This week for one of my Pathway assignments, I was directed to make a couple of S.M.A.R.T. goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I was told to consider which family relationships I would most like to change or improve and select two. Then I had to set one S.M.A.R.T. goal for each selected relationship. My goals needed to focus on MY choices, actions, and resulting effects and not on the desired behaviors of the other person. I chose to set my goals to improve my relationships with Don and Jesse.
Today I’m going to write about my goal to improve my relationship with Don. I would love to have a happy marriage. I would love to know that our relationship was solid and strong and happy MOST of the time. So I decided to make it a goal to make that happen. After 22 years, I guess it’s about time. So my goal for our marriage is for both of us to be happy with ourselves and with each other most of the time. I know we can’t always be happy but I want to feel that our marriage is happy overall because I haven’t felt that for a long time.
I love being friends with Don. When we can talk and share and be comfortable and happy around each other without anger or bringing up past mistakes, I love being around him. I often tell him that I love being his friend. He’s so nice to his friends!
I also love feeling cherished, protected, and loved by Don. When he says nice things about me to other people or takes care of something that I don’t want to do or is difficult for me to do, I feel loved. I like when he is vocal about my good characteristics and doesn’t throw me under a bus about my bad qualities. I like when Don helps me with projects and when he encourages me to be creative. I like when he lets me make our home look and feel comfortable and welcoming for us, our family, and our friends.
I also like to take care of Don. I like feeding him and making sure he has clean clothes, or new socks, or a new toothbrush when he needs them. Surprisingly, I even like having our house clean for him! I love to hang out with Don and do fun things together. I even enjoy running errands with him because he is so good at it.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time I don’t feel close to Don or want to do anything with or for him. He has a very critical attitude and micro-manages everything. This often feels controlling and wrong. It is especially hard for me to be near him when he and Jesse fight.
I feel that Don is much happier in our marriage than I am and I struggle with that a lot. I know that there are many things I can and should do to have a happier marriage. I am not without blame in this situation. So my goal to have a happier marriage has to start with doing some of those things even though I don’t want to and even though I feel like it should be Don’s responsibility to fix what I think is broken.
My S.M.A.R.T. goal is…
Step 1. Speak with kindness to Don. I will stop being antagonistic and accusatory. I will give Don the benefit of the doubt.
Step 2. Help reduce Don’s stress. This means I have to spend less money. I will also stay on top of my chores so our home environment is calmer.
Step 3. Be more social. Don loves to do things outside of the house while I love to stay home so I will need to get out of my comfort zone to do this.
I have had a hard time coming up with a way to measure my progress on this goal but I think some daily reflection will help. I write in my journal almost daily and so I will take a few minutes to reflect on my behaviors for the day to see if they are in line with my goal.
I know that my specific goals are attainable. I’ve done them all before and had good results. The challenge will be to continue them even when I’m not getting the resulting behaviors that I’m looking for.
This overall goal of having a happier marriage fits into with my larger life goals of being a happy person and having a happy home and family. It also fits into my eternal purpose of living in the Celestial Kingdom with my family.
I will be taking these specific steps this week. I realize that 22 years of history and hurt isn’t going to go away in one week but I know that I can make some significant changes that will be positive in making our marriage happier.