moved into a really, really awesome apartment building that just so happens to have a rooftop pool. *Insert the “must be nice” comments here, haha!* Trust me, it’s expensive, but at the same time we really love it! With that higher price tag comes some nice perks, so we try our best to take advantage of all of the amenities as often as possible. The rooftop has the pool area, a clubhouse with some games/tv’s, a nice sitting area with a community grill, and a killer view of Tampa Bay.
A few nights ago we headed up there to eat dinner and enjoy the nice evening. After few hours we decided to head down to get ready for bed. On the way down I could see Steph beaming from ear to ear with joy. She really loves where we live and every experience that comes with it. To be honest I love it too, I just don’t wear it on my sleeve the way she does. With that in mind I wanted to share in her joy so I asked “feeling happy?” knowing exactly the answer I would probably get. To my delight she turned with that huge smile and said “Yes! It was so nice out, I’m so happy! Are you?” “I’m happy that you’re happy” I replied. (The old ‘happy wife, happy life’ belief auto populated my brain and I just spit out a reply without genuine thought.)
In the moment I thought I was giving her the response that she needed, that she wanted. I wasn’t concerned about myself, just her and how she was feeling. I thought I was doing good, right? I thought to myself ‘good for you putting her needs first.’ I totally thought that I had given the ‘right’ answer but she stopped in her tracks. “I know you are happy that I’m happy, but are you happy?”
I wasn’t sure what to say. That question caught me off guard at first. I quickly corrected my statement and assured her that I too was happy, not just happy that she was happy.
I didn’t put it all together at the time, but I’m really grateful that she stopped to check in with me. I’m grateful that she was concerned enough to hear what I said and wasn’t just content with the first answer I gave. It showed that she genuinely cares about my happiness and how it pertains to us as a couple. Ultimately that’s what it boils down to: you both have to be happy. You both have to be in agreement with what you are doing in life, together. Some people might think that having an agreeable partner might make it “easier” but I disagree. I want the partner who challenges me, who wants me to succeed, and who wants me to be happy. That’s what I signed up for.
To me being a good husband not only means showing up for my wife but also showing up for myself. I’m as much a part of our marriage as she is. We are a team and we are working together every step of the way. That goes for every aspect of the relationship: sharing the chores, taking care of the kids (eventually), budgeting, sharing the fun, and sharing the happiness.
Work together on making sure you are both happy with the way things are going. Make it a point to be honest and share how you feel. As a partner be receptive and respectful of how she feels too. Men are usually willing to do the dirty work when it comes to physical labor but I’m challenging you to do the emotional dirty work! Remember, you have to be happy too!