I often get asked about my relationship with Rob. Particularly, “How have you stayed together for that long?”
Next week we celebrate 20 years of marriage and I can’t help but pause and ask myself the exact same question.
When I think of our relationship, all of the joys and challenges bubble up: all of our moves, travel adventures, babies, miscarriage, job losses, new businesses, our friends who are family + more. Underneath all of this, I find the two main things that have been our glue.
While Rob + I have always been very different (engineer + life coach, hello?), we have always had a deep respect and curiosity about the other person’s choices. A desire to see each other as we truly are and support the path that they are on. Piece of cake, right? Not quite. Our differences have led to some clashes as well as interesting conversations. Yet at the end of the day, we both have a mutual desire for the other person to be happy, fulfilled and living their dreams.
Friends, you knew this was coming. Values are my jam. Some time ago, a dear friend (Sara Rice) sent me a worksheet entitled “The Happiness House.” The basic premise is that you + your partner separately construct a house based on what you value. You start at ground level. What is the foundation for how you live, how you think, how you respond? You then build from there…2nd floor and 3rd floor priorities in your life.
Once complete, you come back together + discuss. The foundation of our partnership is based on shared values: family, travel, creativity, health + curiosity to name a few. Once we get to the 2nd level of the house, that is where we have different ways that we look at life and what we prioritize. When life gets difficult, and it will whether you are together for 1 year or 20, we are able to find light, direction and togetherness through the lens of our shared values.
Not a day goes by that I am not eternally grateful for my life partner. Well, maybe not when he leaves dirty clothes 2-inches from the laundry basket. Marriage is work and I am so glad that I have a co-worker that is equally invested in the life that we are creating.
Complete "The Happiness House" Worksheet for yourself or with your partner.