When I asked Jim, "What are your dreams for the future? What do you secretly want to do? "His wife Kathy quickly answered, "He wants a big house at the beach. "
Kathy was therefore stunned when Jim said, "Actually, I've always wanted to run the basement into a workshop and make old-fashioned wooden toys. "
"What?" Kathy asked, "How come you never told me this before?"
Jim told his wife what many partners tell each other when asked this question: "Because you never asked."
It may be hard to believe, but right now there are millions of people who have known their partners for years and have no idea what their dreams are. That's really sad.
For most people, their personality structures are relatively set throughout their life. For example, introverts typically stay introverts and extroverts remain extroverts--at least for the most part. But for most people, it's common for their internal hopes, dreams, and desires to shift over time.
Think about it--how many intimate relationships bite the dust with one or both partners saying, "We just grew apart." For most dissatisfied couples, a bevy of toxic thoughts swirl around in their minds and serve as a catalyst for partners. already harboring unspoken dreams, to feel disconnected and grow apart. For more on toxic thoughts in couples check out my recent blog, 9 Toxic Thoughts That Can Destroy Your Relationship
It's hard to believe, but right now there are millions of people who have known their partners for years and have no idea what their dreams are. Suffice it to say, it's important to share, within reason, your secret wishes and desires with the one you love
Make a date with your partner specifically to share your dreams. No talk about money or other stressful subjects is allowed. Get a babysitter if you need one. Go to a restaurant or plan a quiet evening at home. (One couple I know find that long walks help them get into the spirit of this exercise.) Wherever you go or whatever you do, really focus on each other.
My next blog will be a continuation of this post. I will give specific suggestions, from my relationship book, Why Can't You Read My Mind?, of do's and don'ts to make for a satisfying, rewarding experience for couples to talk about their dreams.
Front page image credit: Pixabay
Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein is a psychologist with over 23 years of experience specializing in child, adolescent, couples, and family therapy. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and completed his post-doctoral internship at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Center. He has appeared on the Today Show, Court TV as an expert advisor, CBS Eyewitness News Philadelphia, 10! Philadelphia—NBC, and public radio. Dr. Bernstein has authored four books, including the highly popular 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (Perseus Books, 2006), 10 Days to a Less Distracted Child (Perseus, 2007), Why Can't You Read My Mind?, and Liking the Child You Love, Perseus, 2009).