In order to build a healthy, lasting relationship, you, as a couple, need to be able to envision your future together. A huge part of that envisioning process is learning the art of communicating priorities. Christy Whitman and Frederic Gobeil get down to brass tacks about one of the essential skills in any relationship. A lack of alignment can be disastrous to any relationship in the long run. Learn how to properly communicate these priorities—no matter how differently either of you feels.
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Below is a transcript of the video and audio above. The paragraphs and sections are alternated between bold / not bold for ease of reading along with the video or audio.
Communicating Your Priorities In A Relationship
“I know what I want in life.”
“Would you like to share it with me?”
“Yes, because we’re a couple.”
This conversation that we gave you as an example is an important part of a relationship. When you think about it, there are many different aspects of a relationship. You’ve got yourselves and what each person wants to experience in their travel and leisure, what they want to do with the money if you’re a spender, if you’re a saver, if you have kids.
When you have kids in a relationship, it’s very different than if you’re a couple and have an animal. You might have kids and an animal or whether you have an animal or you’re by yourselves, depending on the configuration of your relationship. There’s also what do you do with the extended family, his side, your side, my side, all of that.
Where do you want to spend your vacations or your time off? If you get a limited amount of time off during a year for vacations, where do you want to spend it? What do you want to be doing? Do you want to go camping or do you want to go to a five-star luxury hotel in Bali?
These things are important so that both people are together moving in the same direction. You’re also doing it as a couple so that both of you get your own individual needs met and what you desire in your life, but you’re sharing it together. That’s what we’re going to be talking about is your couple’s vision.
Establish Where Your Vision Is In A Relationship
The point is you have to determine what your vision is. A lot of it, like in business, you need to establish your action plan of where you’re going and where your vision is. In a relationship, the same thing applies. I know that we do it often. Every year at least we sit down together and we look at what’s our vision together or how do we want to see us as a couple in the coming year.
What are the mementos that we want to feel? What are the vacations that we want to go to? What are the things that we want to do together? In every aspect of our relationship as well, we try to look at all of these and determine where do we each go as a couple and also what is the vision individually as well.
You got it on a macro level like what do you want for your life? You can then bring it to a micro-level. When you know these things and you can plan for, “Here’s our vision. If something doesn’t go the way we want, what are our choices?”
I’ll give you an example. Around the time of Thanksgiving, the boys were going to be at their school doing a turkey trot, where they run a mile and they compete with the boys that are in their grade. Both our boys won which is cool. For me, I took the morning off because I wanted to see them participate in this turkey trot.
It was important and yet at the same time, the school had told me we are going to be done with it by [10:30]. I scheduled things at [11:00] figuring travel time to get back home. We’ve got to bring our dog, Jackson, to his groomers and I had a team meeting.
I had told Frederic in the morning, “Here’s the vision for the day. We need to be done and in the car by [10:30].” He’s like, “What if that doesn’t happen? What’s the priority?” For example, if it runs longer and we’re going to be late to bring Jackson to the grooming appointment, can we change the appointment?
What are our options? What are the things that we are willing to do in order to make sure that we’re not in a stressful place at [11:00] and we’re not in a place of like, “We need to leave?” What can we do in order to call someone and to say, “Can we push an appointment back? Can we delay it or postpone it?” or whatever we need to do.
The point was, what’s the priority? If we get to [10:30] and the boys haven’t run yet, what’s the priority? Is it seeing them run or bringing the dog to the groomers or can you call the team if you’re going to be a bit late? The priority was to see the boys do their run.
Because we had that, even though it was on a micro-level for that short period of time of that segment of our day, we were able to talk about clearly that seeing the boys run is the priority for both of us. If it goes longer, everything else needs to get pushed aside, adjusted or corrected or whatever we need to do because that’s the vision.
Having those conversations as we go in our day-to-day helps us stay communicated. We have one of the boys’ friends spending the night on a Saturday. We’ve talked about it together and as a family, what’s the vision? What are we going to do with Bennett? What are we going to do when it’s time to go to sleep? Where are they going to sleep?
We have all these different things that we talk about. We can adjust and be in the moment and have flow and freedom come into. We have a vision that they’re not going to be up until [3:00] or [4:00] in the morning. It’s not going to happen. If it is, they’re going to be in the room quiet because I will be cranky if I don’t get sleep.
We’ve talked about these things as our macro vision, but we also have our big vision like where do we want to go? What places do we want to go and see next? What do we want to do with money and situations with money? What do we want to do with our family? How much time is good to spend doing leisurely things together and also him playing golf and me being with my girlfriends and things like that?
Where do we want to live? Do we want to live in an area where there’s more water? Do we want to live in an area where it’s beautiful in the wintertime like Arizona where there’s no winter, but we have to deal with the heat in the summertime? What are our living situations with our house? What type of house do we want to be living into? It’s all these things.
What happens is we get to communicate with each other. We also get to hear out, understand each other and get to know each other. That’s how you become more intimate with each other. In these types of conversation, you get to know more and more of what’s going on with your partner.
Contrast Gives Way To A Beautiful Conversation
There are two ways of doing this. Contrast, meaning what you don’t want. A situation or maybe a drama with a family member or something doesn’t go as smoothly as you want it to. Maybe it is too stressful.
Even the holidays, we’ve talked about what are our visions for the holidays. One year I was like, “I’m done with doing the big, huge, extended cousins and family. I want it to be intimate.” He’s like, “I’d love that too.” That’s what we’re designing for our holidays, to be able to have it be intimate, uncles, my mom and dad, my family, our kids and that’s it.
Contrast what doesn’t feel good or what we don’t want gives way to a beautiful conversation. Most people stay stuck in contrast and they have arguments over the contrast. They stay focused on the problem. Instead, if you can pivot away from the problems and say, “This is what we clearly don’t want anymore. What do we want? What would feel good to us?”
That’s where the different layers of what we teach here and what we do in our couple’s retreats and in our couple’s coaching, that’s where all of that comes. Once you say, “I’d rather do a smaller family holiday or Christmas,” then you’re going to have to set boundaries with the larger part of the family that’s been doing it for decades.
That’s where boundaries come in. This is how I feel and this is what I prefer. That’s where it’s all level layers on top of it. The contrast can give way. It could be a beautiful thing for you to get clarity to know yourself, to know your partner. As time goes on, as decades go on, however long you’ve been with your partner, things and desires change.
It’s not the same thing over and over again. We get older, we grow and we mature. In health, for example, we don’t want to eat the same things over and over again. We decide to do some changes. We decide that we want to be healthier. We want to go to the gym more often or go out on a hike more often. These habits will change over time.
It’s important to talk about the vision. There’s the contrast that gives way to the vision and then there’s that feeling of like, “I’m desiring. I feel like I want to go on a trip. I feel like I want to do something different.” The two ways of looking at how you can start creating your visions from that big macro level are, what are the things that are frustrating you or you are angry and disappointed about?
What are the things that you’re not enjoying in your relationship and what aspect is it? It’s not the whole relationship. It might be you’re happy in many aspects of the relationship, but you’re wanting more romance time, travel time and intimate time. You’re wanting more connections without distractions. That’s what our episode next time is going to be. It’s the distractions that come in a relationship.
What’s the contrast? In that, contrast is always clarified by asking yourself, what is it that I do want? What do I want? Why do I want it? That’s important because it gets you into the vibration of getting to dream, think and get into that creative place of why you want something.
Bringing that feeling in will start the vibrational shift and the Law of Attraction will start giving you more. Your frequency will start giving you different ideas that you didn’t even think about before. What do you want? Why do you want it? How do you want to feel?
When We’re Desiring Anything, We Want To Feel Something
At the bottom line, whenever we’re desiring anything, we want to feel something. What do you want to feel in all aspects of your relationship, with your partner, with your extended family, in the aspect of money, with the kids, with the health of your bodies? It’s all these different aspects.
We’re going to drill this down deep into the couple’s retreat so that by the time you leave, you have a very clear vision from a macro level and then teach you how we did it. How we do it on a daily basis? What’s the vision for the day? What do we have coming up at the weekend?
We were talking about when do we want to put up the Christmas tree? Where do we want to put the Christmas tree? We talk about these things so that when we do the thing, the vision has already been talked about. Do we correct, continue and adjust? Absolutely.
At least we understand each other when there’s something that we both want to do or each one of us thinks that there’s something important. For her, she wants to put the Christmas tree as early as possible and take it down as early as possible as well.
He would have it until March.
I’m okay to have it the whole year. Let’s celebrate.
That’s how you have to cut a compromise sometimes in your visions. It’s important. We’re even talking about it on the other show. I was saying, “I’d love for you to contribute more.” Rob, our producer was like, “You actually do this thing. You practice what you preach and communicate.” I’m like, “I’m feeling like this. This is what I’d like.” He’s like, “I hear you. You guys do practice what you preach.”
That’s why we stay as conscious connected couples because these things that we learned, we’ve applied it in our relationship. They’re tried and true. We’re grateful for our teachers in the past that have taught us this. We’re not perfect. We’re just a couple that’s doing it. We’ve got kids that are young and going through life.
We’ve got human reactions as everyone else. We know how to deal with those when it comes up.
I hope that you’re enjoying this show. I’m grateful that you’re reading this or however you want to do that. If you’re interested in spending some time with us in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can go to ChristyWhitman.com/couples. We have very limited space but very intimate.
It’s going to be a lot of fun to spend some time with us, create your visions and to be able to apply The Seven New Rules of Relationship plus do some Goddess and Warrior Work and much more. Have an amazing week, everyone. We’ll see you in the next episode where we talk about distractions.