Since I mentioned it in my last post, I thought I’d dedicate a post to core-values. One thing I bring to my relationship with mrp is that I am a communication person. I love to talk, to write, and express myself creatively. I am also fascinated by interpersonal relationships. Why do some people just click and others can’t stand each other from the moment they meet? Is there such a thing as a soul mate? All of my life this has been the case. When I was a young teenager, I used to love to watch Oprah and learn about how spouses should communicate or how to be a better parent. Even a few years ago, I was in law school when Dr. Phil first came on the air. I would take a homework break and lap up Dr. Phil’s tell-it-like-it-is advice to people unable to successfully relate to those they love. Of course, I recognize that this stuff is just tv fluff, but it always gets me thinking.
One day, about a year ago, I was running and thinking about my future with mrp. I was thinking about how great things were and how happy I was at that moment but then I started to think about the fact that people and circumstances change. How can mrp and I preserve the happiness we have together even when the going gets tough? How do others resolve conflicts? This made me think of the constitution! I’m a lawyer and very interested in constitutional law. The constitution helps the country and our government to resolve problems and conflicts—why not mrp and me?
I decided that our relationship constitution should really be a document of our core values. I talked to mrp about this idea and he loved it. We also decided it would be helpful to understand how we each viewed our future. So here’s what we decided to do. We decided to individually write out what our core values were and where we saw ourselves in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and 40 years. After we finished doing this individually, then we regrouped and shared what we wrote. We discussed our individual lists of values and decide between our lists what our core values were as a couple. We wrote this list in a blank book and then also wrote each of our future visions too.
Here’s our list of values:
1. Team: This is the most important. Mrp and I are a team and the health of our team is the most important thing in our lives. We always have to remember too, that the team is only as healthy as its members, so this doesn’t mean that we sacrifice ourselves for the team. We have to maintain a healthy balance between being the best individuals we can be and the best team we can be. If these ideals conflict, the team wins!
2. Honesty: This is self-explanatory! It’s not just about no lying though. It’s also about being open with each other, trusting each other, and providing each other a safe place to be ourselves.
3. Ambition: Both mrp and I love that each other is ambitious and strives to be the best people we can be. It is important to us to always strive to be the best people and the best team we can be.
4. Balance: Both mrp and I also love that each other is a balanced person. We both think it is important that we maintain three critically important parts of ourselves: our physical health, our social lives, and our intellectual pursuits.
5. Foundation: We both want to have children so this value is about maintaining our selves and our relationship as the foundation for our family. If we as people are not strong, then our relationship/team is weak. If our relationship/team is weak then our family is weak. We must provide our children with a strong foundation!
As for our respective visions of the future, we were both bawling over those! Definitely writing those out or even just discussing where you see yourselves in the future is a great way to not only make sure you both want the same things in life, but also is a time to learn a lot about your hopes, dreams, and love for each other.
What are your core values as a couple?