The state of the union discussions are our weapon against complacency, lack of communication, and distance. We laugh more, feel closer.
My husband and I are second time around-ers. We were married 26 years, divorced after some devastating circumstances, and then remarried five years after our split. Certainly we know some things about marriage and mending what has been broken.
He is the person I respect and admire most, and he says the same about me. As a result, we work hard at keeping our marriage strong. Our state of the union discussions keep us on the same page and are our most important marriage tool.
To mend what was broken took some big decisions up front.
Honesty, respect, commitment to making it work, fun, and openness in communication are the pillars we focused on. We starting calling our talks our “state of the union” discussions.
These illuminating discussions are never the same, but they are regular, relaxing, and good for our marriage.
First, the basics. We sit down once to twice a month and plan our ever changing budget.
Saving for retirement, trips, big items, needs, and gift giving takes a regular focus. We do it together and put aside an agreed upon amount for those things. Most items are fixed, but we decide together what our nonfixed expenditures will be.
We also talk about things going on in our lives at least once a week while having coffee. From what we are thinking about to schedules and what we are going to make for dinner, we cover the communication need in our marriage.
If you are wondering why a communicator would have issues with communication, it wasn’t an issue early in our marriage. I have always been a talker and we have always discussed things, but this is regular focused and trouble shooting.
The difference is that we both work harder at keeping ourselves in sync now by design, and with intention. We focus on honesty and clearing the air regularly, and we don’t let problems get bigger or finances get the best of us.
Most of all we head off trouble or hurt by having open air discussions. Since we do this regularly we trust each other more and don’t have to guess what is going on in each others heads.
We make our state of the union special by doing it over coffee and pie or wine and good music.
Any subject that affects our marriage or brings joy is open to discussion. Sometimes we shoot the breeze like pals, other times we share worries or dreams. Our state of the union discussions are vital to our marriage.
Calling it our state of the union gives it importance and keeps us focused, also makes it fun.
Try this in the mornings or once a week. Do a big one once a month. Make it a special event and increase the positivity in your union.
Finally, choose a relaxed spot, and not date night. It is a fun working meeting for a better marriage, but sometimes we need to air some things and date night is for romance.
We sit in our front window or at our dining room table. Several times, we have had our state of the unions at the campfire while on a camping weekend alone.
I can’t wait to hear about your state of the union. Try this and make it fun, productive, and treat your marriage like a working group with benefits!