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It is just something about weddings and babies that really open people up (family, friends, strangers on the street) about giving you free advice. Before we got married, we received a lot of free advice, and most of it was good but pretty generic. Stuff like – Keep dating your spouse, Never go to bed angry (yeah, whatever), and marriage is never 50/50 (generic, but very true). But the best marriage advice we got was to have a weekly marriage meeting.
Shortly after we joined our church as a married couple, a few friends we had met in Bible Study became a mentor couple to us as we went through our first year of marriage (which was hard). Once we asked them for advice on how to get on the same page with all of the real adult-type things in life. Bills, calendars, having enough together time, enough separate time, or even just feeling like we were going after the same goals and not speeding in two separate directions.
They shared with us that they had struggled with the same things during their first year of marriage and as a result, started having weekly marriage meetings, or as they called them “business meeting”, to help them tackle life together. Instantly, Eric and I knew we had to put this practice in place for ourselves. After just a couple weeks of business meetings, I knew this was some of the best marriage advice ever.
For our weekly marriage, meetings we aim to have short meetings once a week on Sundays (30 minutes or less) and one longer meeting (1 hour+) once a month where we set the monthly budget.
What do you talk about in a marriage meeting?
At this point, we have our agenda down to a bit of a routine. It took some time for us to figure out the topics that we needed to hit each week to make sure that both of us felt like we were heading into the week on the same page. We touch on our budget, meetings, and events that week, any frustrations we had, goals check-in and encouragements.
Before you have your first Marriage Business Meeting, download this free agenda template I created to help guide you and your spouse through a few of the topics! I hope this makes it easier to keep focused as you get your own routine down!
Business Meeting Topics
In order to help set you and your spouse up for success in your weekly marriage meeting, I wanted to go a little deeper into the topics that my husband and I go through during our meetings. You don’t have to follow these at all, but I hope this gives you some ideas of what to cover in your own business meetings!
Once a week we meet and go over the transactions from the past week, which I keep track of in EveryDollar, a Dave Ramsey budgeting tool. We do a quick check in of how we are doing in all of our budget categories and make adjustments if needed. Once a month we will have an extended business meeting to set the budget for the next month. EveryDollar also makes this pretty easy by letting you copy over the previous month’s budget, but we have found that there is always some adjusting to do based on what we have coming up in the month!
Calendar Check In
This was HUGE for us. I feel like some couples can manage their calendars really well together, but Eric and I were not one of those couples from the start and we still struggle with this a good bit. I have a habit of filling up my calendar to the absolute brim and planning tons of activities for us. Without telling Eric.
We were having a pretty frequent problem with me letting Eric know the day of or even just a few hours before that we had dinners with friends or that I would be working late. It was pretty frustrating for him, understandably, that his expectations of his time were being changed up so quickly because I didn’t give him notice about the plans I made for both of us.
Once we started sitting down and going over the calendar every week, it helped give me a time to be sure I communicated my plans with Eric and gave him time to weigh in before I committed us to things (most of the time).
We also take time to carve out time for ourselves and plan date nights (usually at the beginning of the month so we have time to find a babysitter) and make reservations if needed.
Air Out Frustrations
Our friends who gave us the business meeting advice said that this part of their meeting was the most helpful to them and I totally get it. When Eric and I first got married, there were a lot of stresses that came with merging two lives into one. And sometimes those stresses led to hurt feelings which would lead to fights and we did not know how to fight well at the time.
Our friends had advised us to take some of those small frustrations that might have boiled up into a fight and hold on to them for a few days until the business meeting. At that time, we probably wouldn’t be so heated and could calmly talk about some of the things the other spouse was doing that was leading to hurt feelings. Most of the time, we didn’t even realize that our actions were even hurtful, which is often the case when every decision you make suddenly effects another person all the time.
This part of the meeting is not to be used as a bash session, but rather as a way to say “I felt like XYZ when you did ABC. Can we try to figure out some way to overcome that?”
As someone who loves words of encouragement (it is one of my love languages according to the Love Languages Quiz – which you should totally take with your spouse!), this is probably my favorite part of the week. We don’t just shower each other with compliments (although I don’t hate that idea) but we do try to pump each other up with things that we appreciate about each other. Examples being: “Thank you so much for helping me out with the laundry on Tuesday. It was super helpful and make folding clothes go by twice as fast!” or “I really loved getting to watch the Bachelor with you.” (This is real life. We watch the Bachelor together because Eric makes it 10 times more entertaining with his commentary).
We also cover progress on our own personal goals. There are certain things that we want to accomplish that won’t get done if we don’t help the other person make time for it. If Eric needs to take on more of the parenting load so I can take an evening to write or work out, we plan for that during business meetings. We also give big high fives when we hit one of our goals and plan for celebrations!
If you want to set goals together, I recommend trying out this goal setting workbook for couples. It is only $12 and would be really helpful as you start out your business meetings.
And that is how we tackle our weekly marriage meetings! Be sure to take advantage of the free marriage business meeting agenda I created for you to work through these sections of your business meeting! You can write down dates to remember, check off each section and even add sections of your own!
Sign up to get your Free Marriage Business Meeting Agenda below!