Who determines whether another person has dreams or goals? Or is that determination based on whether a partner’s dreams and goals match what a mate believes dreams and goals are supposed to look like?
Everyone is unique in their hopes, aspirations, and ambitions. Still, these don’t always register on a Type A personality’s scale in some spouses’ lives.
There’s a very real possibility a mate could come in as goalless and lacking dreams because they don’t strive to be the next corporate mogul or perhaps an entrepreneur running numbers on the stock market.
Forget the fact the individual is a creative whose eloquent writing brings an audience to swoon, or maybe their painted canvases shower others with pure delight. Perhaps this person merely enjoys living each day, every moment as if it were the last because of losing a loved one at a young age.
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Who gets to decide if a spouse’s way of living is any less worthwhile than theirs or insist that someone transform who they are in order to continue to exist in their world? Isn’t that something you should probably decide early on before making the long-term commitment?
We all have choices. If it gets beyond dating into marriage, you made a choice to accept this person as they are. The only thing that changed was you.
Dealing with a spouse who is goalless or lacks dreams
When two people date, generally, each person tends sometimes to present a bit of a different image than the authentic version of who they are. That can mislead a partner into believing they’re something they might not necessarily be.
Generally, by the time there is exclusivity, comfortability, and familiarity, the pretense has faded, and reality has set in.
Hopefully, no one would go from the period of infatuation straight into marital bliss. There needs to be that time between infatuation before engagement where you can genuinely get to know each other’s authentic selves.
That way, if there is a proposal, you can make an educated choice as to whether this person is someone you can see yourself spending your life with. That doesn’t mean “after you take the time to alter who they are;” it means accepting who they are, as is, with flaws, quirks, and eccentricities as you’ve come to know them.
It means goalless, lacking dreams, no ambition if that’s who this person is when you meet, become engaged, and ultimately marry.
Now, if this individual is a dynamo from the start – dating, infatuation, and continues to be a go-getter all the way up until you become married but then all of a sudden drops out of society and becomes a “schlump,” then you have a situation to contend with.
How do you transform a husband back to who he was? You can’t change someone without their having a desire to change. It’s a matter of making some improvements to their situation and you making another choice – acceptance or moving on. How can you “deal” with a spouse who lacks goals and dreams?
It’s vital to try to determine why your mate fell off their path. It’s entirely possible their priorities changed. Let’s look at a few ways you can delve into handling the circumstances.
While you will need to communicate the circumstances, it is essential to recognize that priorities do often occur for people depending on age, life circumstances, potential trauma, and stress.
Your spouse might be looking at life from a different perspective and finding that their hopes and aspirations had evolved, possibly leaving behind what the two of you might have initially planned when you were first married.
The only way to find out what’s happening is to discuss the issue openly and honestly, particularly if your husband had a thriving career but is now unemployed and aimless.
Maybe he’s deciding to pursue a different objective that’s always been a secret desire, perhaps he’s lost someone close and is choosing to experience life for a bit, or the stress of previous goals was overbearing, and he’s trying to rethink the situation.
In any instance, you’ll need to express that you’re still working towards the mutual goals that you’ve set as a married couple, and you can’t achieve those without his help.
You don’t want to make threats or ultimatums but find a way to offer support as he finds his way to making improvements in his life so the two of you can get back on track. If he doesn’t feel he wants to do this, you’ll need to make a choice to accept or walk away.
Provide a purpose
If you feel your spouse has lost their purpose based on a trauma that’s occurred or perhaps due to exceptional stress that he’s been enduring for a while, give him a reason.
It might take some time and effort to establish a chart, but develop a table of small achievable goals that your husband can work towards, easy stuff that will be simple for him to accomplish with no stress and no pressure.
Also, it can be as simple as hanging a clean towel on the hook, little things each day that can be celebrated at the end of the day to make the mate feel fulfilled for his day’s tasks.
It might sound ridiculous, but when you’ve gone through something that drains you internally, these are the baby steps back to healthy that a person needs. The positive reinforcement and appreciation are motivation to continue onto the next day’s “work.” Then little by little, there’s a desire to do more challenging activities.
Sometimes when someone appears goalless or lacking in dreams, they’re, in fact, unsure what life has to offer them. If your mate was like this the whole time from dating, infatuation, up through engagement, and you had the idea you would somehow change the person, whip them into shape once you got married because you loved everything else about them, you’re not entirely hopeless.
However, you need to realize that your train of thought is skewed because you can’t change a person, transform them, and make them into what you want them to be. People are who they are with the potential to evolve, grow, and improve but not change their root.
The underlying cause for why your husband hasn’t “found himself” is what needs to be resolved, not who he is. Something is holding him back from finding his strengths, interests, and things he enjoys.
Instead of changing him, it’s vital to offer incredible support and encouragement to try new things until he finds that one something that he likes to do, and you should help him find it.
When you get engaged, generally, you have had the conversation about goals and dreams, how many kids, where you want to live, what you see in your future as far as career, and typical life circumstances.
That isn’t saying that these things will be set in stone. People evolve, circumstances can change, and someone can say, “I want different things.”
So when we say you should know ahead of time and be able to make that choice before you get married to avoid the damages. Yes and no. Sometimes you can prevent it if you know this person is on a different page prior.
But then again, that individual you’re dating with a totally different outlook than yours could have growth and experiences that make them want some of the same things you do eventually, but you let him go. Confused?
Ultimately what it boils down to is a heartfelt connection. When you believe you’ve found the right person meant for you, but you find they’ve become lacking in their goals and ambitions, you shouldn’t give up on them.
If you really think about it, we probably schlump around as teenagers on our parents who would love to give up on us but, instead, they choose to motivate, support, and encourage.
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That’s what love does. When you have a heartfelt passion for someone, which you must because you married this person, you don’t give up because they lost their way. You sweep in and help them find their purpose again. That’s what love does.
We’re exposed to so many judgments and opinions out there in the world. It’s with superiors when we do our work and among friends and family members who want to share what they think. The last thing any of us want is a spouse expressing their dissatisfaction at our accomplishment or lack thereof.
What should happen instead is receiving the utmost encouragement and celebration for the things we try and the achievements we make, big or small, as well as support when and if we lose our way.
If a spouse appears goalless or lacking in dreams, something is happening underneath that exterior. It’s up to you to determine what that is and help your mate to get through that period, especially if this is not the norm for them. When someone stumbles and falls, we help them up.