Having a Partner Who Supports Your Goals, Even When You Don’t

As I live my life, I keep learning and growing. I continue to evolve my understanding even in those areas in which I consider myself an expert. My relationships are one such thing. Recently, I became consciously aware of a new dimension of my marriage that has always previously existed, but I never really noticed. I wanted to share it all with you and explain the value that it adds to your life.

Let’s start with how I came to this realization. Three weeks ago, I had a bit of a scare where I felt as if I was having a heart attack. And I don’t mean that I thought I might be having a heart attack. I was certain this was a cardiac event. Chest pain, numbness in my left arm, jaw pain, the whole deal. So I went to the ER, and they said I was totally fine, and my heart was completely healthy.

The other thing they told me is that severe acid reflux can cause heart attack – like symptoms. I’ve had acid reflux for a while, but I’ve never had a fake heart attack. Of course, one of the best ways to address this type of thing is to eat better and lose some weight. I’ve gained about 20 pounds in the past year, so I decided to get on a keto diet to lose some weight. I’ve lost 15 pounds so far, but I don’t know that I would have made this kind of progress without my wife. Let me explain.

Dieting, as any of you who may have tried it might know, is difficult. It requires a lot of willpower and discipline. Over the past three weeks that I’ve been doing this, I have had a number of different moments of weakness in which I’ve seriously wanted to break my diet. At those times, my wife has refused to allow me my indulgences. She does the grocery shopping for the house, so she makes sure we have a full stock of keto – friendly foods, and she constantly nags me about eating properly according to my diet. She has increased her frequency of cooking me breakfast while we’re both home as well.

Until just yesterday, I had attributed her nagging to just that…nagging. But, it’s actually so much more than that. You see, my wife knows and understands me. She knows my goals, and she understands what I want to accomplish. She decides, whether consciously or not, that she has to support these goals. The “so much more” part, though, happens when she decides to support my goals even when I don’t want to strive toward them myself. She recognizes that my goals don’t disappear just because I’m feeling lazy or indulgent. And that recognition is infinitely valuable.

It’s so much easier for us to be accountable to other people than it is to be accountable to ourselves. You can easily convince yourself to cheat or forego something you should do, but it’s far more difficult to do the same with someone else, especially a nagging wife. And while it’s really easy for her to simply say, “Well, if you’re not going to put in the effort, then I won’t support you,” she doesn’t do that. It is a comfort to know that when I run out of willpower, I have another reserve in my partner to draw upon. Although I just recently became aware of this through my dieting, I’ve realized that she does this in all aspects of our life. If I have tasks to complete for any of my side projects, she’ll nag me to finish them. If I tell her I need to be somewhere, she’ll make sure I’m up on time even if I want to sleep in.

I’ve also recognized that I do the same for her, and I’ve been doing it unconsciously. When my wife is feeling lazy, I nag her to get her stuff done. When she wants to sleep in, I get her up to do what she needs to do. In this way, we strive to become the other person. My success is her success, and vice versa. That type of partnership is a rare thing because it indicates a much deeper level of commitment than simply supporting the other person with words of encouragement. It is an unconscious recognition that we are one.

This is a light bulb moment. Find yourself a partner that you can share the same sort of connection with, and your life will become infinitely easier and richer.

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