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Marriage: Mission Statement

marriage

              Dream with me for just a minute or two. Imagine you are a highly successful business person. You own a fortune 500 company. This company is voted best place to work in all the world. When you pull into the parking lot there is a space with your name on it. You have your own office with a downtown, ocean or mountain view, or all 3. Your employees actually smile while telling you good morning. The office is always tidy and clean, and the air smells like the great outdoors. It runs like a well-oiled machine.  Over time you have begun to notice a problem, there is an employee who seems to be shifting from the mission statement you created. This employee was your top performer. Their numbers produced were off the chart. At one time, this employee was a trusted friend, a confidant, even someone who would work late with you and help brainstorm ideas to grow your company. You even considered making this employee a partner. Something changed. The attitude of this employee is not so chipper when he or she says good morning to you. The employee has begun coming in late or even missing work altogether. Attention to detail on projects is no longer a priority including his or her appearance. You begin to wonder if the employee is ill, or really just doesn’t like you anymore. As the owner of this company, you have a problem. If something does not change quickly, this employee will affect your bottom line or just quit. You have two choices: One, fire the employee, start looking for a replacement and take the loss. Two, have a crucial conversation and begin working together to repair the relationship.
              What if the mission statement of your corporation was, “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” This employee does not work for you, they are co-owner of this amazing company that the two of you dreamed about building together. The company is called marriage. Go back to the top of this blog where I asked you to dream with me. Reread it but this time change the words You to read We/ Us, change Your to Our. The employee is still there but they are your partner, hopefully your options have changed to only one, and based on your mission statement that you both agreed to, what is that crucial conversation going to sound like?
                Often we give our jobs more attention than we give our spouse. We made a commitment till death do us part, through the amazing and through the roughest. You did not sign this agreement with your boss, you signed it with your best friend. At the end of this life, your boss will still be a Mr./ Ms. So and So, if you can still remember his or her name but where do you want your best friend to be? I know I want mine right beside me with a plan and a legal pad figuring out how to conquer the world. Maybe today is a good day to have a business meeting and to remember your mission statement.

Author: Elizabeth Havens, MFT clinical intern- ehavens@providencecounseling.org
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