05 September 2016

Marriage Monday: 5 Simple Questions that Will Change Your Marriage - Question 2

If you missed last week, we are doing a post series on how to set aside important communication time in your marriage. We are walking through five simple questions, originating from a Today's Letter's blog post, to guide you through this, taking it one step at a time. You can go back and read about the first question here, and then join us for question number 2!

How did last week go? You asked your spouse, "How did you feel loved this past week?" Was it interesting to hear his or her response? I know for me, it's often completely unexpected what my hubby picks as his main reason of how he felt loved. Keep what your spouse said in mind this week and see if you can now intentionally do it, or something similar, again to make them feel loved in their native love language. For more on learning your spouse's love language, check out this book.

Now that you've started out with that simple question, it should be easy to add another straightforward question to the mix. Question #2 is: "What does your schedule look like for this upcoming week?"

It always shocks me how I think this will be an easy and boring question but then realize how energized and in tune I feel with my hubby after reviewing our week. Try it and you may be pleasantly surprised that you feel the same way. I once again asked Hubby how he felt about this question. He said reviewing our upcoming week makes him feel like he doesn't have to take on his week alone. He mentioned that even just knowing that I am filled in on his upcoming deadlines and what days might be extra challenging helps lower his stress levels. He feels like he has a partner who understands what he is going through and a teammate that can help him out in any way possible. I totally agree. It's so much easier knowing you don't have to face your week alone, and we each have unique gifting that can be a great help to the other person to lighten their load. That is one of the many benefits of marriage, so it's great to tap into that in such a tangible way!

This question can be tackled a number of ways and it just depends on your preference. For us, we pull out our phones with our google calendars. You may want to pull up your paper calendar, day planner, or whatever you each use to keep track of your days. If you have a spouse that uses none of the above, this is actually an incredibly helpful question, as you can then get the information extracted from their brain onto your calendar so you can be in sync. Once we have our calendars up, I usually go through the week day by day. Our conversation may look something like this:
Me: "Okay, Tuesday night we have our Bible study group. I'm supposed to bring a side dish but I don't think I can get to the grocery store in time with the kids. Could you swing by Trader Joe's on your way home?"
Hubby: "Sure, I'll grab a side dish. I should be able to get off work on time tomorrow since my meetings are earlier in the day. Okay, for Wednesday, I have super busy day so I'm not sure I can make it home for a quick lunch."
Me: "Would it help if I made you a lunch to take with you so you can eat it while working at your desk?"
Hubby: "Yep, that would be such a big help! What's on the schedule for Thursday?"
Me: "Well Thursday I was hoping to be able to have some time to run some errands. I can take the kids but it would go a lot faster if I can go by myself after you get home from work."
Hubby: "That works fine. I can put them to bed if you're not back by then. Okay, nothing else is listed on the calendar, but anything else you want to accomplish this week?"
Me: "I do need some time to work on my blog. And I really want to get caught up on some of the home projects we've been putting off."
Hubby: "Okay, I think we can dedicate Saturday morning to working together to knock those out."
Me: "Great, thanks! I feel ready to tackle our week!"
That conversation obviously varies from week to week, but that's the basics of what it sounds like. For your conversation, here's some guidelines to follow:

- Each person takes turns letting the other know what's on their calendar for the week. You could do one day at a time or review the full week before the other's turn.
- As the other person is telling you what is on his or her to-do list, try thinking about what you could do to help out with it or make it easier for them.
- Review actual events scheduled during the week
- List out any errands you may need help with
- Fill your spouse in on any big projects or things you would like to accomplish, or at least get started on, that may take up time during the week.
- Be direct and ask for help if there's something that is stressing you out or that you know you can't handle or face alone.

I love using google calendar for many reasons.  I can pull it up on my phone or any computer. I use gmail as my main email, so it's easy for me to see an invitation and immediately put it onto my calendar. I have different color coded calendars for different purposes - one for me and one for our shared events. By the color, it's easy to tell if it's something that only I am attending or if Hubby is going with me and needs to keep his day free as well. He also has his own google calendar that he has shared with me so I can view it on mine as well. This makes it easy for me to see what he has coming up throughout the week if something gets added. He also knows that I keep my calendar so up to date, that if someone asks if we are free to go out to dinner, he can immediately check and give them an accurate answer. Let me know if you would like more information or a guide on how to do this!

What have you found to help out with scheduling as a couple?

This week, you will do question #1 and add on this second question. Two questions should still be pretty simple to tackle! As always, set aside a time where you know you can focus, either during dinner or after you put the kiddos to bed.

Let me know how it goes this week and don't forget to join us next week for adding the third question! I'm hoping these questions will truly make you feel more connected and in sync with your spouse. I'm excited to hear how these weeks go for you!

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