How do you hold a weekly marriage meeting?

Keeping your marriage strong takes some work.

But what if there was a simple way that could keep you and your partner connected and on the same page without arguments or sacrifices?

A weekly marriage meeting is one of the easiest ways to keep your household organized and improve your marriage. And all it takes is 30 minutes per week.

A weekly marriage meeting goes by a variety of names – companionship inventory, marriage meeting, relationship check-in.

But no matter what you call them, these weekly meetings are one of the best ways to keep your relationship on track and keep your family organized from day to day.

marriage meetings for lasting love

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What is a Marriage Meeting?

A weekly marriage meeting is a way for married couples to get together to discuss important issues and improve their relationship.

Many couples use a standard four-part agenda for their marriage meeting, which includes time for:

Appreciation

Showing your spouse how much they mean to you and expressing gratitude for the things they do.

Chores

Discussing household items that need to be accomplished during the upcoming week, including budgeting, housework, and home improvement projects.

checking in in relationships

Plan for good times

Making plans for date nights, family activities, upcoming trips, activities with friends, and individual appointments.

Problems and challenges

Talking about conflicts or issues that have come up in the household, the family, and/or in the relationship.

Addressing these four core issues is a great way for you and your spouse to reconnect and communicate on a regular basis.

These weekly meetings allow you to quickly address problems before they become bigger issues and help you keep your romance alive by setting time aside for just the two of you.

Marriage meetings are a great way for struggling couples to help get their relationship back on track. But these meetings aren’t just for couples who are having issues.

Weekly meetings can also be beneficial to couples who are already in a great relationship.

Scheduling time to keep each other up to date will help strengthen your bond and improve upon your relationship even more.

How Often Should You Have Marriage Meetings?

While the frequency of your meetings will vary depending on your relationship and your schedule, most couples opt to meet at least once a week.

Holding regular weekly meetings will ensure you and your spouse stay on top of things that need to be done from day to day. And it gives you a standing date to catch up on a regular basis.

Marriage meetings don’t need to be time-consuming, either.

Sticking to a 30-minute time frame is a good idea to help keep your meetings productive.

This time limit will ensure you stay on track and take care of the important discussion topics that need to be addressed. You can always extend your meeting if items on the agenda will take longer than half an hour to discuss.

husband wife meeting

Benefits of a Weekly Marriage Meeting

If you’re still on the fence about setting up a standing meeting with your spouse, you’re probably wondering what the benefits of weekly marriage meetings are.

There are a variety of great reasons to add weekly meetings with your spouse to your calendar!

These benefits are something to consider if you’re wondering if weekly meetings are right for you and your marriage:

Improved communication

One of the biggest benefits of weekly meetings with your spouse is the chance to improve the communication between you and your partner.

Even couples who talk on a regular basis can benefit from a scheduled meeting designed specifically for touching base with your partner.

Sharing the workload

Taking the time to meet with your partner to discuss the household budget and divvy up weekly chores is a great way to ensure each member of the marriage is an equal partner.

In marriages, we often see the household workload begin to fall on the shoulders of one member of the partnership.

But when you take the time to discuss what needs to be done ahead of time, the chores can be equally divided between the two of you without a fight.

Discussing problems before they start to grow

When we have issues in our relationship, sometimes it’s easier to just push them aside because we can’t find the right time to bring them up.

But part of the weekly meeting process is discussing these very issues.

Taking the time to bring up problems, frustrations, and needs each of you have in your marriage when you notice them can prevent those small issues from growing into an insurmountable problem.

Reigniting the romance

No matter how long you and your partner have been married, there comes a time when the romance begins to fade if you don’t feed the flame.

While weekly marriage meetings may not seem like a gateway to romance, they can definitely improve your relationship.

Putting the effort into planning romantic activities, like at home date nights and romantic getaways, during your weekly meetings is a great way to keep the romance alive as the years go on.

And showing your appreciation for your spouse on a regular basis can also help strengthen your romantic bond.

how to have a weekly marriage meeting

Getting to know your spouse

Even if you and your partner have been married for years, there are probably several things you still don’t know about each other.

Taking the time to schedule a weekly conversation with your spouse is a great way to learn more about each other, learn about your wants and needs, and become closer in your relationship.

Talking about your relationship in a neutral setting

Since the whole point of a weekly marriage meeting is to touch base with your spouse, the meeting provides each of you with a neutral place to share the positive and negative aspects of your relationship.

This will give you both a chance to discuss sensitive topics without worrying about your partner becoming combative or defensive.

Marriage Meeting Topics

Before you go into your first marriage meeting, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place.

And one of the most important things to consider is what you’ll talk about during each meeting.

That’s why it’s best to outline a few topics you both want to discuss during your meetings before you get started.

These basic agenda items are a good starting point for planning your own weekly meetings:

Budgeting and finances

Staying on top of your household’s finances is an essential chore for any marriage.

And whether you both have a say in the family’s budgeting or only one of you handles this chore, it should be a topic on your weekly meeting agenda.

During your meeting, take the time to go through each of your spending from the previous week, check to see where you stand in each of your budgeting categories, adjust the budget as needed, and discuss any big purchases that may need to be made in the near future.

couples weekly check-in

Chores and projects

Taking a few minutes to talk about the things that need to be done around the house in the upcoming week is a great way to ensure each member of the marriage does their part in the household upkeep.

 Divvying up the chores and household projects will keep home maintenance from becoming a one-sided affair, allowing you both to share in the regular household chores.

During this part of the meeting, consider discussing:

  • Regular chores that need to be completed from week to week, who will do each chore, and when those chores will be done
  • Larger projects that need to be started or completed and who is responsible for doing each step
  • Things that need to be repaired, if the project will be done by one of you, or if someone needs to be hired to complete the project
  • Maintenance projects that need to be completed outside the house, like landscaping tasks or vehicle maintenance
  • Shopping list updates, including groceries, personal care items, and household items that need to be purchased on the next shopping trip

Upcoming activities and appointments

Know each other’s schedules is essential in making family plans, so taking the time to discuss upcoming events and appointments during your meeting is another item to add to your agenda.

Think about different activities you and your spouse may have in the near future, like:

  • Events and activities the kids may be involved in, including sports events and practices, school activities, and weekly lessons
  • Work functions that require attendance outside business hours
  • Date nights
  • Appointments you, your spouse, or your kids have in the future
  • Plans made with family or friends
  • Upcoming trips
  • Fun family activities

Appreciation and encouragement

Your weekly meetings don’t have to be all about business.

Taking the time to discuss positive things you noticed about your spouse is a great way to help solidify your relationship and share your happiness with your significant other.

Taking the time to talk about the things you appreciate about each other can make the meetings a little more fun and enjoyable. When coming up with words of encouragement, try to:

  • Be specific: Giving specific examples of things you appreciate about your partner will mean much more than general compliments.
  • Think big and small: While giving big compliments to your spouse is great, it’s also perfectly acceptable to tell your spouse the small things you love about them. No encouragement is too big or too small to mention at your weekly meetings.
  • Make sure it’s positive: Avoid backhanded compliments or complaints during this section of the meeting. Always offer positive and encouraging words to your spouse without added criticism.
  • Plan ahead: Don’t try to come up with words of encouragement on the spot. Make sure you’re prepared for this part of the meeting by taking the time to list some positive things to tell your spouse before the meeting starts.
weekly check in questions for couples

Frustrations and needs

In addition to talking about the good aspects of your marriage, it’s also important to talk about the things you’re not happy with.

Using your weekly meeting to point out your frustrations and needs in your marriage can help prevent small things from building into a big fight.

When discussing these issues during your meeting, be sure not to point fingers and instead provide constructive criticism that can help your spouse understand the issue from your point of view.

There are a variety of different topics you could discuss during this part of the meeting, including (but not limited to):

  • Issues with your children and/or their behavior at home or at school
  • Problems with disciplining your children
  • Differing parenting styles
  • Issues with work/life balance
  • Problems surrounding sex and intimacy
  • Struggles with faith and/or religion
  • Problems with chores or projects around the house
  • Overspending or budgeting conflicts (Related: Here’s an article on how to get your wife or husband to stop spending money.)
  • Career concerns
  • Scheduling issues
  • Issues surrounding how your spouse makes you feel in certain situations
  • Lifestyle concerns, like dieting, drinking

Weekly goals

Supporting each other in reaching your goals and dreams is essential in a solid marriage.

That’s why your weekly meeting is the perfect place to discuss progress toward your goals.

Each of you can outline what you did to accomplish your goals during the previous week and the steps you’ll take next week to work toward achieving your goals.

This section is also a great place for you and your spouse to discuss how each of you can support the other in reaching their goals this week.

Related: Here’s an article with examples of realistic financial goals.

Marriage plans

Keeping the spark alive is an important aspect of a strong marriage.

And while setting up weekly meetings with your spouse is a great way to improve your communication, it’s not the only thing you can do to improve your relationship.

Discussing other marriage and relationship plans during your weekly meetings will force you to really think about making your marriage a priority.

During this time, you can plan date nights, discuss things you’d like to improve about your marriage, and talk about goals for the future.

How to Have a Marriage Meeting

There really is no set method for having a marriage meeting.

That means how, when, and where you have your meeting is totally up to you!

There are a few steps you can take to make scheduling your marriage meeting quick and easy.

Bring up the idea with your partner

The first step to starting weekly marriage meetings is to get your spouse on board.

Let them know that you’d like to meet to discuss a few things, then schedule a time when you both are free to get your first meeting started.

Make a plan together

Even if a weekly marriage meeting was your idea, this activity is supposed to be something you do together.

That means you need to plan the agenda for your meetings together. Provide your spouse with suggestions and ideas of topics you would like to discuss, then allow them to add to the list if they want.

Working together on the topics of your meeting will ensure each of you has a chance to voice your opinions and concerns.

weekly marriage check in questions

Follow a set agenda

Once you have your discussion topics outlined, create a standing agenda together that you will use for each of your meetings.

Following a similar meeting structure from week to week will ensure the meetings run smoothly and will help you include everything that needs to be discussed during every meeting.

Set a standing date

After your planning is complete, it’s time to schedule your meetings.

Setting a standing meeting time every week is the best way to be sure you keep up with your meeting schedule.

Pick a time you both are available every week, like Sunday afternoons for example, then make it a point to meet at that time each and every week.

Weekly Marriage Meeting Questions

When you first start your weekly marriage meetings, it can be difficult to get the conversation started.

Once you work through your regular household topics like financial questions for couples, coming up with ways to get you and your spouse talking about deeper issues may be a struggle.

If you find yourself searching for talking points, consider asking each other some of these weekly marriage meeting questions:

  • What did you appreciate about me this week?
  • What needs do you have that aren’t being addressed?
  • Is there anything I can do to make you feel more loved?
  • Did I do anything this week that unknowingly hurt you?
  • How do you feel about our sex life and intimacy level?
  • What has been stressing you out lately and how can I help?
  • What activities do you enjoy doing together that we can do more of?
  • How do you feel about the distribution of household duties this week?
  • What is going on at work right now and is there anything I can do to help?
  • Is there anything going on in the next week that I need to be aware of?
  • What did I do this week that made you feel loved?
  • How can I be there for you in the coming days?

These simple questions are a great way to get the conversation started and learn more about your partner.

And asking these questions may be so helpful, that you decide to include them into your weekly meeting agenda!

Marriage Meeting Tips

Getting into the groove of weekly marriage meetings might take a little time.

But with these helpful tips, you and your partner can make your meetings run smoothly and efficiently from the very beginning.

Meet alone (without your kids)

Since this meeting is supposed to be a chance for you and your spouse to connect, your kids should not be a part of this meeting.

If you want to schedule a family meeting at another time, go for it! But your weekly marriage meeting should just between you and your spouse.

Avoid distractions

Just as it’s important for you and your spouse to meet alone, it’s also important to ensure you aren’t distracted during your meetings.

Set up your meeting in a private place, away from the rest of the family.

And don’t forget to turn off the television and silence your phones while you’re meeting so you both have each other’s undivided attention.

relationship check-in template

Start with appreciations

Kicking your meeting off on a positive note will help set the tone for the entire discussion.

That’s why it’s a good idea to start your meetings by telling each other what you appreciate about them.

This positive step can help make the more difficult discussions in the meeting less contentious and more productive.

Keep a list of discussion points

To ensure each of you talks about the things you need to discuss that week, it’s a good idea to keep a running list of discussion points for your meeting.

Keep a notebook nearby so you can quickly write down an issue or question when it pops into your head.  That way, you won’t forget to mention it at your next meeting.

Take notes during the meeting

Designate one member of the meeting as the note taker.

Make sure you jot down notes as you discuss each topic, so you can look back on your list if one of you can’t remember what you discussed.

Keeping notes is also helpful when updating your family calendar or scheduling reservations for a date night.

Sit next to each other

Although it may be tempting to sit across from each other at the dinner table while you hold your meetings, this seating arrangement can actually feel confrontational.

Instead, sit next to each other in a comfortable location in your home.

This will allow you to have a more relaxed conversation and help keep the more difficult discussion topics more lighthearted.

Use your computer or phone if you need to

Since you’ll be discussing your budget and schedule, there may be a need to use your computer or phone during your meeting.

Opening up your budgeting spreadsheet or your phone’s calendar is totally fine!

Just make sure you don’t get distracted by email notifications or social media apps while you’re using your device.

Try to keep it short

There’s no reason your weekly marriage meeting needs to be a long, drawn-out meeting every time you sit down together.

Keeping your meeting under 30 minutes is a great way to ensure you stick to the agenda and don’t drag out the discussion every time you meet.

Keep it light at first

When you first start your weekly meetings, it’s a good idea to avoid bringing up larger issues or topics that typically lead to a fight.

The point of the first few meetings is to get into a rhythm and establish a routine. And if both of you dread the meetings from the beginning, it’s unlikely you’ll continue them.

Instead, stick to smaller issues that are easy to resolve when you first start meeting, then build up to working on larger issues when you are both more comfortable discussing your problems without things becoming heated.

Set limits, if needed

While discussing basic housekeeping items, like budgeting and weekly chores, may be easy topics, talking about appreciation and grievances can sometimes get out of control.

If you or your partner tends to ramble during this part of the meeting, consider different ways you can cut down on the discussion time when it comes to these touchy topics.

  • Limit the number of talking points: Start by setting a limit to the number of compliments and/or issues you are both allowed to discuss during each meeting. Keeping the number of topics limited to two or three positives and negatives will ensure you stay on topic. And it will keep you both from going on and on about the same topic for too long.
  • Set a timer: Giving each other a set amount of time, like 10 minutes, to discuss positives and negatives in your relationship is another simple way to keep the discussion on track. Start the timer at the beginning of the discussion, then let your partner say the things they want to say. After that, it’s your turn to talk for your set time frame. This method will help you be sure that each of you has equal time to discuss your concerns without either of you overtaking the meeting with your feelings.
monthly relationship check-in

Use “I” statements

Especially when discussing your needs and frustrations, it can be easy to jump into the blame game and put all the blame on your spouse.

To avoid pointing fingers during your meeting, try sticking to “I” statements instead of “you” statements.

This will help you convey your feelings and emotions without putting the blame on your spouse.

Practice active listening

When we get into a deep discussion with our spouse, it can be easy to simply hear what our spouse is saying without actually listening to them.

Active listening helps you not only understand what your partner is trying to say but also helps you empathize with their situation. When practicing active listening, try to:

  • Let your partner speak without interruption
  • See the situation from your partner’s perspective
  • Ask questions for clarification, without disguising the questions as accusations
  • Paraphrase what they’re saying to be sure you understand

Stay positive

To ensure your meetings don’t become a big fight every time you sit down, it’s essential that both partners come into the meeting with a positive attitude.

Use supportive language throughout the meeting.

And take the time to actually listen to your partner’s concerns, thinking about the issue from their point of view.

End with affection

Just as it’s important to start your meeting on a positive note, it’s also a good idea to end your meeting with some positivity.

Ending your meeting with a kiss, hug, or other form of physical affection helps conclude the meeting with positivity and love, giving each of you the opportunity to look forward to your next weekly meeting.

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