by Tara Pringle Jefferson
Growing up, we had what you would call “family meetings.” No big deal, just a half hour or so for everyone to go around and say what was on their mind, at a time when they had everyone’s full attention.
I remember feeling important during those meetings, because my parents were listening to me, my sisters were listening and my feelings were validated as being important.
So when I read in “Fighting for Your Marriage,” one of the suggested books on my professor’s list, about the importance of having a weekly couples meeting – well, it made perfect sense.
The authors write:
“Most couples do not set aside a regular time for dealing with key issues or problems. It’s hard to get most of us to do this because of the fast-paced lives so many of us live. Nevertheless, the advantages of having a weekly meeting time far outweigh any negatives.”
I totally agree. What are the benefits, as far as I can see?
1. Gives structure to your marriage goals. If you know, for example, that you want to save $1,000 between now and January 1, these weekly meetings give you a chance to check in and see how you’re going.
2. Allows more peace during the week. How many times have you brought something up with your partner, but they weren’t in the mood to hear it? But you kept pushing because if you don’t talk about it then, when are you going to talk about it? Having a weekly meeting gives you a set time every week to discuss important issues.
3. Gives you more practice in problem solving in a relaxed setting. With time you’ll be able to get to the bottom of a particularly thorny situation in less time because you’ll be used to hashing out your issues in a space where you both feel comfortable.
How many couples out there actually have weekly meetings? Are they crucial to your relationship? How have they strengthened your marriage?
Tara Pringle Jefferson is a freelance writer and blogger living in Ohio with her husband and two children. Visit her blog, www.theyoungmommylife.com, to read more of her observations about life, motherhood and love.