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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

Do you have a marriage action plan of sorts?

Posted by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM
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1 mom liked this

Every Couple Needs a 'Marriage Plan' to Make Their Relationship Last

by Kristen Chase

Creating a marriage action planAfter last week's test of my marriage, I decided that both my husband and I needed to ramp up our efforts. Or lack thereof. There had to be something beyond the talking and the marriage counseling.

We needed to create a marriage plan -- an action plan. Immediately.

Sure, it sounds completely unromantic, but it's way better than the fighting, the lack of communication, and whatever else might be bogging down a relationship. Here's how ours works:

Creating a marriage action plan is as simple as it sounds, but for us, it was a way to hold each other accountable for our wants and needs in the relationship.

And it's not just that desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if your marriage is perfectly fabulous now, having an action plan, or a set of goals for yourself and each other, can really help keep the love alive.

But it's also because for my husband and me, having something written down that we could both refer to just makes it more real and, somehow, more important. If we're going to make things work, we have to treat our relationship as a priority.

So first, we created goals for ourselves as a couple, which included finding a new, more flexible therapist. Unfortunately, while we both like our current marriage counselor, her limited office hours were difficult for us to work around given my husband's unpredictable schedule.

We also decided that we need to have one date night a month. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. We'd rotate on planning and coordinating it, but it had to happen. 

And we also realized that we needed to have at least one night a week where we were completely unplugged and just hanging out at the house together.

Then separately, we wrote down a list of the things we want and need from the other, which ranged from big issues like talking first before making large decisions for the family (yes, I know it seems obvious, but not for everyone) to smaller issues like "a kiss goodnight every night." 

Whatever happens to be in your action plan, the point is that by writing it out or typing it up, and then signing it, you're agreeing to try. Both of you, together.

And if one person doesn't stick to it, or fails to live up to expectations, you've got a piece of paper, not just some reference to a heated conversation you had a few weeks ago (and who can remember that with four kids and little sleep?).

And if you do stick with it, then you've got the pleasure of crossing items off your action plan, and making new goals for a relationship that you thought might not make it.

Do you have a marriage action plan of sorts?

by on Mar. 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM
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Replies (1-6):
thenameshailie
by Member on Mar. 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

this is a great idea, we should do something like this.

RandiBear
by Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 1:17 AM

This is a really good idea. After the past couple years, we have finally started coming back to together but we still just...it's like after a couple years of fighting, we can't understand eachother like we used to. I really think this would work for us. I was already planning and unplugged, home date-night...maybe we can do this together that night. Work on our seperate lists between now and then, then on that night we can do our list together. Thank you for this idea!

JTnJT
by Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 6:50 AM

My DH and I did this before we were married.  It isn't often, but there have been a few times "the list" has come out during a heated argument.  It usually stops the argument in it's tracks, and gives us the opportunity to get back on track.  I definitely suggest this to anyone who is serious about maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship.

justpeachy71904
by Silver Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 6:54 AM
Yli know people in my office have scoffed at my husband and I for doing our "pre marital" counseling before our big ceremony... Since we got married in Sept. They said why now? Well because we are determined to make it last. And we are doing these things. It is so important. Good article. Thanks :)
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psych_mom
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 7:21 AM

We do of sorts. It is nothing written down, but we have time together every evening to read the Bible, we make sure that we have at least 2 date nights a month and we made an agreement that we are sticking to- if one of us feels that there is something we are not getting from the marriage we talk about it immediately. We talk often about our marriage and make sure that we are okay and this works for our marriage.

BKozICan
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Not written down, just what we do. Tuesday or Wednesday night is date night because we watch NCIS off the DVR. Every Friday morning we look at the family calendar and talk about what is coming up and what he wants me to add to the weekly menu. We are blessed with extended family who like to take our sons out to dinner or on a picnic in the park and they are our dinner out nights.

We had some real problems a few years back and did six months of marriage counseling. We still say, "Amy said I should tell you...." when we have something uncomfortable to discuss. We both know it is our code for "I am afraid I am going to upset you but we need to talk about this." Our pre-marital counseling sessions pretty much said we shouldn't get married, but we are determined to make it work. We've been married thirteen years.

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