Several years ago, Kate and I implemented a practice that has helped strengthen our relationship. It’s called a “marriage meeting,” and we got the idea from my guest today. Her name is Marcia Naomi Berger, and she’s a therapist and the author of Marriage Meetings: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted. Marcia and I begin our discussion with how she developed the idea of marriage meetings and why couples can benefit from implementing this habit. We then unpack the four-part agenda of the marriage meeting, which includes showing appreciation, discussing household chores, planning for good times, and resolving big issues, and Marcia explains why you need to do the steps in that particular order. She then addresses the possible objection to meeting with one’s spouse in a more structured way, and explains why the format of the marriage meeting is more effective than trying to discuss these things on the fly. She then provides tips and insights on how to execute each part of the marriage meeting, including the importance of being specific with your appreciation, following up on to-dos, and scheduling good times both as a couple and as individuals. Marcia then shares advice on what to do if you want to start the marriage meeting practice but your spouse doesn’t, how your meetings can take as little as 15 minutes, and how best to communicate during the meeting so that each partner will feel good about keeping up this game-changing habit.
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- What is it about modern life that makes marriage meetings more necessary?
- Why do people think meetings aren’t necessary?
- The 4 parts of a successful marriage meeting
- Isn’t a structured meeting awkward and artificial?
- The importance of specificity in expressing gratitude
- Talking about and following up on the “business” portion of the meeting
- What does it look like to plan for good times?
- The importance of individual interests and activities
- How do you successfully address problems and challenges?
- Why your meeting shouldn’t exceed 45 minutes
- What if your partner doesn’t want to participate or doesn’t like the idea?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- How and Why to Hold a Weekly Marriage Meeting
- How to Strengthen Your Marriage Against Divorce
- Marriage as a Mastermind
- The Spiritual Disciplines: Gratitude
- How to Keep a Happy Relationship Happy
- The Productivity Tool I Use to Get Things Done
- 18 At-Home Date Ideas
- The Art of Anticipation
- How to Communicate Your Needs in a Relationship
- AoM series on honing your listening skills
Connect With Marcia
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