Is This What’s Missing in Your Marriage?

Is This What’s Missing in Your Marriage?

 

We enter a marriage with so many romantic ideals. We envision the future house, kids, and family game nights with our partner. That wedding bliss could last up to a year, if you’re lucky, until you realize just how intertwined your lives are about to get.

Decisions start presenting themselves. Decisions that need to be made together, as a team. And if you don’t play it right, you might end up with a losing team.

This is when we recognized the need for regular marriage meetings. Entering a marriage involves forming a union and a partnership. Essentially, you are becoming a team taking on life together.

In sports, the players devise a play to strategize their moves and make sure every team member knows their role. Same goes for companies, they come together for regular meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Your marriage is the most important team you will ever be a part of. And yet it can be the least managed aspect of our lives. If this is missing in your marriage, give this a try and I guarantee it will positively impact your relationship.

Here is what our marriage meeting looks like:

Recap

We do ours once every four months. The first thing we do is recap what we wrote in our previous meeting and see how we did.

My husband uses his phone to record our meetings while I’m a little more old school and use a notebook. Whichever works for you, make sure you jot down your notes so you are able to reference it again.

When you’ve done this for a couple years, it can be interesting to look back at your notes and look at all the goals you’ve accomplished and see how far you’ve come together.

Communication

The meeting is a safe space where each partner has a chance to voice out their thoughts. There are times you don’t say anything when your partner does something that bothers you. You let it go until the issue builds up and you find yourself exploding on your partner.

In a pervious article I wrote, Five Lies I Believed About Marriage, I talk about not needing to resolve every conflict.

There comes a point where you realize you have to let things go. To try and resolve every conflict you and your partner get into is not only exhausting but can also be a waste of energy. Learn to pick your battles because not all battles are worth fighting for.

While this is true, there are issues worth bringing up before it builds up into resentment.

For example, lately my husband has been preoccupied with work and our recent move to our new home. This caused him to tune me out when I talk to him and when things comes up he would say ‘you never told me’ when in fact I did. Or when I send him a message he only skims through because he’s so busy and when I follow up with him he says he never received my message.

So we ask each other:

  • What can we do to communicate better?
  • When do you feel you are you not being heard?
  • How can I respond to you better?

 

Family goals

Trips we want to take, habits we want to add to our routine or events we want to go are all discussed in family goals.

We look at every child and discuss what they may need in the next couple months such as entering one of our son in swim class or sleep training our little one.

Personal goals

Sharing personal goals with each other is important because you become aware of what your partner wants to achieve and are able to support them in their journey.

For example, my personal goal is to write every day. I voice this out so my husband knows to give me the time and space I need in our daily routine.

Love tanks

Out of all the topics we discuss, this is my favourite and the most insightful exercise. It is based on the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

He describes five different ways people express and receive love. Your love language may be very different from your partner. Understanding what their love language is can help you cater to their emotional needs and fill their love tanks.

If you haven’t read the book, here are the five love languages:

  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time

 

How we do this exercise:

  1. Have a separate sheet of paper for each person
  2. Write out a love language and next to it put the percentage of how much your partner fill that specific love tank. For example: Words of affirmation — 70%. This means I feel that my husband is fulfilling 70% of my words of affirmation tank.Repeat the process for all five love languages

 

The takeaway:

When you reveal your scores to each other, you get an idea of where your partner feels most neglected.

For example, on our recent meeting his score for physical touch was 40% while mine was at 80%. That’s a big difference. While I thought we were doing well in that department, he craved more. And it wasn’t about the amount of sex but about the subtle touches. Holding has hand while we are out, a kiss in the morning, or leaning in while we watch a movie.

As the years go by, our lives get busier with work and children. Our world is no longer about our partner as it once was during the early stages of dating when they’re all you could think about. This exercise rebuilds your connection by consistently staying in touch with each other’s needs.

Gratitude

Gratitude is almost like a prayer for us. We start and end the day with it. Naturally, we also end our marriage meetings by giving thanks for our marriage, our family, and all the challenges we overcame together the last couple of months.

Despite the goals we have yet to achieve or the areas that are lacking in our marriage, gratitude allows us to be content with what we have. It focuses on the abundance in our relationship.

I share the specific topics we discuss in our marriage meeting but yours can be altered to suit your family dynamic.

Other types of meetings we hold are:

  • Weekly logistics- we discuss meal plan for the coming week, budget, kids schedule and our schedule.
  • Finances- we also do this every quarter. We assess our net worth by analyzing our assets and liabilities. We talk about any investments we want to pursue in the near future and any big purchases we want to make.

These meetings may not sound romantic but its benefits will help keep the romance alive. It will foster growth and connection in your marriage. Finally, it will create a strong team ready to take on all your goals and dreams.

If you enjoyed this piece, here are ways you can show your support:

 

Always Grateful.

This post was previously published on medium.com.

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Photo credit: krakenimages on Unsplash

 

The post Is This What’s Missing in Your Marriage? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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