Yet despite the bad experiences – or perhaps because of them – here you are, wanting to create a more loving, more fulfilling marriage.
You don’t just want an average marriage though. You want something exceptional.
But what are the most important things in a marriage? What kinds of marriage goals should you and your partner have? How can you be a more conscious partner, and how do you build a successful marriage?
Creating a conscious marriage can help.
What is a Conscious Marriage?
A conscious marriage embraces the full potential of a relationship as a vehicle for psychological and spiritual growth. It focuses on the needs and desires of each individual, with an emphasis on communication, shared relationship agreements, and intentional practices to ensure those needs are met.
The Benefits of a Conscious Marriage
In 2019, after 8 years of living, working, and traveling the world together, we decided to take the plunge and get married – and we were shocked at how much changed for us.
To be completely honest, we didn’t have high expectations for marriage. We liked the idea of having a fun party with our closest friends and family, but beyond that, we didn’t think married life would be much different from our pre-married life.
Oh how wrong we were – in the best possible way.
It’s hard to put into words what shifted for us once we ‘tied the knot’. The morning after our wedding, our relationship really did feel different:
Literally overnight we felt more connected to each other, and that our relationship had somehow deepened in meaning and specialness – feelings that have only grown stronger as the years have passed.
And we’re not the only ones who feel that magical marriage effect.
Married couples also feel closer, with 58% of US adults reporting high levels of relationship satisfaction (compared to only 41% of their unmarried cohabitating counterparts).
Now if 58% seems a bit on the low side, and you want to be one of those exceptional couples whose marriage is a source of happiness, connection, emotional safety, resilience, and overall well-being…
Or, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “How can I be a more conscious partner in my marriage?”, then these 11 conscious marriage goals are for you.
11 Inspirational Conscious Marriage Goal Examples
1. You Feel Emotionally Safe & Secure
Emotional safety and trust are the bedrocks of every healthy relationship, and making a commitment to one another helps to nourish this safety and security.
One of the beautiful things about marriage specifically is sanctifying this commitment with the grand gesture of your wedding ceremony.
In a conscious marriage however, commitment is more than just this single gesture. You create safety and security through consistent actions, words, and mindsets, like:
- intentionally prioritizing each other and your connection
- having boundaries with other people and priorities in your life (especially social media, work, and extended family)
- a commitment to honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness
If trust is a challenge in your relationship, then building a culture of emotional safety and security is a top priority.
2. Your Marriage Has A Shared Purpose & Meaning
Too many people stumble into relationships and then leap into marriage without knowing their WHY.
A conscious marriage, however, requires more intentionality, with a clear vision of what you want to create together, and what marriage means to you both.
It’s important that you have long-term marriage goals that inspire and excite you, and that you each share responsibility for meeting those marital goals.
For us, our marriage is an opportunity to:
- build something meaningful and exceptional together
- support each other and grow as individuals
- share and ultimately lighten the load of adulting
- experience the beauty and preciousness of life together
We’re clear on the benefits of being together, which in turn helps us to appreciate and cherish our marriage even more.
But simply having this high-level vision isn’t enough. Your purpose has to influence your behavior, which also means that…
3. You Have Agreements… About Everything
Once you have clarity on your meaning and purpose, your Agreements are the codes of conduct that define how you do your relationship.
In our marriage, our agreements are a set of shared principles for how we approach the important things in our relationship: sex, money, conflict, communication, and even the mundane things like housework.
Now, that might not sound terribly romantic. But clear, open, and respectful communication is actually sexy AF.
Our Agreements inspire us to a higher standard, while holding us accountable to how we want to deal with the most common marital challenges. And because they make the hard moments easier, our Agreements open up more space for fun, play, and connection in our relationship too.
4. You Prioritize Connection
Want to know how to make a marriage last? Then this is probably one of the most important goals for married couples:
Make prioritizing quality connection time a top priority.
Because the simple truth is that if you’re not actively nourishing your connection, it will gradually deteriorate over time.
Now, there are an infinite number of ways to do this, from regular date nights to a structured relationship check in.
An approach we highly recommend though is intentionally building connection rituals into your everyday life. These are the small, daily habits that nourish your marriage and create feelings of closeness.
Our daily connection rituals include things like: cooking and eating breakfast together, debriefing after our work day (often with a tasty beverage in hand), and sharing a long kiss and snuggle before bed every night.
But here’s the thing: it’s not simply the actions themselves, it’s the presence and intention you bring that creates the connection.
(Want more sexual connection in your relationship? Check out our complete guide to reigniting your love life).
5. You’re Committed To Growing Through The Challenges… Together
During the pandemic, we ended up in a grueling 6-month lockdown in Colombia (one of the strictest lockdowns in the world).
Pile on top of that some wild complications like a trip to the Emergency Room for a brain parasite, and it’s an understatement to say that 2020 put a lot of unexpected strain on our marriage.
And yet we came through that year stronger and more committed than ever.
One of the defining characteristics of marriage is the sacredness of commitment. Sure, it’s not a blood oath, or an obligation to stick around if things really aren’t working.
But at the very least, we believe that a conscious marriage is a commitment to working through our challenges together, instead of turning against each other or running away.
6. You Celebrate Your Marriage… And Each Other
If you’ve read any of our other blogs here at Practical Intimacy, you’ll know that we bang on about this one a lot. That’s because we’ve seen and felt how transformational celebrating each other can be.
Now, this isn’t to say that little moments of tension aren’t going to happen in your relationship.
Whether it’s accidentally disappointing each other, forgetting an important commitment, or the everyday disagreements that naturally arise when you share a life with someone, even the best relationships have their down moments.
What matters most though is that there are far more ‘positives’ to balance out the ‘negatives’.
Celebration is more than just appreciating one another (although you should definitely do that, as much as possible).
For maximum impact, have a structured time where you sit down together and look for all of the awesome things about your relationship. Really feel and share the impact that has on you and your life, and let those good vibes flow.
7. You Have A Deep Understanding Of Each Other… ‘Shadow’ Sides Included
Building a conscious marriage means being curious about who your partner truly is, and taking an active interest in their life. This means understanding, celebrating, and supporting:
- their interests and hobbies
- their strengths and talents
- the important people in their life
- their goals, dreams, and aspirations
But a conscious marriage isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Understanding your partner also includes knowing:
- what triggers them
- what their emotional wounds are
- what makes them feel insecure or unsafe
- their shortcomings and imperfections
Being aware of and compassionate towards each other’s shadow sides allows you to build a greater sense of love, safety, and security. You recognize that you’re both imperfect, messy humans, and you give each other permission to be vulnerable.
Which doesn’t mean that you have poor boundaries or accept shitty behavior. Because it’s also important that…
8. You Actively Work On Your Marriage… And Yourself
A conscious marriage follows this one foundational principle:
100% responsibility for your 50% of the relationship.
Yes, your partner seeks to be sensitive to and compassionate towards your triggers and emotional wounds. Yes, your partner is here to help uplift and inspire you, and to support you in becoming your best self.
And, in a conscious marriage, each individual has to be willing to do the inner work to become the person capable of having the life and marriage they desire.
This means taking radical responsibility for your triggers, your wounds, and your unresolved emotional baggage. Because the truth is, we all have our shit to work through, not to mention the challenges that life will throw at you and your marriage.
Not sure where to start?
Ask each other.
Be open to feedback from your partner about how they want to be loved, how you can meet their needs, and how they feel about your relationship overall.
Our tried-and-tested relationship check in is also a great place to start.
9. You’re Highly-Differentiated Individuals
A conscious marriage isn’t only about having the best relationship possible. You’re also becoming your best individual selves at the same time.
Being your most fulfilled and fully-expressed self in a relationship requires an often-uncomfortable process called ‘differentiation’:
Differentiation is the ability to be your true, authentic self, in close proximity to someone else. It’s the opposite of emotional enmeshment, and it’s the opposite of losing yourself in a relationship.
It can also be incredibly difficult in a long-term relationship as the more someone means to you, the more their opinion of you matters.
Being your truest, most highly-differentiated self means:
- you have a voice, and can advocate for what you want
- you have healthy boundaries, and know how to lovingly prioritize yourself
- you’re comfortable risking rejection or disappointing your partner
So if you think you’ve maybe lost your sense of self in your marriage, and you want to reclaim your personal power (while also saving your relationship), book a free coaching call to discover how we can support you.
10. You Share Your Inner Worlds
A fulfilling, conscious marriage is one built on connection, friendship, and deep intimacy. To do that, you have to be willing to go beyond the surface level and truly let your partner in.
This can be scary, for sure.
Sharing your truest, most authentic self with someone requires a high degree of differentiation… and it also feels incredibly vulnerable.
But it’s this openness and vulnerability that creates depth and emotional connection in a conscious marriage.
Unfortunately, a common mistake we make – men especially – is keeping our challenges, insecurities, and feelings to ourselves. We think that talking about difficult things will make us feel worse.
READ MORE: 21 Common Mistakes To Avoid To Be A Better Husband
Even just labeling our feelings and saying them out loud helps to relieve stress.* And talking with someone about shared stressors makes both people feel better too.*
Ultimately, a conscious marriage is a safe haven where you share anything and everything, and in doing so, create a deep level of connection that nourishes and supports you.
11. You Keep Re-Choosing Each Other
Marriage and commitment is not a one-time decision. It’s a choice you make over and over again.
What elevates your relationship into a conscious marriage is the commitment to making this choice every day with both your words and your actions.
- Not taking each other for granted
- Building intentional moments of connection
- Having difficult conversations and tackling challenges together as a team
- Making a conscious effort to prioritize each other
- Putting in the effort to become a better, more loving partner
- Being thankful for each other, and your marriage, as often as you can
Ultimately, the strength of your marriage depends on the sum total of the small, everyday actions.
At times, it might feel like work. But the time, effort, and care you put into your marriage comes back to you in the form of love, care, fulfillment and security.
A conscious marriage has the potential to be one of the most beautiful things you ever create – and that’s an investment in your happiness and fulfillment that we believe is absolutely worthwhile.
If sex is a problem in your relationship, and you want more physical intimacy and connection, check out our complete guide to reigniting your love life.
Having arguments, conflicts, and fights you don’t know how to resolve? The Conflict To Connection communication course for couples is for you.
Or if you’re ready to step up and transform your relationship, book in a time to learn more about our mens, womens, and couples coaching programs.
Sources & References
Benson, K. “The Magic Ratio, According to Science.” Accessed 24th August, 2022. The Gottman Institute https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/
Lieberman, M. D., Eisenberger, N. I., Crockett, M.J., Tom, S. M., Pfeiffer, J. H., & Way, B. M. (2007). Putting feelings into words: Affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli. Psychological Science, 18, 421-427. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17576282/
Pew Research Center (2019) Marriage and Cohabitation in the U.S. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2019/11/06/marriage-and-cohabitation-in-the-u-s/
Townsend, S. S. M., Kim, H. S., and Mesquita, B. (2013). Are you feeling what I’m feeling? Emotional similarity buffers stress. Social Psychological and Personality Science. doi: 10.1177/1948550613511499. http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/16/1948550613511499.abstract
Reece Stockhausen & Jodie Milton have made improving people’s lives and relationships both their passion, and their career. With over 25 years experience in the Personal Development industry, and 8 years coaching singles and couples, their no-BS advice has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bustle, and HuffPost.
Book in for a complimentary online video call to discover how their men's, women's, and couple's coaching programs can support you.