COMPLETING 2013 and CREATING 2014 as a COUPLE, Guaranteeing a Better Expat Marriage

One sure way to make 2014 a successful year as a couple is to take time to connect around what went well last year and what you’d like to see happen this year.

3 Steps to A Better Relationship in 2014

1. Reminisce. Why not list the top 10 highlights as a couple in 2013? What are 10 things you both loved about last year? These can be big (we took a business trip to Vietnam and tacked on a week of vacation to Ha Long Bay) and small things that are significant (like the walks we took in our neighborhood, talking and holding hands). What can you acknowledge your partner for bringing to your relationship?

Couple Cuddling2. Dream together. Talk about your future. Ok, I’ll fess up to the fact that I’m not a futuristic kind of wife, much to my husband’s dismay. Over many years of marriage, I’ve learnt how important it is to dream with him because he’s all about the future. Most of our adventures have happened because of the dreams we’ve spoken and then pursued. If nothing was holding you back, what would you love to do? What’s on your bucket list? How would you give together?

3. Imagine your shared future. This takes step 2 to a new level. Get super intentional about creating future highlights together – some just for fun, others that are meaningful to your marriage. What do you want to do together in 2014? This adds anticipation and spice to your partnership. Little and big things. How do you desire your marriage to grow? Stay only in the positive – in the future – rather than what’s ‘wrong’. Keep a list and review it often to see and know that you’re moving toward your shared future.

If this is new for you, it’ll take one of you to suggest it and both of you to agree. Try it out, make it a date night, add ambiance. Make it fun! Dreaming means not judging or thinking of reasons why an idea won’t work. You’ll find yourself connecting in ways you hadn’t expected! And by the end of 2014, what would you like to look back on and say you’ve accomplished in your marriage? You’ll then be pleasantly surprised at the experiences you’ve shared as you’ve been intentional and the growth that’s happened between you.

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