How you can create a designed relationship

It's your choice how you want your relationship to unfold. Here are the questions you can ask for a more intentional partnership.

Steffan Surdek
October 19, 2020
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Take a moment to take a closer look at your relationship with your spouse. How are things going between the two of you? What are some of your common interests and goals? Is your relationship everything you would like it to be? How would your spouse answer these same questions?

We live in a fast-paced world and maybe you are one of the many couples out there reacting to life instead of living it. So let's take a closer look at what living a designed relationship could look like.

How to design your relationship

Designing your relationship begins with a conversation with your spouse. To start on this path, both of you need to commit that this is what you want to do together.

As you design how you want to live together, as well as create your shared projects, consider areas such as:

  • What are your relationship core values?
  • What are the behaviours that you expect from each other?
  • How do you want to be together?
  • How do you want to handle conflicts together?
  • What are some of the projects you want to do together?

You may find some of these questions obvious, or you may know the answer to some of these instinctively. It never hurts though to make it explicit rather than implicit and unsaid.

Once you answered these questions, you can also create some sort of visual together to make it more real for you.

Living into your designed relationship

Having a talk with your spouse is a good start, but what will make it happen is how you live into this life together. Take a moment to reflect... In this shared vision, what is difficult for either you or your spouse? What steps will you take next to get better at doing these things together?

Living a designed life means living life more intentionally with your spouse. This could mean working through some of your triggers instead of reacting to them. It could also mean holding one another accountable to living your designed life. It will definitely not always be comfortable, but you will get better at it with practice.

It means you need to align your actions as well as your words with your shared intentions. You may find this part difficult if you look at it from a perspective of good and bad or being right or wrong. Remember, you are human and you will mess up!

Remember breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs

One of the keys to being successful at living a designed life lies in the power and the attraction of the dream. How much do you want this shared dream? As an individual and as a couple, what are you willing to do to make it happen?

On your journey to living this designed life, there will be breakdowns and it is important not to avoid them. Embrace them for what they actually are: an opportunity to have a breakthrough. When times get more difficult, come back to some of the basic questions from earlier:

  • What are your relationship core values?
  • What are the behaviours that you expect from each other?
  • How do you want to be together?

Let the answers guide you towards finding your shared path once again. You may find it is not always easy, but many relationships break down because of the lack of a shared desire. They also break down when you do not have clear agreements with your spouse on how you want to be together.

I can imagine some of you reading this article and thinking this sounds like a lot of work. You may also feel as if you do not have time for this because it would take too much time and your lives are too busy.

You know what? This could all be true, but what if it was not? What if the truth is that you are afraid to fail? What if you are afraid to discover there is no designed life to have with your spouse? If you are not living this life right now, what do you have to lose?

What does your designed life with your spouse look like to you? How compelling is it to you? How hungry are you to get it? Why don't you share it with your spouse and see what it stirs up for them?

This article was originally published on in April 2018.