Rick and Dana married four years ago, but have recently discussed getting a divorce on several occasions. They state they have difficulty talking to each other and are experiencing problems with trust. When asked why they got married in the first place, they each say “I don’t know.” Not only do they not know what they want from their marriage, they haven’t actually worked together as a couple on anything since planning their wedding, and they haven’t considered the option of doing so in preparing for their future, either. In a sense, they are co-existing in the same house, saying “We’re both independent and each of us likes to do things our own way.” They have no structure, no agreement, no real partnership. They have not yet made a start at building or developing a life together.
The marriage of Rick and Dana is not unique. A large percentage of couples marry for love, look forward to having a quality long-term relationship with someone they can grow old with, and expect that quality to remain constant ’til death do us part.’ Then, when the ‘honeymoon phase’ wanes and the quality dissipates , some partners look to each other for answers, or begin to question the viability of marriage as an option, or deny/avoid the existence of problems until either those problems can no longer be ignored or until it’s too late.
The quality of one’s life, one’s relationship, or a company/business that one builds or works for is never a constant. Quality is something that is defined, designed, and maintained through time as the forces and circumstances of life situations play out. Quality in one’s life and in one’s relationship is something we have the ability to manage and oversee; we don’t have much “control” or manageability over things external to us.
Along with many other couples, Rick and Dana viewed their marriage as another acquisition; they took the marriage and their marriage vows for granted. They assumed that the quality of their marriage would continue, run by love and little else. They moved on to pursue additional goals never really knowing that this ‘acquisition’ would deteriorate and become a burden to each of them.
Imagine owning a company or, maybe, visualize the company at where you work. How many companies, e.g., fast-food restaurants, retail, technology, accounting, healthcare, etc., can you name that are successful and have no vision, business plan, board meetings to achieve goals, policies/procedures? And, how comfortable or secure would/do you feel working for companies that have no foundation or direction? The same holds true with relationships/marriages. Define your quality relationship and combine that definition with your spouse. Have a vision or direction, complete with some short or long term goals to realize that vision. Logically update your successes and keep working to resolve conflicts.
We don’t spend all our resources to build companies just to watch them deteriorate and fail. We also don’t want to be employed by companies that have no logical foundation to help us fee secure about our jobs. And, most of us don’t set out to share our lives with others just to generate conflict, heartache, failure, loss and emotional bankruptcy.
We get what we put into our relationships. And, if we are looking for quality, we have to contribute just like we would contribute on our everyday jobs.