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How important are goals in relationships?

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Yesterday the husband and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do for the day. We have kids so really it needed to be something to occupy them. So I posed the question, what if we didn't have the kids, you know because it's nice to daydream sometimes ;-)

His response was, we would probably go to some stores because that's what we do. True, we used to shop ALOT and go out to eat and visit antique stores. I said yeah but how about something else like see a play or go to NYC, something fun!

After talking some more I'm a little shocked to find out that he has no future goals. His goals were: get married, buy a house, have kids. Okay but we are 37, that can't be it!! Don't you want to visit other places and see cool things and forget about buying stuff, let's buy experiences. He said he would go along with things that I wanted to do and might end up being excited and/or enjoying them but there is nothing specific he wants to do in the future. This is really looking to the future when the kids are grown because someday it will just be us and then what?

This can't be it, in my opinion you need some dreams, something to look forward to especially when you are stuck in the grueling raising kids years.

So my question is, how bad is it that he had no personal goals but will go along with whatever I come up with? Is this a bad sign or typical in this stage of the game? Is an absence of shared goals or dreams a sign that there might be trouble down the road?
 

kenny

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I have no goals.
 

kenny

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Neither do I have no plans.

I "Just Do It."
I also, "Be Here Now."
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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kenny|1475531199|4083322 said:
I have no goals.
We all know that your one goal was to be popular on a jewelry forum :lol:

Now that you've accomplished the one goal you can live in the moment.
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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I'm much older. I agree with Kenny. At this point I'm just hoping for good enough health in the future. The "kid years" were great years for planning things. At the 33 year mark, we kind of do our own thing and just want the other to be happy. I do what I like (mostly), and he does what he likes (mostly). We agree on silly dreams like one day we'll get a sailboat. I'm hoping for grandchildren, and it's taking forever.

I don't think it's necessary to plan out everything in life. Things change. Short term goals (5 year plans) are easier to implement. It sounds like you'd like to travel. Plan for it and communicate your plans and go from there. YOLO! :cheeky:
 

OreoRosies86

Ideal_Rock
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I'll go ahead and say, yes. Goals are important to me. I'd say a big reason my marriage failed is because I felt like I was moving forward and Mr. Elliot was not.

One example of this was, I never got a ring. I realize that jewelry by its very nature is frivolous. But I love it. A ring was really important to me. Not a cz or a moissanite I really wanted a real ring, one that I could have as an heirloom. I felt like that wasn't asking for much and I even offered a way to save and work towards it. He had no interest. It's silly but I really mourned that I couldn't have that.

Career wise I had a very regimented plan. I put in my time with crappy jobs and tending bar and working ridiculous hours. I worked my way into management. I started a 401k. I am researching degree programs. Everything I have is because I had goals and set out to achieve them. It's very hard to be in a relationship with someone who is content with just getting by. For me anyway.
 

VRBeauty

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StephanieLynn|1475526972|4083294 said:
This can't be it, in my opinion you need some dreams, something to look forward to especially when you are stuck in the grueling raising kids years.

So my question is, how bad is it that he had no personal goals but will go along with whatever I come up with? Is this a bad sign or typical in this stage of the game? Is an absence of shared goals or dreams a sign that there might be trouble down the road?
It doesn't sound like a deal breaker to me since you've gotten along this far without "shared goals." I'd be more concerned about the fact that you (collectively) are just now discovering this disconnect. One which should be easy enough to remedy - see if it's possible to talk about each of your dreams and visions for the future, and then see whether those discussions lead to some truly shared goals, as opposed to assumed shared goals. If it turns out that you can't reach an agreement on the need for goals or the need to work towards them, then it might indicate a problem.

BTW I was also a stranger to long-term goal-setting. In my case it had to do with the root causes of the that depression I've dealt with on and off for most of my life, but especially in those young adult years when you're supposed to be setting goals. Not saying this is your husband's situation, of course.
 

Lady_Disdain

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My husband isn't too keen on travel and seeing stuff, either. He prefers to stay at home, listen to his extensive and ever growing record collection, read, etc. I don't see it as a problem. It is more fun to him than to go to a play, travel, etc. He will go with me and enjoy himself, just as I will sit down and listen to music with him. It may not be a goal but it is how he enjoys life.
 

sonnyjane

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Lady_Disdain|1475542276|4083375 said:
My husband isn't too keen on travel and seeing stuff, either. He prefers to stay at home, listen to his extensive and ever growing record collection, read, etc. I don't see it as a problem. It is more fun to him than to go to a play, travel, etc. He will go with me and enjoy himself, just as I will sit down and listen to music with him. It may not be a goal but it is how he enjoys life.
Yup! My only real individual goal is to travel. DH's only real individual goal is to work on his cars. I often travel alone or with friends, but he travels at least once a year with me to somewhere we both enjoy. I do NOT, however, venture into the garage haha :)

Our shared goal is to save as much as we can for retirement and possibly even retire a bit early.
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
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The both of us are goal setters. My husband can be a bit extreme - he makes lists, checks them off and plans ahead all of the time. I like to have goals but I take it with a more casual approach. We have travel plans - always one ++ years in advance. It's nice as there's always something to look forward to.

I say to go with whatever works for the both of you. We are all different, I wouldn't be too shaken up by his attitude. He says he will go along with whatever you want, that's nice. =)
 

Dancing Fire

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kenny|1475531199|4083322 said:
I have no goals.
Mine is a 5ct Octavia... :wink2:
 

iLander

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Elliot86|1475538980|4083356 said:
I'll go ahead and say, yes. Goals are important to me. I'd say a big reason my marriage failed is because I felt like I was moving forward and Mr. Elliot was not.

One example of this was, I never got a ring. I realize that jewelry by its very nature is frivolous. But I love it. A ring was really important to me. Not a cz or a moissanite I really wanted a real ring, one that I could have as an heirloom. I felt like that wasn't asking for much and I even offered a way to save and work towards it. He had no interest. It's silly but I really mourned that I couldn't have that.

Career wise I had a very regimented plan. I put in my time with crappy jobs and tending bar and working ridiculous hours. I worked my way into management. I started a 401k. I am researching degree programs. Everything I have is because I had goals and set out to achieve them. It's very hard to be in a relationship with someone who is content with just getting by. For me anyway.
My biggest marriage "indicator of success" is that each partner puts the other's happiness before their own. It's obvious he had no real interest in making you happy. Glad you got out of that one.
 

iLander

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When you're in your 30's you're at the acquisitional phase of your life. Shopping is understandable, we did tons of it.

As far as you and your DH having goals, don't make a big deal out of it. You will change one day. I remember coming home one day, I was 30-something, and I was tired, exhausted from a stressful day of serious work. This was on top of 10+ years of this type of exhaustion for me. Then I looked in the mirror with a shocking thought: there is no finish line. No one is keeping score. No one is watching me, and keeping track of my progress. What was I running so hard for?!!!! Why was I beating myself so hard, to reach goals no one cared about? I realized life is a marathon, not a sprint, and I had to slow down, take it easier because I was very close to breakdown or burn out. Not sure if this is your problem or not, but wanted to say that goals should be flexible and not put undo pressure on you or your DH.

Learn from your DH, he might have the right idea; enjoy having reached your goals and bask in the result of them. Otherwise, what's the point of having goals? Seriously, ask yourself what is the point?
 

missy

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We have always had goals. Something we can look forward to and plan for that gives us satisfaction and enjoyment and a zest for life in general.

Having said that there are many different goals. Work goals, life goals and goals spending time together. Our future goals together are important and we have been working towards that while enjoying each day together too. So not one at the expense of the other.

However, I no longer have work goals but my dh still does. My dh might be teaching again part time in addition to his full time job but his schedule is flexible and he loves teaching. My dh always has building goals and is always doing something that involves creating and building as that gives him much satisfaction. He just finished a roof for our feral feeding station to help them get through the winter and inclement weather. I just write this to point out that he has many goals and enjoys the process of working towards them making them a reality.

I have less goals than he does but I still have the goal of making our future secure and the goal of pursuing our activities together and always working towards and enjoying spending our time doing these things together. For example our tandem long distance cycling is always a goal in the milder weather and yes we fell short of our mileage goal this year but it was an extremely hot summer and we made the best of it.

So always an eye on our goals but we adjust as necessary and still enjoy the process even if we cannot make the exact goal. Because life is the pursuit of happiness and reaching goals is one expression of that (for me) and enjoying each day as it comes as best we can and we cannot control it all but the gift is appreciating each moment together and enjoying our time together. I am grateful and thankful for each day with my dh.

For each individual and each couple those goals will vary and there is no right or wrong. It is what makes you happy and joyful and peaceful. And remember goals are not static but dynamic things that keep changing as life changes. And we only have so much in our control. Adaptation is critical as is enjoying the process.

It is not the end goal per se but the goal of enjoying your life with your loved ones that counts. The journey is what matters and the destination not so much.
 

momhappy

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StephanieLynn|1475526972|4083294 said:
Yesterday the husband and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do for the day. We have kids so really it needed to be something to occupy them. So I posed the question, what if we didn't have the kids, you know because it's nice to daydream sometimes ;-)

His response was, we would probably go to some stores because that's what we do. True, we used to shop ALOT and go out to eat and visit antique stores. I said yeah but how about something else like see a play or go to NYC, something fun!

After talking some more I'm a little shocked to find out that he has no future goals. His goals were: get married, buy a house, have kids. Okay but we are 37, that can't be it!! Don't you want to visit other places and see cool things and forget about buying stuff, let's buy experiences. He said he would go along with things that I wanted to do and might end up being excited and/or enjoying them but there is nothing specific he wants to do in the future. This is really looking to the future when the kids are grown because someday it will just be us and then what?

This can't be it, in my opinion you need some dreams, something to look forward to especially when you are stuck in the grueling raising kids years.

So my question is, how bad is it that he had no personal goals but will go along with whatever I come up with? Is this a bad sign or typical in this stage of the game? Is an absence of shared goals or dreams a sign that there might be trouble down the road?
Some of it sounds like a difference of definition to me. I don't really see travel/experiences to be the same sort of life goals as marriage, children, etc. I think that setting those types of goals is fine, but I also think that it's perfectly normal to not have as much "direction" in life once one achieves things like a career status, marriage, children, etc.
I am torn because while raising kids can be grueling, I also can't imagine a time when they go off on their own (to college, etc.), so it's not necessarily something that I look forward to. I'm sure we will get back to traveling more when the kids have moved on, but I don't necessarily consider it a goal.
 

monarch64

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Stephanie, I think you might be craving more of a connection with your spouse rather than this goal stuff being the most important indicator of a healthy relationship. Shared goals = symptom; lack of true intimacy or understanding each other and working together = disease.

My ex-husband had goals. They were SO not in line with mine, though, and they involved keeping up appearances which was not something I respected about him. Just telling you that to reinforce my opinion that it's not the lack or presence of goals that is the problem. You guys need to reconnect and find some way to do that, whether it's taking a class together or shopping or buying a copy of the Kama Sutra and getting crazy in the bedroom.

As far as happiness in relationships--I think two people should inspire each other to be better and that complacency breeds resentment. That your husband is fine with sort of following you through life isn't necessarily complacency, though. It could just mean he really loves you and is just grateful to be with you. You know? If you've become bored and uninspired, it's also up to you to fix that. Find it within yourself to do something great that makes you happy. The rest of your life will follow suit.
 

missy

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Great point Monnie. I agree. Our SOs should make us want to be a better person and vice versa. To allow us/inspire us to be the best version of ourselves. :appl:
 

House Cat

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This won't be an issue unless you make it an issue.

In the midst of child rearing boot camp, some people only have the energy for raising kids, loving the spouse, and working. I see nothing wrong with that as long as they are truly devoted to these tasks and doing their best.

If you have a problem with the lack of goals in your relationship, maybe it would be good to approach it with a light and loving heart. Sit down with him one night and begin to share fun goals/dreams/aspirations with him and see where it goes. But don't have any expectations of him. He has already made it clear that he isn't setting goals right now.


People are always in a state of flux. So he isn't setting goals at this point in his life, a few years from now, that might change. In a few years, you will be a very different person too. The key is to hang on to one another while all of this change is happening.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Lyra, thank you for your reply, I guess I just worried that that his reaction was unusual and honestly your suggestion about a five year plan is much more reasonable than me thinking 16 years down the road so thank you for that insight.

Elliot86, I don't think wanting a ring is a frivolous thing at all, in fact I think I would feel much the same, I'm sorry that your marriage didn't work out but you sound very driven and motivated and obviously that is what has helped you get to where you are.

VRBeauty, we've gone through a lot of big changes the past couple of years and I think we are just now trying to get our footing so in the past I was a worrier about money and things of that sort but now my worry has shifted to getting to enjoy ourselves because life is short. He pretty much will go along with whatever and I guess that should be appreciated rather than questioned.

Lady Disdain, sounds like you guys have a great balance going there, I believe I read a thread you commented on recently about songs where the remake is better than the original and you had a list of songs, I might be confusing you with someone else but if it was you then I know where your knowledge of music comes from :D

sonnyjane, sounds like a good plan to me, who wants to work longer than they have to right?

Queenie, that's kind of what I was getting at, you're mentioning of travel plans so you have something to look forward to, that's what I think we need to do because we haven't been on a vacation for geesh, seven years! Granted, I don't need a big expensive retreat, just a quick getaway from the doldrums of everyday life.

Dancing Fire, that's a great goal to have :lol:

iLander, I don't have a fast paced, demanding job like my husband but I'm home with my son all day everyday and while it is wonderful to stay home with my kids (until they are in school full time) it is exhausting day in and day out. So my thoughts on goals were kind of "if I can just get through this then at least I have xyz to look forward to". That might sound horrible but really I think the bottom line is to escape the monotony you know? His point is that right now, on one income, why think about things that we have no prospect of doing now? So, that is a good point, maybe I'll worry about it when it is more of a possibility than now.

Missy, that is so great that he did that for the feral population, I always feel so bad for the strays during the cold months, we have blizzards up here almost every winter so it's especially a concern up here. I really appreciate that you said it's the journey that matters more than the destination, it's easy to lose sight of that sometimes. You are always insightful and put a positive spin on things and I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds you very inspirational.

momhappy, I'm glad to hear that it's not abnormal not to have future goals that aren't tied to work or family life, I don't have many people to bounce things off of so to hear that from you as well as multiple other people here is encouraging and comforting.

Monarch, I have to tell you, when I first posted here about an issue I was having with my best friend of x amount of years, I found your reply to be pretty rough around the edges. However, you have become one of my favorite posters because you don't beat around the bush and you tell people what they need to hear instead of sugar coating stuff to make them feel better. You make a good point about wanting to reconnect because this year as we celebrated 10 years married and 15 years together, it has been our most challenging year as a couple. He has had to work through some anger issues (not physically violent towards me or the kids ever) and that has shaken us up a bit but he has made amazing progress and Lord knows I'm not perfect either. We struggle to do things together because we don't have any help with the kids most of the time so it's just us and them and the daily grind and it can take a toll on a relationship. We fit in what we can when we can but the Kama Sutra may be something to look into ;-)
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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House Cat, you're right, I'm not going to push this because really for right now it's not a pressing issue. I like that idea of having a light hearted, fun conversation about the future, that would be fun on a date night which we really need to do soon anyway. Just glad to hear that this isn't an uh oh thing and totally normal for the point we are at in time.
 

monarch64

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Hey Stephanie! I know I can be harsh with posters sometimes, so I'm glad you didn't just put me on "ignore" and wash your hands of me! I have a 4 year old, and stayed home with her for 10 months. I completely understand what it's like--many women here do. Take comfort in knowing this is temporary and honestly someday you'll look back and wish it hadn't gone so fast. I work from home and sometimes I turn on one of my daughter's favorite shows just because I miss her! Day in and day out I listened to those shows and had every line memorized and was SO SICK of Chloe and the gang from Sesame Street, etc. But now I find myself missing that time even though it was difficult. You guys will get through this. And some other curveball in life will be thrown at you. And you'll survive that, too.
 

House Cat

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monarch64|1475601896|4083558 said:
Hey Stephanie! I know I can be harsh with posters sometimes, so I'm glad you didn't just put me on "ignore" and wash your hands of me! I have a 4 year old, and stayed home with her for 10 months. I completely understand what it's like--many women here do. Take comfort in knowing this is temporary and honestly someday you'll look back and wish it hadn't gone so fast. I work from home and sometimes I turn on one of my daughter's favorite shows just because I miss her! Day in and day out I listened to those shows and had every line memorized and was SO SICK of Chloe and the gang from Sesame Street, etc. But now I find myself missing that time even though it was difficult. You guys will get through this. And some other curveball in life will be thrown at you. And you'll survive that, too.
I used to do that with Spongebob!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

luv2sparkle

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iLander|1475581377|4083460 said:
When you're in your 30's you're at the acquisitional phase of your life. Shopping is understandable, we did tons of it.

As far as you and your DH having goals, don't make a big deal out of it. You will change one day. I remember coming home one day, I was 30-something, and I was tired, exhausted from a stressful day of serious work. This was on top of 10+ years of this type of exhaustion for me. Then I looked in the mirror with a shocking thought: there is no finish line. No one is keeping score. No one is watching me, and keeping track of my progress. What was I running so hard for?!!!! Why was I beating myself so hard, to reach goals no one cared about? I realized life is a marathon, not a sprint, and I had to slow down, take it easier because I was very close to breakdown or burn out. Not sure if this is your problem or not, but wanted to say that goals should be flexible and not put undo pressure on you or your DH.

Learn from your DH, he might have the right idea; enjoy having reached your goals and bask in the result of them. Otherwise, what's the point of having goals? Seriously, ask yourself what is the point?
This. As someone who has been married for 36 years, you will never stop changing-your wishes, your hopes,your dreams. Just go with it. Your husband may just not be able, or want to think beyond these years. That is not a problem. Just keep loving each other and walking the road together. All will work out. Don't try t have everything laid out now because it will only result in frustration. Life rarely takes the paths we plan.
 
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