I shared in this post that Justin and I have a routine of taking some time at the beginning of every calendar year to set some goals for the new year, reflect on the year prior, and generally discuss if we are heading down a path we want to be heading down.
Recently on Instagram Stories (come follow along!), I shared that we set up another “meeting” to prep for the Fall and I received a few questions via Instagram inquiring to know more about that time. I hope this blog post helps you as I shed a little bit more light on how Justin and I prep for serious discussions.
Justin and I have been married for 11 years! Like any long term relationship, we have the normal ups and downs, but I can genuinely say that I feel like we are both strong communicators and that has led to a lot of clarity and alignment for our marriage through the years.
Since almost everything we had anticipated for this upcoming Fall seems to be flipped on its head, we knew that we needed to make some decisions about our future, mostly focused around the kids, in August. So we picked a date, put it on the calendar, and had about a week to prepare individually for our chat.
A few topics we covered were school plans (we are doing 3 different things for education for our 3 kids), athletics, childcare, and a few others.
We spent a few hours covering all the topics we knew we had to cover, and ultimately finished the conversation with clear plans on what our next steps are! We both hate wasted time, so the fact that we can both efficiently and quickly talk through a few different topics is a great success in our eyes.
A few tips for handling serious or important conversations with your partner:
One. Set a date in the future when you are going to talk. This gives each of you time to think through and process on your own, before coming together to work on a solution or plan. Everyone processes through things differently, and time (if you have the ability to wait) allows for a sound, well-thought-out decision!
Two. Have a list of topics you need to cover. This seems elementary, but it’s helpful to have a few bullet points of things you want to talk about so you don’t forget something.
Three. Set tangible actions to follow up on the conversation. There’s little value in discussing plans and then not acting on them. Spend time to clearly set expectations for each other on who will tackle what, and what kind of timeline is expected.
These tips have helped Justin and I communicate well throughout the years. Generally, I am a quicker decision-maker than he is, but he typically thinks of potential outcomes that I wouldn’t have imagined. Giving each other time to think on our own gives us both the ability to feel confident in our joint decision making.