Why a 20-minute meeting can be a game-changer for your marriage
Susan and Paul live in a continual state of mild overwhelm. They have 3 young kids including one at school. Life before, during and after COVID has maintained their normal level of busy and tired.
2 of the kids play sport, one is already learning piano and the youngest has a learning difficulty which means medical appointments every other week. Susan works part-time for a local solicitor and Paul works long hours as a Project Manager. Their lives are complex, busy and exhausting.
There is so much to communicate. Even just regarding the smooth functioning of their home, they have to have many micro-conversations to help them to get on the same page. It feels like every meal time, between encouragements for the kids to eat their veggies, is a million little things they need to tell each other.
“Your mum rang, you need to help her fix her side gate this weekend.”
“The electricity bill is due today.”
“Can you pick up Charlie from school on Friday, the boss asked me to stay late.”
“Can you cook a BBQ tomorrow night?”
Sound familiar? Us too.
A 20-minute chat about the business side of the household once a week can do wonders for your unity. Taking some time to map out the week ahead and get on the same page about the important stuff brings you into greater alignment.
We choose Sunday nights to do them as it helps us to set up the week ahead. It doesn’t need to take all night. Just allocate 20 minutes and if you go longer, that’s probably a good thing. You’re getting on the same page and that’s awesome.
I recommend including the following topics:
Look over the week ahead. What isn’t in your phone or wall calendar yet that should be? Write it in. Is there anything that needs to be cancelled? Where will you find margin this week? What night is date night? If you have lots of space this week you can talk about what you’d like to do. Invite some friends for dinner or do a family activity.
Is anything out of the ordinary going to affect the budget this week? Anything extra coming in? This is where you mention bills that need to be paid, extra purchases for the kids, clothing needs and so on. It’s where you have the conversation around how tight or relaxed you can be with your money this week.
Sometimes life is really busy or tiring and sex can be one of the first things to drop off the list. Schedule it. For the sexual pursuer, they’ll at least know when you’ve decided to make love and can look forward to it. I posted about the power of scheduling sex here.
Some couples like to make a meal plan each week. This can be super helpful as it takes out the big question mark over the day of ‘What are having for dinner and who is cooking?” We sometimes print out a weekly planner for the kids just to put the meal plan on it for them. They love knowing in advance!
If there’s anything else that is going to impact the other person, now’s a good time to bring it up. Some couples use this meeting to air any issues and talk through problems. It can be a good idea to check in with how things are going right now. If you get into a good discussion, grab some chocolate and wine and work on that area of your marriage together.
What night (or morning or afternoon) will we go on a date? It doesn’t need to cost much or even be outside the home! But scheduling a date night in every single week is a good goal. Why? Because you’re prioritising your connection.
I created a Weekly Business plan printable so you can print one out and write on it. Download it below :).
Unity is one of the 3 primary areas to build intimacy in your marriage. I talk about it more in my new book!
The Happy Marriage is a guidebook to building intimacy that is short enough that even I would read it. Packed with helpful wisdom and practical questions and solutions in every area.