This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I'm looking at Joanna Goddard who writes A Cup Of Jo. (With apologies, last week events conspired against my posting my last two posts about Ms. Goddard which is why (you may notice) she's in weeks 3 and 4.) Some of the Cup of Jo posts I think back on most frequently are the ones where Ms. Goddard offers some tip or advice from a purely personal perspective. I often think of this one and this one. By the time I read it, I was too late to put this one to good use, but I passed it on to a girlfriend or two.
Anyway, I figured I would share some relationship advice of my own . . .
Meet once a week to check in about how the relationship is going.
Maybe that sounds daunting or boring, or lame, or un-sexy, but it doesn't have to be any of those things. Honest! My husband and I started doing this to balance out my inclination to react quickly and over-talk any conflict or emotional issue that came up during the week and his inclination to under-communicate about the same sorts of things. We'd usually do it over brunch on Saturday or Sunday when we were feeling relaxed and (even if we sometimes had to have a hard talk) it became a really nice ritual.
Early on, having a weekly meeting let me take a deep breath and cool my heels about upsets (which let some of them simply evaporate) and forced my husband not to sit on things that were upsetting or irritating for too long. It isn't that we didn't talk about stuff as it came up the rest of the week, but having the meeting let us feel okay about not dwelling, especially if we didn't really have the time to sort things out right then.
These days, our talks are much more casual and we've been known to accidentally skip a week here and there when things are too frantic, but stuff still comes up. Also, the talks have become a nice opportunity to appreciate one another or offer support - it isn't always about a problem, it's a chance to do a quick tune-up to keep our relationship in good order.
What do you think? Would you try this? How have you addressed "relationship maintenance" in your life? Leave a comment and let me know!