(Listen to the audio version of this article here.)
The other night my husband and I sat on the kitchen floor and talked until 1 in the morning. The TV wasn’t on—or maybe it was—I can’t remember…
We told stories about our day and rolled our eyes over the annoyances. We discussed our individual jobs and the vision we have for what we hope to accomplish. We talked about the funny things our kids are saying and doing, watched a couple videos of them, and laughed so hard. I told him about something that has been on my heart and cried because I knew God answered my prayer. He smiled and said he’d been praying that for me too.
I’m not being dramatic when I say I would wish my marriage upon you.
That’s not to say we are without problems, struggles, and mediocre moments. I get annoyed when he works one second longer than I think he should (and he loves to work). He gets stressed by a messy house (and I hate to clean). We live with financial strain and two autoimmune diseases. We miscommunicate, over commit, and under deliver for one another. There are evenings that we sit on the same couch but never lift our eyes from the phones in our hands. Our home is not without real-life problems. But every so often, we escape them.
Not by dropping our kids off somewhere and taking a cruise (although I’m all for that idea!). No, our getaway happens within that same home where our bills sit on the counter, disease brings us to our knees, anxiety makes us overreact, and pain dwells.
It happens in moments like the other night when I take a second glance at him and drink in how tall and handsome he is. Or I pick up on his hilarious sarcasm when I’m usually trying to remember too many things at once and miss it all together. Or we sit and dream together like we did when we were dating… Only it’s better now because we’ve helped each other work toward those goals and our promises have turned into investments (at times quite costly ones).
Yes, dreaming together is our secret weapon, our sweet escape.
While my husband and I are basically exact opposites on every kind of personality assessment out there, we are both dreamers. Lofty ones at that. I think it’s one of the things that drew me to him, and perhaps him to me.
All of this made me think, perhaps dreaming together is a vital piece to a life-long love.
Here are five ways that sharing your dreams with your spouse can lead to a lifelong love:
1. You discover the best pieces of each other.
While some dreams may never come to fruition, it doesn’t mean they are worthless. Your man’s dreams may very well show you his greatest potential and most admirable qualities that might otherwise be overlooked. Creativity is needed to form an idea. Confidence is crucial to sharing it. Perseverance is vital if any work toward the goal is made. Whether we ever actually achieve what we envision or not, there is something so attractive about casting the vision for it because it provides evidence of these traits within us and our man. Once spoken, we have the chance to nurture those positive, budding attributes and can hopefully help them take root.
2. You build intimacy in a place where others don’t have access.
How many people divulge their inner musings with just anyone? Opening up in this way involves a deep level of vulnerability. If your guy shares a dream with you, it means he trusts you. He doesn’t think you’re going to laugh or shoot it down with all the potential roadblocks you see. So entertain it along with him. Isn’t that what you’d want from him? There’s a huge opportunity to bond with him in a way no one else might. Isn’t this how we first fell in love? We opened our hearts in vulnerable ways, trusting one another, connecting in intangible ways, and sparks flew. This is a simple way to rekindle those feelings when the mundane (or difficulties) of life can leave a marriage feeling dull.
3. You develop a level of oneness you might not experience otherwise.
Once you’ve shared your dreams with one another, you might find yourself thinking about theirs. You start brainstorming how to make it happen. You may even begin working toward their vision because you found it so appealing. What does that communicate to your spouse? “I believe in you. So much so that I’m in it with you.”
Right now, my fluffy, white Goldendoodle is cuddled up next to me as I type this article. I share this because, as silly as it sounds, he was one of my dreams. And I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In this very moment, I see two of my deepest desires laid out in front of me. Dreams that my husband helped me attain by getting on board with a dog (even though he’d never own one otherwise) and encouraging me to take a pay cut in order to pursue a fulfilling career. But I have also contributed to his achievements. He completed his MBA early on in our marriage. And while he holds the degree, I know what it required of me, and I feel as though we earned it together. Guess what, I think these things—while they cost each of us significant sacrifices—have made our marriage stronger and happier. Okay, maybe not the dog…but I digress.
4. You gain understanding about his motivations.
There was a season in our marriage when my husband was obsessed with trying to grow grass in our yard. We live in Southwest Florida where it feels nearly impossible to have a nice lawn unless you have a professional service. We can’t afford that monthly commitment, so I resigned to having a sandbox yard a long time ago. My husband, however, was spending every free minute outside, pulling weeds, spreading grass seeds, and watering the lawn twice a day. To be frank, I was irritated. I had a lot of other ideas for how he could be using his time and I wondered if he was out there because he didn’t want to be inside with the kids and me.
One day, he told me that he had this dream of having a pretty, green lawn so we could sit outside at the end of the day and watch the sun set together. I instantly regretted all the time I had spent brooding over him isolating himself and “wasting time” in the yard. Obviously I do not always know my husband’s intentions or motivations, and you probably don’t know yours either—even when you think you might. Don’t make assumptions!
5. You can celebrate your shared victories.
Every so often my husband and I evaluate the things we’ve been working toward. We often talk about how much money we’ve saved, set goals for certain amounts we want to see in the bank, and attach rewards for ourselves for when we do hit those numbers. Oftentimes the reward is that we get to do another home project. We are currently saving to be able to paint the exterior of our home, something we’ve both been dying to do. The fun thing about these types of rewards is that it’s another investment into our shared life—another accomplishment we will look back on together and feel proud of. It keeps things fun, keeps us focused, and keeps us working together as a unit in an area of our lives that could otherwise feel frustrating.
Dreams come in many shapes and sizes, as unique as the people who carry them. Yours may not revolve around writing as mine do. You and your man’s might be very different from one another’s, but each of you certainly have them.
So, what are they? What are his? Do you know? Can you remember? Maybe it’s time to ask.
Life doesn’t always allow fancy vacations and perfect dates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape with your spouse through your wildest dreams.
For more related articles on relationship advice for women, start here:
5 Fresh Ways to Work on Your Marriage (When He Isn’t)
Marriage Advice That Will Change Things More Than You Think…
Is Your Man a Never-Fiancé, Forever-Fiancé, or The One?
10 Things I Learned in a Decade of Wifing
Every Marriage Has Seasons (It’s Not Like a Hallmark Movie)
3 Phrases That Will Strengthen Your New Marriage
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