Are you married to a free-spirited dreamer? Does your spouse seem flighty or resistant to “settling?” Do you feel like you’re constantly having to convince them that enjoying the present moment is just as important as thinking about the future?
For someone who craves stability, falling in love with a free-spirited person can feel adventurous. But sometimes, after the wedding, the differences in your personality begin to feel more stark. And while your spouse’s free spirit has many wonderful characteristics, maybe you’ve found yourself worried about things that didn’t bother you before.
Maybe you want a stronger sense of stability or rootedness. You might want to see your spouse stick to one job for a while, or feel satisfied with a long-term home. Instead, they seem content to flit from one job to another, or one dream to another. They might not seem to have a clear sense of direction as you move toward the future together.
If you love your spouse’s sense of adventure but also want to feel more anchored, there are some things you can do to start feeling more secure.
Reframe Your Idea of Stability
First, consider your definition of stability. What does that mean to you? For instance, finding and keeping a long-term career might represent stability for you. It might be moving into a home you intend to live in for the next decade, or having a five-year plan you follow together.
Rather than focusing on the ways your spouse fails to meet your expectations of stability, think of reframing what that means to you. Maybe your spouse’s stability is in their commitment to you. If that’s the case, maybe you can find that sense of rootedness you’re looking for in the relationship itself, rather than in a job or a physical location. Adjusting your own expectations around stability might actually help you overcome the resistance you’re feeling to your spouse’s free-spiritedness.
Identify Where You Resist Change
If your spouse is more comfortable with embracing change than you are, it might be time to identify the areas where you resist change. We all react differently to change, or the prospect of it. It might be that your spouse invites change and considers it an adventure, while you resist it reflexively.
Pay attention to your first response when your spouse proposes a change. Do you automatically think or say no? You’ll start noticing your own patterns when you do this. If you realize that you’re going to automatically resist all possible changes, you might start to identify what kinds of changes you can start saying yes to for practice.
Find the Joy in Dreaming Together
Finally, you might have married your spouse because of the spark of joy their free spirit brought to your relationship. Embrace the dreamer in them. Realize that when they envision a future that looks different than the present, they’re thinking of all the adventures the two of you can have together.
Maybe your spouse tries on multiple possible scenarios just to see how the thought might fit. Meanwhile, you’re feeling anxious about whether they’re going to latch onto a change that doesn’t excite you. So, to protect yourself from that anxiety, you decide you don’t want to entertain the possibility or dream of that idea at all. It could be that simple personality differences are getting in the way of truly leaning into those dreams together.
We recommend taking the SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) Assessment together to gain a better understanding of how you relate to one another and the world around you. Once you have a better grasp on how you’re each wired, and how your personalities play together, you’ll have more clarity going forward. And who knows–you might even feel up for dreaming a bit more!
To take the SYMBIS Assessment, you can get started here.
Is your spouse a dreamer? What about you? How do you stay grounded and connected while also dreaming of the future? Leave us a comment to share your perspectives.