Writing a Mission Statement for Your Relantionship
Writing a Mission Statement for your Marriage or Relationship
Corporations and even small companies develop what is known as a Mission Statement for their businesses. A Mission Statement is a global plan which gives meaning and purpose for the business, for the management team, and for the employees to help guide them in a direction that is pre determined.
Often mission statements will include elements of social relevance, moral and ethical guidance, desires for a particular public image, and expectations for the path of growth. Once in place, mission statements can be used as grounding for decision making.
For example, if a decision was to be made and there was question about how the results would effect or fit into the relationship, the mission statement could be used as the point of reference. You could refer to the mission statement to see if the results of a decision would fit into the grand plan, or if it would go against what the relationship was about.
In this way, in times of conflict inside a relationship, you can also refer to the mission statement to help you see where you may be getting off track and remind yourselves what the foundations of your intentions for each other are.
Mission statements can be brief, or they can be more comprehensive. They may even be amended as a couple finds and defines their purpose more clearly. In the beginning of a relationship the statement might be as simple as:
“We are here to create a loving, nurturing, and supportive environment for ourselves and each other, to maintain and foster personal growth and happiness.” It might say “We will always honor our own religious convictions and respect those of others.” You can add any ethical moral stances you might take as a couple.
As time goes on and when/if children are added to the family, it might be added that you are both there to “foster excellence in interpersonal relationship skills and provide the best environment for academic growth in a respectful, loving and supportive way.” It might say “Demonstrating by example the type of love and support we expect children to follow.”
When people are in conflict, under stress, and not treating each other with kindness and respect, it would be easy to see how that would “go against the mission statement” and help couples to see when they are not living up to their own expectations and pre-determined values.
Get creative, brainstorm together, write a number of draft mission statements, and have fun together creating a “vision” for the two of you, for yourself, and for your family of what you want your life to be about.
I would venture to assume that when relationships wind up on the rocks, or marriages wind up in a divorce court, that the couple worked very little on designing a plan which they worked to maintain all along.
Sit down with your partner, and start talking about writing your marriage/relationship Mission Statement soon!
Judith L. Allen, Ph.D., LMFT, LPC, AAMFT
http://Ingenio.com/AskDrAllen Counseling and Therapy and Relationships Categories