How Scheduling Meetings Changed Our Marriage

I have received some comments and emails regarding a weekly habit my husband and I have formed, and wrote this post in response to those requests for more details. Hope it helps!

A typical day in our life looks like this...

Brian leaves for work at seven o'clock in the morning.

The kids and I have a busy day planned out, usually including housework and chores, time spent out (the park, the duck pond, a friend's house, running errands), lunch and nap time while I write and catch up on my work, play time at home or more  time spent out of the house (a local event like picking blueberries or seeing a movie, an afternoon play date), dinner and baths at home, followed by lots of stories and bedtime at 7:30.

Brian comes home around nine o'clock most nights; sometimes it can be closer to seven, depending on if it's an overtime day or not. We schedule three overtime days out of the five days he works, because we need that money.

Our days are long, and Brian and I find it hard to connect over the phone while he's putting in all these hours. When he's off work, there's the kids- climbing on us, interrupting us, needing our constant care and attention- and we normally have a full day of family fun planned outside of the house when he's not working. This fun and busy life leaves little room for random conversations between a husband and wife, but at the same time there is so much to talk about! Homeschooling, disciplinary issues, church activities, our relationship, how his job is going, how my days are going... the list goes on and on.

Last year, I was praying over our marriage and the distance that had crept in and had me frustrated. God plopped the most practical idea into my head, and we've been doing it every week since! The idea is weekly meetings. Once a week, we clean up the kitchen and pick up the house together, make some coffee, grab a notepad and pen, and snuggle up on the couch together after the kids are in bed. Usually, the notepad is already filled with our "need to talk about" topics, but sometimes, when there wasn't time during the week, we'll jot some stuff down then and there before we start talking. Either way, this is a special time for us to meet as husband and wife, partners in life and in raising our {almost four} children, and get on the same page. Here's how our meetings usually go down...

First, we pray over our hearts, our minds, and our time together.

We always snuggle up into one another or hold hands while we talk.

Brian fills me in on what's going on with him- a new boss at work, a difficult issue with a co-worker, personal struggles, a need for me to encourage him in some area, etc. I simply listen. I don't nag or interrupt- that isn't allowed.

When he's done, it's my turn. I fill him in on any issues with the kids, budget stuff, decisions that need to be made about our upcoming homeschool year, etc.

Once we both have the "business" type of stuff talked about, we both feel relieved, understood, and respected. This is when we talk about us. We discuss how each of us feels we, as a couple, are doing. Any arguments we've had that need further discussing (we talk arguments out right after or the night after they happen), any issues, anything about the two of us and our love is talked about. Sometimes it's just encouraging and laughing and kissing. Other times there are hurtful, difficult issues to work through.

These weekly meetings are scheduled at the beginning of each week, but we're flexible and sometimes the day gets changed. These meetings are totally separate from our romantic date nights out, which we now have about once a month with the craziness of his schedule and our current savings plan.

I have had a couple of friends see a note on my fridge or hear me mention our meetings and give negative feedback. I don't know if it's because they're threatened by our effort in our marriage or if they legitimately disagree with our meetings (which, is not something I really give two craps about), but I have been told things like "well my husband just would never want to sit and talk every week like that."

Ummm... you're in a marriage! You are committed under God Himself to stay together as long as you both shall live! You are raising human beings together! If you ask me, how can any of us survive without sitting down and getting on the same page every once in awhile? If your husband isn't willing to work as a team in this way, pray for his heart. Pray for yours too. Maybe there's something in there that you're putting off on him that makes him not want to spend time listening to your heart for him and your family or share his heart with you. God desires oneness in marriage. If that's not there, pray about it.

I hope this post has inspired you to seek out unity and teamwork in your marriage. It has brought Brian and I through some really rough waters and made us so much closer. I wish the same for your marriage!

Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza , Murrieta, CA