In 1979, Bantam Books published the original “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, where readers could choose a conclusion for a story based on several potential endings.
Marriage is an adventure in itself, but similarly to the series, it is essential to work towards similar outcomes and be on the same page.
If you and your spouse find yourselves on different pages, you risk ending up with entirely different and potentially undesirable endings.
Why Getting on the Same Page in a Relationship is So Important
Being on the same page implies unity, synchrony, and understanding between spouses. This is an exciting feat, as partners with differing backgrounds, personalities, and ways of thinking must somehow integrate their differences.
If partners are not on the same page, they work towards conflicting goals or travel very different paths to get there.
Being on alternating paths precipitates unhappiness and culminates in fighting, discontentment, and overall dissatisfaction within the relationship or marriage.
Spouses have more difficulty solving problems and coping with life’s challenges when they are on different pages than if they are working towards common goals on the same page.
How to Get on the Same Page as Your Partner or Spouse in 4 Steps
Luckily, in the “Choose Your Adventure” series, if you did not like the original ending that you chose, you had an opportunity to flip back to the point where the story diverged and choose a different one.
Similarly, if you and your spouse find yourselves on different pages, you need to flip back to the point where you diverge and make a unified, collective decision regarding the path that you want to take.
Once a path is chosen, each party must commit to staying in sync so that they do not accelerate onto the next page or fall behind on the ones prior.
There are four steps to assist couples in getting onto the same page so you can ultimately travel your adventures in tandem!
- Healthy and consistent communication
- Creating and implementing interventions
- Trust and respect
Step #1: Assertive Communication
Couples often love to regale others with stories about their adventures and travels. Frequently, you will see two spouses provide completely different details, even though an experience was encountered together.
You will then witness the spouses confer to determine the most accurate details, sometimes granting more playfully and aggressively.
One of the most critical pieces to staying on the same page arises from the utilization of healthy communication patterns. Couples that consistently employ assertive communication often talk, listen and focus solely on each other.
If you and your spouse utilize unhealthy communication patterns, such as passive, passive-aggressive, or aggressive styles, you will likely find yourselves on different pages.
To navigate you and your spouse to the same page, it is essential always to utilize assertive communication patterns. How else would you get there if you do not talk to each other, are distracted by electronics while chatting, or fail to truly listen and understand each other?
Step #2: Effective Interventions
The next step to getting on the same page entails a couple to devise and implement effective interventions.
If you and your spouse effectively communicate disappointments and frustrations to each other, it will create problem-solving interventions.
If you are unhappy with the lack of attention you are getting, with the long hours that your spouse is working, or with the lack of support regarding household responsibilities, it will be essential to discuss and come up with a game plan to make changes.
Efficient and successful interventions can culminate in goal setting, as couples create short-term and long-term goals to work towards common objectives.
Step #3: Trust and Respect
Trust is critical in a relationship; without it, a connection will not survive.
Sometimes, to get on the same page, partners must have faith and trust each other that they will end up where they are supposed to be. Respect is just as crucial to the health and well-being of the marriage.
If you and your spouse are on opposing pages, you will need to respect the thoughts, feelings, values, and opinions of each other before you can navigate to the same page. You are not required to agree with each other’s actions or beliefs, but it is mandatory to respect them. It is essential to show reverence towards your partner, take responsibility for your actions, and admit when you are wrong.
Step #4: Compromise
Perhaps the most important tip to getting on the same page is compromised.
The fact of the matter is that spouses are never going to be in complete agreement with each other at all times. Partners may disagree on adventure destinations at varying points in time. Even if partners agree on a goal, they may disagree on the best ways to get there.
Marriages would greatly benefit from partners compromising to get on the same page. Individuals would realize that they will not get everything they desire but will at least be content with receiving part of it.
Compromise is an effective problem-solving tool that reduces fighting, arguments, and general discord leading to differing pages and paths. Compromising can bridge the gap between pages so that parties can find a middle ground on the same page. This page may not be the one that each chose initially, but this is a page that both can agree to together.
Life is not always about the destination but how you get there. It makes energy much more fun and exciting when spouses can choose their adventure by traveling together in the same place and time.
If you are currently on a different page than your partner, go back to the point of divergence and choose a different ending.