Imagine you and your significant other are on a road trip with each having a ‘map’ for navigation.
Now imagine if both are referencing two different maps. It’s easy to guess by now that you would make little progress as most of your time will be spent on coming to an agreement as to which direction you need to take. The whole journey might end up being extremely stressful with no joy whatsoever.
Isn’t it the same for couples as well? Or in any relationship?
How much do you know about your spouse? Perhaps you know exactly what makes them tick, what motivates them, and what makes them truly happy.
Couples who know everything about each other are people who hold a detailed relationship ‘map’. Similar to how a road map tells you how to get to your destination, a ‘relationship map’ helps you know and love your partner. The more detailed the map, the stronger the love. If you don’t know your partner, how can you love them? Enjoy the journey with them?
I knew of a couple who became distant from each other over the years. The husband ran a highly successful business which had several stresses that came with his work. He used to often work very late and stay overnight in his office having a strong work-life. The consequence was obviously a rocky home life as he spent so little time at home. He didn’t know anything about what his children were up to in school, their progress, how his wife was doing and spent her life waiting for him all day. He had a map all of his own which was quite different from his wife. The result was that he navigated himself quite far away from her, so much so that he bought himself a house very close to his office and started living separately. I can’t figure out why they even continued in the relationship when they had very little in common and referencing two different maps in their journey.
Couples who take the time to establish a detailed relationship map are much better prepared to navigate their life and the up’s and down’s which go with it. For example, the arrival of a baby can at times have a deep impact in the dynamics of a marital relationship and can change the partner’s life in an instant. Some studies have shown that young couples experience sudden dissatisfaction in their relationships after the arrival of a new child in the mix. Why such a difference? Well, those who stayed strong had detailed and common relationship map that kept them from losing their way. The lesson here is that the more you know and understand about your partner, the easier it is to stay connected throughout the often bumpy and exciting road journey called ‘life’.
It’s also important to remember that relationship maps never stay the same. Similar to a google map which alters its route plan based on traffic conditions, like a traffic bottleneck for example, a baby can change the dynamics of the relationship and also alter a partner’s relationship map.
I understood the importance of a relationship map in my own life. My wife and I after a short courtship jumped into marriage. Immediately after, I quit my well paid job to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. Obviously I had changed the map which I was referring to till then. This put lot of stress on our relationship as both me and my wife now were looking at two completely different maps of our relationship. My wife put in the effort to align herself to the new relationship road map which immensely helped the marital boat steady and on track. Similarly, at the time of marriage, my wife was dedicated to her career however, once she gave birth to our son, she put aside her career to stay home and take care of him. You see, having a baby can change your identity and values. This is incredibly common and my wife was no different. With new priorities, her relationship map changed and it was my turn to realign my own to stay on the same path as her. Our son became an important relationship map which greatly helped in keeping us on course. Of course we were willing to consider referring to the same map, that is.
If you are the one who is looking for a ‘rock steady’ relationship then its time you started referencing the same ‘relationship map’.
Are you both looking at the same ‘Map’?